Monday, September 25, 2006

Boompa Rocks!


Just wanted to take a minute to give props to the coolest new online automotive community, Boompa.com. Boompa was created by two former CNET coders who ventured out to create the "Myspace" of transportation. They have succeeded in that quest and are now at the head of a rapidly growing site. If you haven't checked it out then by all means head over there and check it out.

Stop by my Lotus Elise Garage

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yokohamas, dead in 9,500 miles...

Let me preface this by saying I was in no way shocked that these tires wore this fast, I know others will gasp though.

The photos don't do them justice but these tires were almost to bologne skin status at only 9,500 miles.
Worn Down Yokohamas

Those were the Yokohama Neova AD07's off the rear of my Lotus Elise at 9,500 miles. If you've followed this blog then you know I don't track the car, don't autox it and don't drive it very hard on a regular basis. I do however drive it quite a bit, which is obvious by my hitting the 9,500 mile mark in about 6 1/2 months. Even at the "you're crazy to drive on these" wear level the tires were at they still managed to give quite a bit of traction. I'm by no means a tire expert but it seems the compound that makes up these tires absolutely just grabs the road. The new 225/45R17's for the rear aren't cheap by any means ($225 per tire) but they really do hold their own when pushed hard.

So anyway, enough with my boring tire dribble, on with the Lotus tire changing photos!

Jacking up the Lotus Elise
This was the first time I had jacked the car up. It was a much easier task than I had prepared myself for but was still nerve racking none the less. There are stickers on the bottom of the Elise showing where to place a jack, but thats it. Because of the Lotus' flat aluminum underside theres no visible reinforcement to indicate "yeah, this should be a strong enough point for the jack". Lungs filled with held breathe were common during this step....

Lotus Elise on Jackstands
With the wheels off and the car on jackstands you can finally see the nice little suspension bits that brings Lotus so much fame as well as the neat flat underbelly of the Elise.

Lotus Elise suspension

Lotus Elise Floorpan

After shelling out $60 to have the old tires torn off and the new tires stretched on it was finally time to take one last look at a "slick" AD07.
New Lotus Elise tires

And the new tires in their home for the next 9,500 miles ;)
Lotus Elise Rear

Anyway, thats all the news for now. I've got a car show coming up next weekend so you can look forward to photos from that!

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Elise now has a big brother

Introducing the Elise' new brother, an Atlantic Blue Pearl 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited.

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT

The Subaru is the polar opposite of the Elise, heavy, powerful, comfortable and loaded with ammenities. The Legacy 2.5GT weighs in at about 3,300lbs or so but it makes up for its weight with a turbocharged flat four packing 250hp and 250ft/lbs that sends its power through all four wheels. It definitely isn't as fast as the Elise but it does feel more "stout" while accelerating at speed. Power is very smooth from pretty down low and has a steady rush up until the redline. You're nowhere near as "connected" to the driving experience as you are in the Elise but thats not necessarially a bad thing for a daily driver, its nice to sit back and be a little disconnected every now and then. I've onle had the car for 5 days and its already reminding me of just what makes the Lotus Elise a Lotus Elise.

On the comfort & ammenity side the Subaru has heated power leather seats, dual climate zones, 6 disc in dash changer (although an iPod solution is already in the works), power moonroof, keyless entry & alarm, auto dimming mirror, heated outside mirrors, etc... You get the point ;) When I was looking around at cars the two main ones I had in mind were the Saab 9-3 and the Audi A4. Both of these options would have been used and in my opinion, "not much nicer" than the Subaru Legacy. The Saab lacked the all wheel drive and the A4 lacked the power in stock trim. You can still tell that the Legacy 2.5GT is Japanese but Subaru has made strides in making this car very comparable to the afformentioned Europeans.

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT and Lotus Elise

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT and Lotus Elise

Atlantic Blue Pearl Legacy 2.5GT and Krypton Green Lotus Elise

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT

Subaru Legacy

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT

Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited

And to house the new Subaru we cleaned out the garage to fit both the cars, now both the Elise and Legacy can fit with room to spare!

Lotus Elise and Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited

Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited & Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise alongside Subaru Legacy

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