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308 GTB vs a Lotus Elise?

Discussion in '308/328' started by Looney, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Looney

    Looney F1 Rookie

    Jul 1, 2004
    2,677
    Gold Coast
    Full Name:
    BB
    OK,

    Im laying it down now, hopefully not to many of you will slander, abuse or laugh at me, but Ive been shoping around for a car for the last 6 months or so and still cannot decide.

    I want to buy a car as a weekender (i cant buy one as a daily, as i work in a prety dodgy part of town), and have been looking at 308 GTB's and Lotus Elises.

    Just to give you some idea (i live in australia, so prices differ allot to the US), a GTB will cost me anywere from $60K aus (for a rough one) to $90k for an exceptional one, where i can buy a lotus Elise for anywere from $35k for a basic 97 model, right through to 100k for a brand new one.

    so heres my question, if any of you can talk from experience would be great. WHich do you think would be better as an enthusiasts weekender? with everything from maintenance, insurance, performance and resale in mind.

    I know the Lotus will win on performance, but i thaught id throw my hat into the ring.

    Cheers
     
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  3. patpong

    patpong Formula 3

    Jul 6, 2004
    2,170
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Full Name:
    Patpong Thanavisuth
    My experience with both cars, Ferrari 308 and Lotus, (not exactly the elise but the Esprit). I have exprerience driving the Elise, test driving it and drive my friend's. Both cars are great in very different ways. The 308 is great fun sport car. It got the race car feeling. firm clutching, gearing. Driving position is so great. Very enjoyable indeed. And it is a classic. The look, to me, kill, not only the elise but many sports car that is far more expensive than it is. The attention you get when driving the 308 is wonderful. Classic car enthusiastic or supercar enthusiastic look at you highly. Maintenance is low in case of mine the carb version. The Elise on the other hand you get all of the above with lesser degree but faster and many ways to upgrade its performance. You should have a test drive at the dealer and feel them for yourself for performance. If you looking a great classic supercar something that you will be proud of for many years it's the 308, but if only performance you are looking for the elise may be the one.

    If the price is in same range the 308 is best choice. I believe 20 years from now the 308 or 328 range with worth more than the 355 or even 360 . The same way the Dino surpass the 512BB.
    Pat
     
  4. javasebi

    javasebi Rookie

    Feb 3, 2004
    9
    Hi!
    I can't tell you much about the 308 but I own an 97' Elise and did nearly 50000 miles on it. Here are my experiences:

    - In Germany assurance and Tax is relatively cheap compared to other performance cars.

    - It consumes only about 8l/100km of fuel even if you drive it quite fast.

    - Mine is a little tuned and the acceleration is very impressive. Not many cars in that price range come even close.

    - It also gets a lot of attention. But because it is so small most people don't feal jealous which is a nice thing.

    - The handling is great but usually I'm just to afraid to realy take it to the limit... The fact that it is so small is very helpfull when driving on narrow mountain roads which is what this car has been constructed for.

    - It is a convertible. I would never spend any money on a closed top sports car after i have driven the Elise.

    - It's strong and weak point at the same time is the Rover 1.8l engine:

    PRO:
    -- It's the reason why the costs to run this car are so low.
    -- If you break it is cheap to replace it with a used one from another car.
    -- Engine parts from Rover a cheap.
    -- It can be cheaply tuned to at least 160hp (and the car beeing so light it feels like a lot more than that).
    -- It is easy to work on that engine and nice to learn. While learning it is a nice feeling that if you realy mess up something it doesn't cost as much money as on a ferrari.

    CON:
    -- The car definitely lacks top speed. I come from Germany so this is not theoretical point. In standard trim the car will top out at about 215km/h which in my eyes is just ridiculous for a sports car. With a modded engine you can take it up to about 235-240km/h which is a little more acceptable but still a little low.
    -- The engine sound with a decent exhaust is pretty good but it is still a 4 cyl engine. In addition to that the engine is just not as "magic" as the ferrari engines.


    My conclusion:
    The Elise is a true drivers car. you can drive the **** out of it and except top speed it beats the 308 performance wise. The Elise Can be drive in the rain on snow etc. without rust problems. It can be fixed and maintained pretty cheap.
    The 308 and specially the carburetor cars are in my eyes more classic collector cars. You get the classic ferrari feeling with the looks, the sound of the v8 engine, the carbs, the calssic interior, the shifter gates and the feeling to own a ferrari.
    Over here 308 are a lot closer to used Elises price wise but if the 308 is so much more expensive over there buy the Elise learn things on the car and use it if you realy want to drive on the limit or the track. Then save some more money and add a 308GTS also to your garrage as a classic to keep and to enjoy the ferrari feeling.

