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te72
te72 New Reader
2/1/18 11:54 p.m.
dean1484 said:

You all are probably going to think I have lost my mind but I think that the Lotus 7 is one of the coolest cars. I would love to have one of those.

If you lost your mind, would you mind bringing mine back with it when you do find yours? I'm the exact same, the Lotus 7 is on my list of cars I would love to own, but might just love the IDEA of owning a bit more.

 

Exocet is on my backup list. I'm not gonna butcher one of our Miatas without reason, but if it were ever to be in an accident that made the body unworthy of being salvaged, well...

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
2/2/18 12:42 a.m.
dean1484 said:

I don't understand peoples fascination with these. 

I couldn't agree more.  Exo-cars and deathkarts alike.  I'm sure they're plenty of fun drive, at least for a while, but I simply can't get past the atrocious aerodynamics and abhorrent aesthetics. Having some sort of reasonably functional and appealing bodywork is well worth the penalty in weight, cost, and effort to me.

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
2/2/18 7:09 a.m.

Looks and aerodynamics aside, most sevenesques are comparable death traps. The Exocet at least gives one a fighting chance in an accident.

Think about this for a moment: What if you had a car with a power-to-weight of 5:1, yet the side impact protection consisted of a 1" x 1" x 16 ga tube under a sheet of aluminum - pressed so tightly into the drivers compartment that there's no room between the driver's seat and the chassis. On top of that, there's a gas tank hanging in back of the rear axle that fits the same criteria for exposure to impact. It's kind of insane, but that's exactly what you get with most Locosts (although IRS models often have the fuel tank sitting on top of the rear subframe).  

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
2/2/18 8:21 a.m.

Local autocross friend bought one a year ago, does not regret.  Last I heard he took the turbo off though, said it was great for track days but too much for an autocross run.  I think they look like a hoot.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/2/18 8:39 a.m.

I no longer have the desire to have a dedicated track car........maybe I will in the future as things continue to settle down and the finances get better........but I'd really love a chance to drive an Exocet around Hallett for a weekend. 

My local track is the perfect kind of place for that car, tight and technical, without big long power straights of places like Road Atlanta or Road America.

My 1.6 Miata driven well wouldn't even hit 100 down the front straight at Hallett. And that was going CCW DOWNHILL on the straight following a third gear corner. 

edizzle89
edizzle89 Dork
2/2/18 9:03 a.m.
Driven5 said:
dean1484 said:

I don't understand peoples fascination with these. 

I couldn't agree more.  Exo-cars and deathkarts alike.  I'm sure they're plenty of fun drive, at least for a while, but I simply can't get past the atrocious aerodynamics and abhorrent aesthetics. Having some sort of reasonably functional and appealing bodywork is well worth the penalty in weight, cost, and effort to me.

Remember dune buggies/sand rails built on beetle pans? Well it's been almost 40 years since the last beetle was made in the US, this is just the modern day version of that. And just like dune buggies, they aren't for everyone. Personally one of my goals in life is to own a v8 powered, tube frame, wide tire hot rod for street use.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 9:42 a.m.
Driven5 said:
dean1484 said:

I don't understand peoples fascination with these. 

I couldn't agree more.  Exo-cars and deathkarts alike.  I'm sure they're plenty of fun drive, at least for a while, but I simply can't get past the atrocious aerodynamics and abhorrent aesthetics. Having some sort of reasonably functional and appealing bodywork is well worth the penalty in weight, cost, and effort to me.

That's because you haven't driven one. Once you get a taste of a really light car, you start to chase ounces. And because the car's so light to start with, every ounce has more effect than it would on a bigger car. Some people can get a little crazy with it but it really does work.

Lotus Sevens are pretty. Exocets are not. Aerodynamically, I think the Exocet is even worse than the Seven and it would be a good senior engineering project to come up with a slippery body that adds, say, 10% more weight. On a fast track, it would probably be worth it. My Seven was a rocket up to about 65 mph.

But they can be wearing to live with. I sold my Seven because I just wasn't driving it. It was so involving, so immersive that you couldn't use it for anything but Driving. And my days of going for a Sunday blat just don't happen anymore, so it sat. Once I got a second track car, it didn't even have that as its primary purpose. I will admit to tearing up as I took it for the final drive, a number of laps of Horsethief Mile in warm California December sunshine. It was the perfect send-off, the car was in its element. The reality is that those moments just didn't come across that often.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 9:43 a.m.

