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      08-06-2009, 03:06 PM   #54
The Cthulhu

Drives: N/A
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: N/A

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Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
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.
The Exige is a lightweight, downforce making, tooth chipping, noisy, sometimes notchy, high-revving, sit on the floor track car. Much different than a 135i, and if I had to draw a line between track cars and road cars, it would be sitting on the opposite side of the room as the 135i. A WRX STi and an EVO would probably be marked in the middle of the line, maybe a little toward the track side. The Atom and Caterham are pretty much open wheel racers, so sure, they're different.

The Exige is not a master track car, but it is a pure blooded track car. I'm betting that a lot of that Cd is downforce, because when driven at its limits, the cornering is beastly on the Exige. Skidpad isn't a good representation of downforce.

I agree that a tuned 135i is likely faster than a stock Exige in a straight line, but to me, that doesn't matter much. You can tune anything, including a Lotus, and it's a popular thing to do in the Lotus community.

I'd be happy to stick to the Atom, since this thread is about a 135i allegedly killing one My most significant point is that higher curb weight makes it increasingly difficult for a car to overtake a lighter car on a track.

Anyway, Red Bread, I didn't mean to be patronizing, the frustration is directed entirely to the op, not you.

BTW: I'm aware of the 500 HP Atom, but seriously, there is no need for it! If I bought an Atom, and saw the 500 HP option... I just don't know what I'd do. I guess I'd pretty much have to buy it, even though it's excessive... or else I'd be a girly-man...