Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter
Skittish Elise? - Ride/Handling/Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Tyres - TLF - Totally Lotus Jump to content


Skittish Elise?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I just borrowed (well, hired) and Elise for the day to "try before I buy", and had a very negative experience. Trying to establish whether I should blame the vehicle or the model.

As soon as I came off the motorway onto a straight but bumpy A road, I found the handling very unstable. The car bounced around and felt like it was going to come off the road, at anything over about 45mph.

I've read that the Exige has a reputation for this (and have watched a couple of review videos saying the same), but thought the Elise was much more sorted.

I was sufficiently unnerved that I took it to the nearest garage to get the shocks and alignment checked (shocks - OK, tracking  - out).

What is people's view on this?

[It was an old 111R - 07 plate, 65K miles]

[PS I have owned a Caterham, and don't recall it being like this]


Edited by Chris C
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 10
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Is this just north of Hadrians Wall? Perhaps I misread the title.

Something is wrong with the car. I have driven many miles in Elise on all sorts of roads. The cars are peerless on any surface. And so are Exige of the two I have driven.

In my fairly extensive experience of Lotus since 1992, the cars flatter the driver and make you feel much better than your talent actually is.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chipp,

tbh I never got far enough to push it round a bend, so I don't know!

I would hope the garage checked the tyres, but I didnt ask them

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As mentioned, Elise's are very sensitive to tyre pressures (if fact most Lotus cars are) so I'd not say it's a common trait. I've never driven one I'd describe as skittish to be honest and to be fair, I can't imagine a dealer would keep an eye on them beyond it's pre-sale checks if they're diligent or if a tyre is properly flat. 

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gold FFM

I have driven my 03 plate 111s for 80,000 miles in 10 years. 

Skittish is never a word that I would use to describe it.

Planted is one that I would use all day long.

If you would like to try a different one PM me. (I am in Hampshire too)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elises and Exiges are very geo sensitive, that sounds out and needs sorting. 

The platform allows all manner of characteristics to be dialled in, something clearly is not right in the example you drove.  Drive another with Geo correctly set

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gold FFM

I was going to go with three things in this order:

1) Shocks (checked)

2) Alignment (checked) You said the nearest garage. Is the Elise rear tracking able to be adjusted and if so, was the garage aware of that and did they do it?

3) Tyre pressures  TBA

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of the Moderators. (I'm not one of the elves anymore, but I'll leave the link here)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He said tracking was done, but to places that call it tracking thats not not normally playing with camber or caster and doubt they would have have the shims to adjust - a badly good Elise can feel awful even if the toe is set correct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all

Just to be clear, the garage said the shocks were ok, but that tracking/camber/caster were all out. They did not adjust anything, so I can't comment on any improvement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There’s your answer I’d say. Elises do follow cambers slightly, and it always takes me a little while to get used to the amount of steering feedback after being in the daily driver but they’re not skittish.


When I bought my Evora I was very disappointed with its feel, it was dead feeling and followed cambers like you wouldn’t believe.

I had both the main dealer and a supposedly reputable “race” shop check the alignment but they both said it was correct.


I’d driven a couple of Evoras previously so I wasn’t convinced. I eventually found a proper specialist to check it over. Several hours work (and gallons of WD40 on seized adjusters) and the car was transformed!

It was truly amazing the difference a proper geo setup made. Tramlining was gone and replaced with bright, feelsome steering and confident cornering. Amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve personalized ads or content, and analyze our traffic. By clicking " I Accept ", you consent to our use of cookies. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.