Safety: here's an Exocet frame beside a Westfield. Yes, they are built for the same size people. There's probably a 250 lb weight difference between the two cars in finished form. The floors are level with each other. The bolt-on roll bar on the Westfield is not installed.

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
2/2/18 10:32 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:
Driven5 said:
dean1484 said:

I don't understand peoples fascination with these. 

I couldn't agree more.  Exo-cars and deathkarts alike.  I'm sure they're plenty of fun drive, at least for a while, but I simply can't get past the atrocious aerodynamics and abhorrent aesthetics. Having some sort of reasonably functional and appealing bodywork is well worth the penalty in weight, cost, and effort to me.

That's because you haven't driven one. Once you get a taste of a really light car, you start to chase ounces.

Meh.  I may not have driven an Exocet specifically, but I have driven cars that were even lighter while still having bodywork as well.  Yet never once did I find myself thinking "You know what would make this better?....Removing the bodywork."  I can say with confidence however, that I would think the opposite with an exo-car.

In fact, years ago I drove the same ultra-lightweight car both with and without bodywork.  Sure it was still fun without the bodywork, but I would not choose to own it in that condition...Let alone specifically seek it out as such.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 11:20 a.m.

"Meh". What does that mean? I always read it as "this is too hard, I can't be bothered". I'm assuming that's not what it means, but I'm what they call an "old" now so I'm not allowed to know these things.

So you've driven lightweights - sub-1500 lbs - so you . How much weight did that before/after drive with the bodywork save? Where did you drive it? Was it an open wheel car or enclosed? One difference between an Exocet and just about any other Miata-based kit is the fact that it's basically an open wheeler, and that does make a big difference to how it feels. Pulling the bodywork off an open wheeler wouldn't make that much difference, but it would on an enclosed car like a Sports Racer 2000.

I'm not saying that they're better because they don't have bodywork. I'm saying that light is good ,and lighter is betterer. On, say, an autox course, bodywork doesn't get you anything but something to collect cone scuffs. At Laguna Seca, you can take advantage of better aero for sure and I'd probably prefer the Catfish over the Exocet for that reason. They're not as carefree feeling to drive - probably the open wheel effect - but definitely quicker despite the extra 200 lbs.

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
2/2/18 1:49 p.m.

In this context, 'meh' means that I'm wholly unmoved by arguments that make overstated assumptions about my experiences and and the basis of my opinions.  However, your definition of 'meh' does correlate well to the impression exo-cars give me about the thought process that might have occurred about the bodywork once the mechanicals were completed.

The car I drove with and without bodywork was a low-speed ultra-lightweight open-wheel competition (FSAE) car.  The bodywork itself was very light, but on a sub-500 pound car every ounce counts from a competitive standpoint.  We did even try to skirt the bodywork rules to a point on one car, with bare exposed structural panels and mesh fabric over an open expanse above the drivers legs.  While there may have been some benefit to it from a competitive standpoint, like ending up the lightest 4 cylinder car with 13" wheels at the competition IIRC, I do not believe it actually made for a 'better' car that I would more want to own and drive outside of that one very specific event.

In much the same way, driving a 20V 4AGE powered Locost hasn't altered my plan to build mine with a full (Lola Mk 1 inspired) fiberglass body that cuts the drag coefficient by ~1/2, despite the weight gain it will incur.

Lighter is only better up to a point.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/2/18 2:12 p.m.

Up to a certain point is true, but that threshold is different for every individual.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 2:30 p.m.

And use. As noted, the advantages of aero may become more important than weight above a given speed. Even chassis rigidity - I've found that autocrossers value light weight over chassis rigidity. Adding a  enveloping body to an Exocet may make it slipperier at the cost of 200 lbs (the difference between a Catfish and an Exocet of similar spec) which may have benefits at a fast track but will hurt it at a slow one.

If we're just talking aesthetics, well, there are no absolutes. "Better" all comes down to "what I like", and you can't really get any more specific. There are differences in how it feels to be exposed vs enclosed as well, which really comes down to personal taste. Even motorcycles have this sort of division.

