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Ferrari vs. Lotus-- assistance please

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by kramersfolly, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. kramersfolly

    kramersfolly Rookie

    Dec 22, 2007
    3
    Gentlemen, ladies;

    I have a good friend who owns a Lotus Elise. I like the car, I've driven it. Fun indeed. I have yet to show him a Ferrari of any model, any year--including the new F430-- that he believes his Lotus will not out-corner and probably out-run from a dead stop. He may acknowledge that he can be out-run over distance on a straight-away, but never out-cornered. Can this be true? I simply can't believe this. Let's assume expert drivers of equal talent in each car.

    I do not own a Ferrari (yet) but will forever be an admirer. Please give me some information to win this argument, or at least satisfy myself that Ferrari and Lotus are not in the same category. The argument, when it gets down to it, is probably not worth winning.

    I thank you.

    kramer
     
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  3. dbaker89

    dbaker89 Formula 3

    Sep 29, 2007
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    Daniel
    The Lotus Exige is one of the best handling cars in the world, youtube "lotus exige top gear"
     
  4. Rev.ATARI

    Rev.ATARI Formula Junior

    Sep 20, 2004
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    Leland Jones
  5. veloce92

    veloce92 Formula Junior

    Nov 25, 2007
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    The lotus exige is a very good handling car, it may out corner a ferrari, but when you put the two on a track racing each other, the ferrari will win. The Exige simply cannot match a Ferrari for engine power, so they arent even in the same class really. A 1.8L engine cannot run with a Ferrari V8, no matter how little the car might weigh. The Exige S and Exige S 240 could give a 430 a run for its money, especially the S 240, with a projected sub 4 second 0-60 time. Match that with Lotus handling and light weight, and it will be a great car.
     
  6. Fazioli

    Fazioli Rookie

    Jan 30, 2006
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    Deseret Territory
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    Alan Grant
    I think it would depend on what race track. When they have the Miller MotorSports track set for the 'short' track, f430's are dog meat to the Exige, they look like a bus compared to the Lotus. Owners of both cars will confirm this. When they open the course for the full four miles, the F430 will take it down the straight but, so will a Neon/SRT.
     
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  8. gblogger

    gblogger Formula 3

    May 2, 2004
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    You realize the Veyron hit his brakes after leaving the little car in its dust. It looks like when he passed the white thing on the right, he hit 'em the first time, then again.
     
  9. Rev.ATARI

    Rev.ATARI Formula Junior

    Sep 20, 2004
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    Leland Jones
    Yes I agree, but the Lotus did gain ground in all the previous corners and for all we know the Veyron driver may have braked too early for the last corner due to sensory overload from the speed. There are many videos out that clearly show many Lotus drivers overtaking many F-cars “F-40, F-50, Enzo and others” due to the wonderful cornering ability of the Lotus and that speaks volumes.
     
  10. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ

    May 27, 2003
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    The Lotus is a great little go-kart for the track. I was tempted to get an Exige, myself. But all the reports say that it just isn't realistic to drive it on the street. It shakes your fillings out on every bump, and any tap on a body panel means big repairs.

    As to whether a Lotus or a Ferrari would "win" on a track, I'd guess that depends on the track. Get a tight, short little compact circuit, and the Lotus' handling will take the lap. Get some long straights, and the ponies and throttle response will make themselves felt. (Turbos are okay for the street, but you need antilag to make them viable on the track -- IMO.)

    And the Ferrari driver won't need a chiropractor afterwards. ;)
     
  11. Ferrari 360 CS

    Ferrari 360 CS F1 Veteran
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    Dec 4, 2004
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    Jacques
    I think to some degree the orginal question has been lost, the question related what I assume is a normally aspirated Elise, not an Exige, this being the case and the Elise having around 150 bhp I would be highly suprised if the car could stay with a Ferrari around any track or any road bar something incredibly bumpy and twisty.
     
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  13. Taffy

    Taffy Karting

    Mar 30, 2007
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    Cardiff UK
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    Chris T
    A standard elise will struggle to break 5 secs to 100km/h whereas a 430 will do it in under 4 ,thereafter the 430 would be gone.....

    This same scenario would also apply if comparing the elise to anything from the 355 onwards......ie: 355 4.8 -100km/h, 360 4.5-100km/h, 430 3.9-100km/h

    As for cornering there would be little if anything to separate the two marques..... a professional driver would also be able to extract the best from the ferrari's whereas a rank amateur would struggle.

