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      08-06-2009, 01:36 PM   #52
Red Bread
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Drives: My wife's car
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dallas, TX

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Originally Posted by The Cthulhu View Post
bunch of numbers
Look, I've seen your posts here, and in other parts of the forums, and you're mostly spot on, and I respect your inputs. But you're trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill here. My stance, and a few other, seemingly experienced ones, is that the Exige isn't the master track car that you've experienced, and as initially posted, a tuned 135i is likely faster in (silly, let's not really go there) street encounters.

I've driven them, and my M Coupe and Miatas, M3's, WRX's, STi's and a few other things on the track (with turns, gasp). I really do enjoy the Miata more than the others, even more than the Exige, but I'll give you that light is more entertaining. But it's not always faster, there is a difference.

I mentioned 1/4 mile times because it's enough distance to really get a feel for how fast a car is, not like 0-60 that tends to be influenced more by drive type, driver talent and tire selection. The aerodynamics of an Exige, with a Cd of 0.43, and a Caterham or Atom at around 0.55 or so are quite high when compared to almost any mass-produced car which tend to be in the 0.28 to 0.32 range, and this does mean that much more power will be needed both to achieve high top speeds, and to accelerate past 90 mph or so when aero drag starts to come into play.

I'll give you that a top notch, experienced racer will get a faster time out of a stock Exige S than a 135i on most any track, but a novice driver will benefit from the additional torque, more tractable power band and the stock understeer of the 135i (not that the Exige is free of understeer, at least in stock form, but there is a lot less, the 135i is awful with understeer). I can't really say which would be faster in the hands of a novice, but it wouldn't be night and day. I haven't tracked our 135i, as it just doesn't seem suited to it, and we don't have the car for that purpose.

To ask if I know who Colin Chapman is seems silly, but I'll tell you that I grew up watching Frankenheimer's Grand Prix, I've watched F1 since I was about five, I've lusted after a Caterham since I could drive, and I loved the Elise S1 when I worked in the EU and really wanted to get one when the S2 came out here, but for me, it's not the right car, and with my experience with my friend's Exige, I no longer want one. The Atom and Caterham are in an entirely different league, and still remain objects of desire for me, while the Lotus is no longer.