And Drive5, when you say you haven't driven something, I usually make an overstated assumption that this means you haven't actually driven something. Don't take it as saying "you just don't know any better". When you say "I'm sure they're plenty of fun (to) drive " - an actual quote - that sounds like you haven't actually driven any. I apologize if you took my response as some sort of slight on your experience, but it was solely based on your own statements.

I have driven Miatas ranging from 2100-2800 lbs on track. Also Exocets that ranged from 90-500 rwhp, Catfishes and Locosts built with Miata drivetrains. That's where my views are coming from, the same basic chassis viewed from a bunch of different forms. I've never driven an FSAE car unfortunately.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 3:05 p.m.

I would much rather have this. Than an exocet.

From here>>>  http://midlana.com/

 

 

 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 3:21 p.m.

I think GRM needs to convince owners and or the manufactures of a bunch of these types of cars to come out and play and a GRM sponsored test and have GRM do some real world testing.  Autocross, track, maybe even dirt?  It would be cool to see a head to head review of these types of vehicles.  I think the big thing is we that live north of the mason dixon line tend to like a bit more of an enclosed vehicle where in the south that is probably much less of a priority.

 

 

 

Driven5
Driven5 SuperDork
2/2/18 3:33 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Don't take it as saying "you just don't know any better". 

I do get that you may not have intended it to be perceived as a slight, and that you probably deal with a lot of people in your line of work who might not have a reasonable basis for some of their opinions, but I also honestly don't know what else to take it as when essentially being told that experiencing one would change my mind.  When I say I haven't done something in particular, like drive an exo-car, that doesn't necessarily mean I am lacking in a composite of enough other relevant experiences to know my mind on the matter either.  

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/2/18 4:20 p.m.
dean1484 said:

I think GRM needs to convince owners and or the manufactures of a bunch of these types of cars to come out and play and a GRM sponsored test and have GRM do some real world testing.  Autocross, track, maybe even dirt?  It would be cool to see a head to head review of these types of vehicles.  I think the big thing is we that live north of the mason dixon line tend to like a bit more of an enclosed vehicle where in the south that is probably much less of a priority.

 

 

 

It still gets plenty cold here, for us at least, I ran to the store this morning to get a Red Bull (yeah I know they are cancer in a can but for some reason I love the way the sugarfree ones taste)................it was 25 this morning when I pulled out of the garage. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 4:24 p.m.

This time of year most parts of the human anatomy don't take well to being exposed to constant wind velocities of more than a couple MPH for any length of time up here.

 

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/2/18 4:44 p.m.

If I ever had an Exocet it would be an HPDE, nice weather Cars and Coffee, type deal.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 5:48 p.m.

Up here that is only three months that works for. June July and August. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 6:03 p.m.

Just think of them as motorcycles that don't fall over and dress accordingly.

Kreb
Kreb UberDork
2/2/18 6:21 p.m.

I'm kind of shocked that nobody has made a body kit for one, or at least some interesting add-ons beyond what Jack McCormack has done. Even something like this would retain the open-wheeled vibe, while opening up new possibilities:

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/2/18 7:09 p.m.

There's actually an Exocet that has a Catfish body. The thing is, the Exocet chassis is a bit compromised to get the Atomesque look. Those big sweeping upper tubes kinda get in the way of your elbow and a bent tube is a pre-failed tube. They also stick out between the wheels so you can't do a fully open look like the second car. If you were designing a chassis to go under a variety of bodies, you wouldn't end up with the Exocet.

There has been talk of rebody options and IIRC there's one that's got a real beach buggy vibe to it. Not to everyone's taste, but cool.

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
2/2/18 10:51 p.m.
z31maniac said:

It still gets plenty cold here, for us at least, I ran to the store this morning to get a Red Bull (yeah I know they are cancer in a can but for some reason I love the way the sugarfree ones taste)................it was 25 this morning when I pulled out of the garage. 

It's got sodium bicarbonate in it. It tastes like drinking toothpaste. And yet, yes, it's oddly compelling.

D2W
D2W HalfDork
2/3/18 10:39 a.m.
Kreb said:

I'm kind of shocked that nobody has made a body kit for one, or at least some interesting add-ons beyond what Jack McCormack has done. Even something like this would retain the open-wheeled vibe, while opening up new possibilities:

I would like to see some more views of that top body. It looks interesting.

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