Monday, April 7, 2014

Gran Turismo 6: Für Elise

Eiger Nordwand - Short Track

Lotus is a well known British car manufacturer that always using the key mantra that other car companies imitated, which goes by the saying "simplify and add lightness". The Elise is one of its prime specimens because this British car company has been with us for a very long time. Sure the founder, Colin Chapman, passed away several years ago, and Lotus is currently owned by some Malaysian conglomerate called DRB-Hicom, but its history can't be overlooked by many. It's one of the cars that expressed the true form of a British sportscar, a car that we always keep going even when wet because it's the Brits' way of life. They always get used to bad weather and even when its raining, they always drive with the roof down.

Eiger Nordwand - Short Track_1

Now for the first time ever, in the world of Gran Turismo 6, Lotus enthusiasts now got the chance to try out the latest Lotus Elise. Sure it maybe a facelifted version of the Series II Elise but the one thing you may notice is the engine. The previous model have a Toyota Celica engine but for the new model, the Celica 1.8L engine has been thrown away and downsized to a 1.6L Toyota engine. No other JDM engines had this one, you know.

Eiger Nordwand - Short Track_2

Lotus says that in this entry-level model, the power output of the 1.6L engine is identical to the old 1.8L engine it replaces. It develops about 134HP of power output while fuel economy is now increased by up to 23%. The old 5-speed gearbox has now added an additional gear so that now, it's a 6-speed stick shift. Even though it weighs 876kg, the Elise can flatout at 204kph and a 0-100kph time of under seven seconds, as identical as the previous model.

Eiger Nordwand - Short Track_3

So, with those new updates and the downsized engine, does it still behave like a Lotus Elise? The British sports car that won our hearts because of its old-fashion British lifestyle?

Eiger Nordwand - Short Track_4 Eiger Nordwand - Short Track_5

Well, it does behave like a Lotus Elise and it still behaves like a proper British sportscar. Even though for a small car in such bite-sized chunks, it still has the good old British Bulldog spirit because in today's climate, even the tiniest of the few can shatter the convention proving that might can be light.

Eiger Nordwand - Short Track_6

So, if the new Elise does pretty well, how can it stack up against its predecessors? To find out, we say hello to our old friends the Series I Elise and the previous Series II Elise.

City of Arts and Sciences - Night City of Arts and Sciences - Night_1

This Series I Lotus Elise I have here is the one with the 1.8L Rover engine while the Series II Elise I have is the top-of-the-line 111R model which comes with the 1.8L Toyota engine, the same engine you can find on the Celica. So what's the venue for this Elise comparison test? It's Brands Hatch. The layout? The Indy Circuit. The rule? Fastest time wins.

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit Brands Hatch Indy Circuit_1 Brands Hatch Indy Circuit_2

The race begins. Although they both weigh under a ton, there's a downside regarding the new Elise we've been driving in this comparo because the thing is that this entry level model's 1.6L engine produces about less power than the 111R model of the previous Series II Elise. Not only the new model is about 121kg more than the old Series I model but it's also 16kg more than the Series II Elise 111R. However, with such downsides to the new model, will it succeed in this comparo. Let's not forget that being light, they're fast in the corners and have absolutely no problem at all. They are as nippy as a Sinclair C5 powered by fish-and-chips.

The results;

0:52.850 - Elise 111R '04
0:56.266 - Elise '11
0:58.793 - Elise '96

So, it's a shock result. Although the new Elise fared well against the Series I Elise, it was ousted by the old Series II Elise with the 1.8L Toyota engine on it! But I think it's safe to say that all good scientists are facing a bitter loss and I think the new Elise just...failed to beat the old model even when the old model in question is a 190HP 1.8L Toyota engine-powered British sports car.

  Syracuse - Night

Time to get a real job, love...

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