    Greetings
    Sebastian
     
  5. andrewg

    andrewg F1 Rookie
    BANNED

    Sep 10, 2002
    4,667
    Chester, England
    Full Name:
    AndrewG
    The Rover engine isnt an issue in the latest version as they now have a Toyota engine (the rover one uses head gaskets as a consumable item!)

    having tried to use one as an everyday car, it isnt! just too basic, great fun and very impressive handling but just too basic and raw for frequent use, np carpets and a very leaky roof!, if your over 5'8" or enjoy your food getting into and out of these things is bloody awfull (doesnt matter how cool the car looks if you have to crawl out of the seat!) maintainence is pretty easy as long as you carry a bag to put the things that have fallen off in! and can screw them back on, the Rover motor apart from gasket and through bolt issues is actaully quite strong and loves to rev

    a 308 may cost more to run but it can be used for more than driving like a nut!! (you can arrive in a 308 in a elise you just get there)

    for another point of view have a look in the forums at pistonheads.com
     
  6. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,393
    MO
    Best bet is to drive both and see which puts a bigger smile on your face. That happened to me when I had my NSX NA2 and my 328. The NSX collected dust. Sold it and didnt look back. (at least not too often :))
     
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    73,162
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba
    The US Elise gets the Toyota, which is good!

    It's funny because even with two 308GTBs I was going over to survey the Elise.. The prices here are $40k for either one...

    The difference will be in depreciation on the new car, and also the ??? on long term quality and dealer service. A Mercedes dealer here handles Lotus as well.
     
  9. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,393
    MO
    Personally I was hoping for a Honda. Their shifters are soo nice and their engines love rpms...
     
  10. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    73,162
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba
    Yea, but I have a Toyota truck with a 4 cyl. 2.4 liter and it's almost to 200K miles...you just can't kill 'em!

    No idea if this translates to the current engine though...
     
  11. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,393
    MO
    My experiance is that unlike honda engines, toyota engines dislike being 'wrung' out as much and will start to knock at 150k+ miles. This based on the experiances of cars coming into my friend's garage. Hondas though seem to love rpms like no tomorrow. More toyota's seemed to have this then honda's. But them maybe the drivers were stupid :p
     
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  13. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
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    Pete
    I've rung out many Toyota engines and never had an issue (looking for wood to touch as I type this). Also Honda engines have never had a high mileage reputation down this side of the world ...

    Pete
     
  14. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,393
    MO
    Well I guess we all will see how it turns out. Hopefully its not built like a british car...

    (I have owned 2, still have one so trust me I am not just saying this to be annoying) :D
     
  15. javasebi

    javasebi Rookie

    Feb 3, 2004
    9
    Hi!
    the head gasket problem on the rover engine is exagerated. It doesn't happen as often as people tell you and even if it happens it's 100 Euro in parts including oil etc. plus two afternoons of work.
    The roof is not such a big problem also. You just have to adjust the windows and treat the roof material with the stuff you use to make your shoes waterproof.
    You can also use it as a daily driver. I do it for 3 years and sure it is not so comfortable but a lot of fun.

    Yes the new Elise has got a Toyota engine but if you realy want and bring some money there is a german company that will mount you a honda engine. Concerning the Toyota Elise you should be aware that the car got a lot heavier compared to the original models... In addition to that the engine has got variable timing adjustement etc. which makes working on the whole thing a lot more complicated. In addition to that it is so much more expensive than a used one that I would rather buy an early Rover Elise modify it a little and safe lots of money.

    In my eyes the main point remains: The Elise lacks the ferrari badge, the ferrair looks and the ferrari engine.

    Greetings
    Sebastian
     
  16. Sagaris400

    Sagaris400 Karting

    Jun 15, 2004
    50
    Esher, UK
    Full Name:
    Tom R
    I work in maybe the biggest Lotus dealer in the UK, and possibly the world (thats my bragging rights!)
    Anyway, I have never been in the Ferrari, but been in the Stock S2, 111S S2 and 111R S2 with the VVTi engine <- this one rules the roost in everyway!

    but since you were looking at a '97 elise, which handling is amazing on the race track, but can be twitchy if the car remains stock on normal road use. We offer a tuning kit that corrects this, but I would recomend the S2 model at least, which is superior, and if you want the more performance and better handling, and still the joys of an open top Elise, get the new Exige (expensive though). Not many people seem to realise that the roof section is removable on the new car...

    Anyway, Ferrari 308 vs Lotus S1.... Ferrari 308 would be my choice here, although I cannot explain how good the Elise S2 model is, its lovely really, and would be my choice over the Ferrari! (and Elise S1)
     
  17. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    17,673
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Pete
    Isn't the Rover engine a Honda engine ... ie. didn't Honda and Rover share the same bed for a while?

    Pete
     
  18. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,687
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Buy the 308. It's a classic, it will go up in value, not down. It's a Ferrari, it's cool, it's fast, it's fun to drive. Yeah, the Elise is faster, but how much faster do you need? I think unless you track the car, 99% of owners never push the envelope of performance of any car. My 308 has the performance to be driven much more aggressively than I dare drive it on a street, so what is the point of buying a car that can turn even quicker? Besides, as much as I love the Elise (it is named after my daughter afterall ;-) it is nowhere near as beautiful and classic as a 308.

    Birdman
     
  19. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip
    I have an '85 308QV and a 2000 elise 111S. Both are fantstic cars but if I were to chose the 308 would win out. As a mater of fact the 308 may also win out vs the 355 ! For me it is not only one of the most beatiful cars ever, it is exremely comunicative with the driver and always feels special to drive.

    Whatever you chose you cannot really go wrong. Have fun :)
     

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