Lotus Elise SC (supercharged) test drive

I popped into Rick D’s the only official Lotus cars dealer for NSW Australia today and took the just arrived fresh Elise SC in Isotope Green for a short drive this afternoon in the lovely hot weather we had in Sydney today. I will try and cover off a lot of the points that stuck in my mind after my 25 minute drive.


Isotope Green, hmm maybe not my frist colour Choice.

– From the overall feeling I felt immediately the car was so VERY similar to my Elise R in so many ways it was uncanny.
– From engine idle to around 5000rpm or there abouts both cars (my Elise R and the Elise SC) felt identical in power delivery, above 5000rpm the Elise SC felt like it started working and acceleration was very slightly faster
– when I say slightly I mean it, if you put these 2 cars side by side there really would be nothing in it, a couple of cars lengths at the end of a long straight.
– The engine didn’t feel so torquey down low compared to the Exige S
– You can not hear the supercharger whine like it does in the Exige S, only very slightly in the higher rev’s but you really have to listen out for it.

elisesc3.jpgEngine exactly the same as in the Elsie R but with
the supercharger bolted on for extra fizz.

Other area’s
– The new 08 instrument cluster does look a bit classier than the 07 cluster
– The rear wing even though is only a couple of cm’s higher than the normal rear ‘lip’ at the back, I found rear visibility from my height was reduced by a third. Reversing was much harder visibility wise.

I have to be honest but I found myself really not that impressed with the Elise SC today, it felt like really a tiny step up in the package over my Elise R and I was absolutely amazed by how simular they are, in fact the first few minutes I asked if “this WAS the super charged version right?”


Small rear wing is pretty much the only visual
clue this is the supercharged Elsie varient.

Maybe the reason I was not so impressed as a step up from the Elise R is a testament to just how bloody good and fast the Elise R is. It felt exactly the same where down low it was a respectable easy to drive potter around town car and then when the revs rose it all goes a bit crazy, ditto on the R was going through my mind, just a slightly bigger push from behind as we full throttled down the road.

That said though, I think with its price at only 10k difference between an Elise R and Elise SC and for bragging rights to your mates you have a ‘super charged Elise’ there is no reason if looking for a new high-end Elise why someone should choose the Elise R over the Elise SC.

Unless you hold a torch for Naturally Aspirated engines, the Elise SC is the new king of the Elise range. icon_cool.gif

Photos Courtesy of Eric & Alvin )AussieElises)

Lotus Exige 240bhp models finally come to Aus

Ok this news is officially nearly 2 weeks old now but Lotus cars are dear to my heart owning my own Lotus Elise so I have to post this better late than never. For months and months now in the UK and US, pretty much the rest of the world around our large island of Australia, the Lotus Exige S has been available in 240bhp form labelled the ‘Performance Pack’ now it comes to our shores.


No apparent visual clue’s when the Perf. pack is fitted.

The only ever criticism of the Lotus Exige in motoring press around the world has been that it is the most capable sports car ever made in modern times but it just needs a bit more Power! With my own car the Lotus Elise R, just those extra few horse’s would drop the car from the very fast 5 seconds 0-100kph league to the 4 seconds pants staining supercar league.

This is exactly in a nutshell what the factory fitted optional ‘Performance Pack’ for the Lotus Exige S really does all for a fistful of $11,000 of your Australian $’s. So what do you exactly get for this most expensive of all the options on the current Lotus ‘Upgrade pack’ menu?

exiges2.jpg                                240bhp & 940Kg’s equals a whole lot’er speed!

Firstly and most importantly you get an engine power upgrade from 218bhp to 240bhp and torque rises from 215Nm to 230Nm of torque, not much it sounds, but in a car weighing just over 900Kg’s that’s a very noticeable extra punch I can tell you from my Lotus driving experience.

Other parts of the pack are not so noticeable initially but will be from the sum of their parts no doubt, like the larger 308mm front discs with AP Racing four piston callipers, the Full length wider mouthed roof scoop to allow more air to reach the mid-engined mounted intercooler, up rated clutch to handle the extra power and torque and lastly the Lotus Variable Slip Traction control System as found on the Lotus 2 Eleven. I have played with this Lotus Variable Slip control on the 2 Eleven twice before and it really is intuitive and easy to master after a few laps of play.


Interior pure Lotus, function over style.

What is the main selling point of this new option for the Exige S and warrants talking about is that really this the first time officially a 240bhp Lotus has been available to buy in Australia, well excluding the super limited edition Lotus Sport 240 where only 6 will be built for and sold in Australia. This means you are getting your very own version of the rare Lotus Exige Cup 240/Lotus Sport 240 for the price of a normal Lotus Exige S plus a little bit extra.

Basically now us Australians have been granted it, you’d be mad to order a new Lotus Exige S without ticking that option box staring up at you labelled ‘Performance pack’, it’s even more of a performance bargain.

Source: Lotus AU

Porsche Cayenne GTS – another gender confused car

Porsche Australia recently unveiled their new Cayenne GTS Prestige 4WD, adding to the existing lineup of Cayenne, Cayenne S and range topping Cayenne Turbo models. Im still wondering who actually goes out and buys these things in Australia though. I mean no one I know actually admits to wanting to go and buy one of these no-man-land 4WD’s stuck between the world of prestige and a raw 4WD off-roader but I see more and more of these things driving around the state capitals of Australia everyday.

The new Cayenne GTS sits between the top 2 models of the range between the S model with its 4,8l V8 and 405hp and the range topping massively expensive turbo model with its 4.8l twin-turbo V8 creating a massive 500hp and 700Nm of torque, enough to haul Tasmania back to the mainland Australia!  


Turbo nose and mouth lifted from the top spec Turbo model.

At $153 thousand dollars incl. GST it sits well below the price of the Turbo which costs an unimaginable $215k for a 4WD SUV, but for an extra $19k over the Cayenne S model what do you get extra in the Cayenne GTS.

Well V8 power plant has been tweaked, the engine now generates an extra 20hp but torque remains the same at 500Nm ?? (is that a typo in the press release??) acceleration from 6.8 seconds to 100kph is down to 6.1 seconds and top speed is raised from 250kpm to 253kph, all this from a revised intake manifold and engine management system wow! hmmmm not.


Twin Rear chrome tailpipes taken from the Turbo model.

Porsche say in designing the Cayenne GTS:

“Developing the new Cayenne GTS was an exercise in what we do best: more performance, more agility, a more immediate driving experience. In short: more sport – both visually and technically – and designed exclusively for the road.”

What this translates to is the optional Cayenne sports exhaust system, 24mm lower steel-sprung sports suspension with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) and 21-inch Cayenne Sport wheels all fitted as standard. On the looks department the Cayenne GTS has all the visual trimmings of the Turbo model so if you ‘de-badge’ the car you could pretend to owning the Cayene Turbo model if that gives you one up on the Jones’s. A free optional roof spoiler on the roof tail edge adds the ‘bling’ for this new faster models looks too.


Interior doesn’t get any real highlights over the S model.

Back to where I started with this though, who actually buys Porsche Cayenne’s? If you want practicality you go for an old tough as boots Toyota Landcruiser, you want ‘cheap’ luxury you go for the ever more popular in Australia Ford Territory.

Who buys a Cayenne and actually takes them off-road like a 4WD is meant to? It seems only Porsche in their own motor journo driving PR adventures around the world to end up in various beautifully crafted Porsche sales brochures in showrooms around the world, certainly not the ones in Sydney.

Source: Porsche AU