    I love all this bar room bull .......in the real world not many people can get anywhere near the true performance of their cars and the guy in the Ferrari is less likely to try to extract the full cornering performance of his Ferrari for fear of visiting the scenery.


    The Exige is a track focussed car and it should only be compared like for like ....so comparing it to a 355 challenge or 360CS or a 430 scuderia then there really is no comparison.

    Let your friend believe whatever he wishes.......he will be the one who looks stupid when he takes on a Ferrari with a handy driver......
     
  14. Taffy

    Taffy Karting

    Mar 30, 2007
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    Chris T


    Or maybe the fact that they drive the Lotus harder as it costs a fraction of the Ferrari's and a lot less to repair if it comes off track.......

    It is very easy to throw around a car that costs £30k and not worry, but when it costs £150k (430), £200k (F40) , £300k (F50), £700k (an Enzo) I think the stakes change somewhat...and I would be inclined to be a bit more conservative on track.

    I like to drive my car hard but always in the knowledge that I'm only at 75% or so, making sure that my chances of having an "off" will be minimal.

    When I had less expensive sports cars I usually drove them as fast as I could possibly have done.
     
  15. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    Depending on the track...
     
  16. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
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    Gary B.
    I own both a 430 and an Elise. They are obviously very different cars. I chuckle every time I go into the garage and see the Elise just dwarfed by the 430 parked next to it. The 430 is much more polished than the Elise, rides better, tons more power. But the Elise is so laser-focused you can't help but love it. It's actually more fun to drive in the street twisties than the Ferrari because it's so light and tossable, and doesn't have the kind of power that gets you in trouble in about 4 seconds. As to track work, it would take a mighty tight track before the Elise would be faster. I found at most tracks the lap times of the Elise are pretty comparable to the 360, given equal drivers. The 430 is about 2 sec per minute of track time quicker than that. But the Elise is at least as much fun, maybe more.

    Gary
     
  17. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 26, 2005
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    From what I've seen, I agree. The Lotus Elise owners who show up the weekend gatherings hosted by Symbolic Motors seem to drive the snot out of their cars and go through a set of tires monthly. Those of us with Ferraris have the cleaner cars with the better-sounding engines and swap tires after 6-7 years because the rubber starts to age.

    I think your friend's main challenge would be finding a Ferrari F430 owner who would push the car anywhere near its limits on the track. F430s have been largely investments/toys for a couple of years. Now that they are dropping in price, perhaps people will start to drive them.
     
  18. kramersfolly

    kramersfolly Rookie

    Dec 22, 2007
    3
    This would have been my guess, especially as my friend really can't even be called an amateur; he was on a track once via an invite from Lotus for a 3-day workshop in Vegas. He uses the Lotus to commute and meet girls! At any rate, it was hard for me to get through his bravado and down to the actual reality without talking to some Ferrari /Lotus owners who respect both cars.

    It's been fun reading all the feedback!


     
  19. kramersfolly

    kramersfolly Rookie

    Dec 22, 2007
    3
    Thanks, yes. A normally aspirated Elise. I argue that even on a twisty route, if there's one straight, or even a shallow curve, the Ferrari is gone. A stock Elise and an F430 strikes me as an untenable comparison in anything but pure fun for driving (if you don't mind bumping around in the Elise).

    I'm satisfied that the performance numbers are true and I'll be content to know that while my friend continues his boasting!

    kramer
     
  20. wetpet

    wetpet F1 World Champ
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    May 3, 2006
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    it's for him to prove it. he won't be able to.


     
  21. Mrpbody44

    Mrpbody44 F1 Veteran

    Jul 5, 2007
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    Steve Metz
    I think driving culture has something to due with the advantage of the Lotus on the track. The average Lotus drive has a lot more seat time in his car than the Ferarri guy. Lotus guys also push thier cars to the edge on the track which is part of the culture. Ferrari guys tend to drive more conservitily on the track at events. I remember telling friends of mine that just got Ferraris that you have to rev the snot out of the car or you will screw it up. They were loafing around at 3,000 rpm thinking they were saving wear and tear on the car when they were actualy doing more damage to the car.

    I love the You Tube videos of guys in Lotus 7's beating the Enzos on the track.
     
