We brought the Spyder to Folsom, CA for the biannual West Coast Lotus Meet. This event moves around on the west coast and I have been attending it since 2004. It is a fun gathering with driving events, concours and social events to keep everyone entertained and drinking the Lotus Kool-aid.
We drove the car on back country roads that has a mix of rough and smooth pavement. It was a group drive and we drove in a spirited manner - as the Lotus are designed to do. Wind buffeting was not an issue. We started with helmets on but I removed mine at mid-day. Even at freeway speeds, it was comfortable with no helmet. Yes, you can carry on a conversation. The weather was cold and a bit of drizzle yet were we comfortable. I would not hesitate to drive this car on a long road trip - but I am the guy who drove an Ariel Atom from SoCal to Tulsa!
Dynamically the Spyder proved to be a blast. The handling was excellent and the ride quality was totally acceptable to Stacy - who is not as hardcore as I. In fact, she gets motion sickness yet was totally comfortable - even on some of the rough roads we drove. I am a big believer in the DNA rearswaybar and soft spring rates that we are running on this car. We developed this combination a couple of years ago and I have been enjoying this on my street Elise ever since. Lotus suspension philosophy pushes soft springs but we Americans like flat handling - so we feel our combination strikes the right balance.
The sound from the supercharger and exhaust were excellent. Our sonicFURY is winning over more and more Lotus owners thanks to its drone free operation. It really has a Jekyll and Hyde personality! The shiftR111 package with our new naked center console makes shifting a real pleasure. The styling of the center console was also a big hit. We plan to introduce this item later this Summer. The brakes were something we downsized from the stock 4 piston S240 brakes. We installed the standard 2 piston calipers at the front so we could run a 15” front wheel. This car weighed in at 1950lbs full of fluids so we felt the smaller brakes would be more than adequate. A big brake kit is not needed as we are running our 2-piece ULTRAdiscs, Motul fluid and aggressive G-loc pads. She stopped on a dime.
Aesthetics are subjective. The styling of the Spyder was well received. We had great responses with many Lotus club members giving us positive marks. The long tail and rear flares were noted by many but some did not notice it until I pointed them out. I was happy that these details were still somewhat subtle and not as obvious. Ultimately we won Best of Show at the concours so we proved to be a favorite. This felt great after all the hard work we put into making this a special Lotus.