Lotus Elan

Elan S4 1969 Versus Elise 111 1999

PostPost by: Jolly Jumper » Wed May 26, 2004 7:57 pm

I agree with Rohan.
However, I still think a standard original spec. Elan is also much fun on b-roads. You just have to adjust your driving style: With standard suspension and tyres it rolls much more but it still develeops more grip than you think. You can explore and learn weight transfer in this better than in any car and still be quick. However, I do feel much safer in the Elise, yes.
In my view, it is essential to have both... ;)
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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:43 am

interesting topic, this one. yesterday I drove my brothers elise s1 with modified computer and inlet system for the first time in anger over some country roads in Auckland and the difference with my plus 2 is that the elise is much faster and a little more nervous than the plus 2. Although I loved the experience, it is very easy to do 130-140 km over windy country roads where as in the plus 2 you get the same excitement at 110-120 km/hour so it is a bit safer ,and the plus 2 is not as twitchy or nervous. a longer wheelbase and front engine makes the car a little more relaxing to drive as well. I loved the engine noise and the rapid acceleration though, and the fantastic quick gear changes. I still prefer my plus2 but I love to drive the elise again some time.
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PostPost by: Crusty » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:52 pm

I've had both and i thought the elise was more pointy, ridged. The elan is delicate and i have to say i prefer the longer corners in the elan. The elise is sharp and you have to be quick to catch at the limit, The elan is rounder at the limit, you have to set the car up which is more enjoyable on familiar roads and your favourite track I would like to say an elan makes you think more than the elise . In the elise you just went and then lost it, I did 80mph backwards down paddock and a big off at the bomb hole no damage done. Its all a learning curve, i am pleased to have owned both I love the elan, i really do.
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>.....ELAN 1969 S4 SE COUPE.....<
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:34 pm

Yes interesting.. I have a QED 420 sprint and an SC supercharged Elise. No doubt which does all the best, apart from damaged kidneys, and that is the Elise...

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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:48 am

I suppose you have to be a better skilled driver to drive the elise at the limit. I have no experience with rear engined cars and therefore I am a little weary to drive it very hard because of the unforgiving nature of these cars. One must be a very experienced driver being able to catch an elise or any other rear engined car that has started to turn the wrong way. My experience with the plus 2 is that it is a car that can be driven hard by any idiot because it is so neutral and forgiving but very entertaining at the same time. Still so surprised why loti has such a small following worldwide??? maybe we are a gifted bunch and know something others are unable to pick up on??? :lol:
just out of interest what is roughly the speed one can travel in a long sweeping corner in an elise before things turn ugly??? might be a stupid question but I still ask
Should also have a drive in an elan one day, never had the chance.
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PostPost by: DeanG » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:20 pm

If you crashed an Elan it would be less expensive to fix than the Elise. If you crashed an Elise you will have a better chance of coming out alive than in the Elan.
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PostPost by: Sundaydriver » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:55 pm

Fantastic read, didn't realise at first this thread started ten years ago !!!

I've had my first Lotus, a standard S1 Elise, for a month or so. I had wanted an early Elan , but quickly decided I'd need ?30k to do the job properly. One day :D

Thoroughly enjoyed the 1000 plus miles I've put on her so far, mosty in the dry.
I've taken it steady in the wet, but growing in confidence. Pressures checked
regularly, and a good set of yoko tyres fitted.

I've lost grip at the rear once on a local roundabout at perhaps 20mph, on oil, as
It's near a Petrol Station. Corrected easily. I found it very controllable. At 60mph
plus, maybe it'll be a different story !

Looking forward to some tuition on track, maybe next year now, and after I've had
a suspension refresh, and geo sorted. Who knows how good it's handling until
That's sorted.

One day I'll experience a Sixties Elan too, as someone said above, both in the garage has to be the right way to go !!!
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:24 pm

I'm in the lucky position of having 3 of the best.
The S3 Elan has a Vegantune modified engine, don't know its output but enough.
The TC Europa has a Stromberg-equipped engine but de-federalised and also enough.
The Elise has the standard 189bhp Toyota engine.
They are different cars and I enjoy them all, but the Elise is easily the most road-competent in all departments. Much of that, I'm sure, is because of tyres; the rest is down to hp and years of development.

The others are still fun though!
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Wed Mar 06, 2024 4:52 pm

20 years later

The two cars are what saved Lotus, because they are both great cars.
Not that the other cars Lotus has built are less, save the 7 as it is obviously what hurtled Lotus into prominence i suppose.

While both front mid and mid rear platforms offer different handling prowess, Lotus never made either (or any outside of race) with unlimited budget, and neither with track-in-mind. Of course the 26r still clobbers, eats, destroys its (Class C, not B, do I hear A?) completion. Saving the 47 Gt or Gs, Esprit race-prepared, Carltons and specific race-prepared cars from this, and the Elise GTR. The street Elan, Elise seem to be very compliant is stock form (the Elan more so, and the +2 even better here).
Having reverted my early S4 to more supple and stock Koni from TTR fast road, and returning to softer but still with stronger and adjustable front sway in the Elise. Mine are used on the road, though I would love to see a shootout between Horatio (or similar) against a race Elise!

The bottom line for me is depending on your driving. Bias ply tyres being only available for trailers here in N.A. Luckily Mini’s RX7’s AE86 etc manufacturers are considering and building 13” tyres other than for passenger minivans.

A Elan or Elise setup for the track is different than one set for the roads.

Obviously you need both in your quiver, one of each for road, & track.
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