  22. duskybird

    duskybird F1 World Champ
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  23. Taffy

    Taffy Karting

    Mar 30, 2007
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    Chris T
    From looking at those Topgear times if ur getting similar times from a 360 and an Elise you clearly are not able to extract the full performance from the Ferrari.
     
  24. premieram

    premieram Karting

    Jun 10, 2004
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    Joseph T. Seminetta
    I also own several Ferraris and an Elise. They are indeed very different cars.
    One subject which has not been discussed here is that the Elise is largely a deathmobile.
    Its size, weight and fiberglass construction would not do well on the wrong side of an Escalade.
    I believe Lotus was given several safety "passes" when importing this car.
    There have been many fatal injuries reported in Elises.

    However, it is SO MUCH FUN for the money. I do track mine but drive it with an extra degree of caution both on the road and the track (like a sensible motorcycle owner might). For $35K, it is the automotive deal of the century and there is a whole subculture of add on parts to make it faster and even more track worthy.

    Enjoy, but be careful....

    Joe Seminetta
     
  25. J. Salmon

    J. Salmon F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Aug 27, 2005
    4,310
    VA
    Gary's comments are probably the best so far, as he has good experience with both cars. Here is my real-world comparison: My 512TR has a 25k transaxle. Every start, every shift, that fact never makes it too deep into my subconscious. My Exige S transaxle is $1800, new in the box.

    The 512 TR has a 0-60 time somewhere in the 4's. I assure you, I have NEVER gotten anywhere near such performance. The Exige S has a 0-60 of low 4's. It's easy to achieve: revs to 6000, sidestep clutch, hammer gas, slam shift to second, back on gas. I've only done it a few times :)

    Line up at a light next to me in your 360 when I am in the lotus, and I'll eat you for breakfast. Cause your not going to treat your car the way you'd have to.

    As for the track, I have not even begun to learn how to drive the Lotus well, but I can tell you that it's limits are pretty far out there. Where you definitely notice the lower power is in straights. Get the thing to 125 and the acceleration really starts to fall off compared to higher power cars. So it's simple: short tight tracks will favor the lotus, but anywhere that there is room to run, the high hp car will begin to make it back.

    BTW, who cares it your buddy thinks his car is fast? Even if it's not all that, why not toss him a bone?
     
  26. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
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    I bought an Elise (with a sport package) when they first came out. BTW, they have 190hp not 150 but are seriously deficient in torque. The sport suspension is rock hard. I only tracked it once and the handling is clearly on a par or better with just about anything else except Caterhams, and is especially fun without any electronic nannies. However, the naturally aspirated models are seriously short on grunt which really shows up on corner exits, especially at my altitude. As a street car, it makes Ferraris seem really practical. I never really warmed up to the car and as someone else mentioned, the fragility in collisions was a concern so I sold it. A little while later, I had occasion to run on a track in my STI with a couple of Loti which were clearly better in turns, but I was able to run them down on straights. My take is that the Elise/Exige combo are great track weapons, especially the supercharged models but they are pretty expensive for a single dimension car. In the future, if I can buy an Exige S for under 40K, I might buy one for a track car, but would certianly fir it with a cage, harnesses, etc. I think my 430 is clearly on a par handling wise though the size and weight make it more difficult to extract and, like others have mentioned, I don't press it as hard on track days as I do cheaper cars.

    Dave
     
  27. duskybird

    duskybird F1 World Champ
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    I said similar not faster. Homestead (infield road) is rather tight better suited towards the Elise.
     
  28. rtking

    rtking Formula Junior

    Mar 5, 2006
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    Bob King
    I owned (past tense) a Lotus Elise. I agree with the assessment that it lacks in torque, but the lightweight offsets that. What the Elise can't offset is the effect of drag due to limited horsepower (190 hp). IMHO, the Elise is probably going to hold its own on a short course, but on a long course (or one with a long straight-a-way), the Elise loses any advantage.

    As for driving the cars on the street - the Elise is fragile and barely tolerable. I owned mine for 6 months and sold it because it was such a chore to drive this car. The guy I sold it to kept it about 3 months and traded it for a Porsche. If I were much younger (20 something) I might be better able to tolerate the buckboard ride. But now that I'm 40-something, I prefer the refinement of the Ferrari.

    BTW, if your friend is using the Elise to pick-up girls, he'll be sadly disappointed in the quality of girls he attracts. I'd much rather have a girl be interested in me than my car. Luckily my wife loves me as I am.
     

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