Caterham to Elise?? Advice Needed Please

I would be grateful for any advice you guys could give me as I might be interested in buying a new Elise.I currently own a Caterham Superlight (Which is a great car) but due to a problem I feel that I might want a change. I have always liked the Elises, especially the new shaped design.The car I am looking at is the 135bhp Sports Tourer.If I make the swap from Caterham to Elise2, the down side would a slower and less well performing car on the track (Not wanting to knock the Elise or upset any owners). The upside of having the Elise would be a car that I could use more comfortably all year around with more practicality.My view on this would be where you loose you gain in other areas.My Questions are, If I did the change ::::1) What are the other benefits to owning and Elise?2) What advice would you give me when ordering an Elise 135bhp Sports Tourer?3) What extras would you ask for?4) What should I try and avoid?5) What known problems are there?6) Do they do a Hard Top for the Elise 2? If so how much is it and is it an extra or does it come with the car? How good are the Hard Tops?7) One down side would be no longer being able to participate in a number of events that the Lotus 7 Club of Great Britain run because they only except Caterham / Lotus 7’s in many of their events. So is there an Elise or Lotus owners club? If so what do they get up to?8) Is there any former Caterham owner who have made the switch to Elise’s on this site that can tell me of the pro’s & con’s they found when making the switch.9) Is there an active bunch of Elise owners in the West Midlands / Midlands area?Thanks for your help

SnapperThe best hard-top for an Elise is an Exige, great on the track, and less of a step down in performace than going the Elise route.I’ve now got an Exige & traded my Caterham Vauxhall 225bhp Swindon all dancing machine in for it. I was soo disappointed when I fist jumped in the Exige I wanted my Caterham back. That was until I popped down to Donnington, the chassis is so stiff, I knew it had great potenitial & now I’m glad I’ve stuck with it.I live in the West Mids and we have a pretty good Lotus dealer Nick Whale Sports Cars, give them a ring test drive both cars.Trevor

Hi Trevor Thanks for your advice , Nick Whale Sports Cars is the dealer I would be going to because I know Sale Director Dave Noon & the owner Nick Whale and they have both been very good in other professional dealing that I have had with them. I would be grateful If I could talk to you a bit more directly in the subject. Perhaps you could email me at [email protected] Ideally it would be good to talk on the phone because of the number of question I have.RegardsJamie

snapper - no offence to teh elise but after an SLR you will be seriously downgrading in terms of sheer speed, laptimes and raw sensory thrills. SLR is also much more adjustable and forgiving at the limit. Even a 190bhp elise will be significantly slower than an SLR. Why not keep the slr and buy a jallopy for a grand ?

I have got the standard 1.6 Superlight (SL) not the Superlight R. Its Quick but not as quick as SLR.I had a test drive today in one of Nick Whale Sportscars Elise 135bhp Sport Tourer, It was not as quick as a standard Caterham Superlight in 1.6 form.But it was a very very very nice car, where I lose in the speed I gain in the practicality and comfort with a car that looks great.Still can’t make up my mind.

Hi Snapper,I used to have a Superlight 1.6k, swapped it for an Exige last May.I think you will soon start to miss the power to weight that the SL gives you and if you get a std Elise it won’t be long before you are looking for modification options.The Exige has a similar performance to the SL 1.6, but is far more sure footed in the 80-120mph region.There are a few nearly new Exiges around, they are a bit more practical that the Seven, but I have to praise those who use them everyday.