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Lotus Elise Hardtop on the Tesla Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by wiztecy, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #1 wiztecy, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
    Came across a Lotus Elise Hardtop in the same color as my Roadster this past weekend. I guess I lucked out. I always thought the Roadster color I have, Radiant Red was the same color as the Canyon Red on the Lotus Elise. Looking at the pics of the top it looked exactly the same as my Roadster but the seller said it came from his Bordeaux Red Lotus Elise which he wrecked. The Bordeaux is to be more of a dark red wine of a color. I showed up and luckily enough it was an exact match in color to my Roadster. Looking at pics of a Canyon Red vs the Bordeaux Red I'm thinking he didn't know what color he really had. Pics on the Internet show the Bordeaux being a more purple than the Canyon Red.

    Anyways, this will be my 3rd hardtop I have for the Roadster. The original Carbon Fiber Tesla top in Radiant Red, the Visium Glass top, and the Lotus Elise top in the Radiant Red. All three tops give a unique look to the Roadster.

    The Tesla top covers the CF roll bar cover but it runs long making the Roadster appear longer. It also creaks when the car turns and when the car lifts in any of the 4 wheel points. I believe all that creaking comes from the roll bar cover mating with the underside of the top.

    The Visium/Glass top is great, small in size, light, and offers a very open feel, F-16 Fighter cockpit feel, and wonderful to drive in the moonlight and rain. However it does get warmer inside the Roadster since sunlight still comes through the top and the top is mostly black/tint in color making it a hotter surface.

    The Lotus Elise top is nice since it has a small footprint like the Visium top. It is heavier out of the three since the top is made out of Fiberglass not Carbon Fiber or a thin plexiglass shell with a lightweight frame. Installation is a breeze the Elise top, mount points are the same as the Visium top. It also allows the CF roll bar cover to be exposed which gives a different look with the Roadster, something that's nice to look at. And an indent down the middle of the top which gives it a racy look. This will be the top I can just grab and throw on rather quickly and not really care too much if I scratch/ding it. It came with some scratches since the guy didn't keep it covered in his garage. I buffed most of them out, its not a big deal. Best part is that this top will help shield the rays of the sun and offer some insulation as well. Pretty happy with it. They come up for sale from time to time on Ebay or the Lotus forums. Lowest I've seen is $700 all the way to $2000 for a used one.

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  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #2 ecarfan, Oct 6, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
    Wow great find! You have an impressive Roadster top collection.
     
  3. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Nice pics! And thanks for the reminder that I need to order my Visium clear top. The Lotus hard top looks great, but I think I'll stop at two hard tops. :smile:
     
  4. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Your car looks really nice with that hard top.
     
  5. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    Heres another vote for using the Elise S2 roof on a Roadster !

    Its been lined with sound absorbing material that makes a huge difference to interior noise when driving at 70-80 mph. I've also added a copper ground plane lining to improve the radio reception.

    I tend to leave the roof on permanently so I have gone to some lengths to make it 'squeak free'. I'd like to experience the clear hardtop before committing funds, but I don't think anyone in the UK has bought one yet...


    blue purple tesla roadster lotus elise hardtop roof.jpg
     
  6. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    Can the fiberglass top be repainted?
     
  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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  8. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    Yes. A local car repair/bodyshop place turned it around for about £70 / $110 and I'm very pleased with the result :)
     
  9. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    @PV4EV - What year is your top? I picked up a 2006 but I'm noticing on a 2007 there's an extra mounting thing on the inside of the top. Do you have this? Its the two bolt/rivit thing in the back inside of the top as displayed in this pic:

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  10. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    Yup - it has the middle mounting item like yours. If I dont use this the roof can easily be 5 to 10mm above the roll bar line and looks odd as well as inducing aero noises. When I fit the roof, I usually place something really heavy on the mid section of the roof (with a cloth underneath !!), as it makes tightening up all the inside bolts much easier.

    I bought it from ebay in 2011 and was a bit scrappy and therefore cheap, but cant recall what year it was. Its double skinned, and was originally lined with some thin felt-like material. I put in two layers of sound absorbing material, one is dense and one lighter, to ensure it suppressed as much noise as possible. As you can see in the photos below, I also sandwiched a copper mesh layer between them, and used it as the ground plane to one side of the aerial feed into the radio, and a 1/8th wavelength dipole. This works better than stock, but works best when the areial is perpendicular to the ground plane, ie, vertical ! But that then induces vibration noise through the roof outer skin, so I incline it backwards - which weakens the signal .. one way around this was to use a 1/4 wavelength (about 85cm) which works very well but looks mighty odd on such a small car .. Basically, radio reception is so poor because the bodywork is not metal.

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  11. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Unfortunately mine is an '06 and didn't come with that middle bracket. Its actually essential. You can see in my pics that the middle pops up from what I believe is the weather seal pushing back up. You have an '07+ since yours has that bracket. They sell a retro-fit kit, I may look into that so I can pull down that middle section of the top:

    Anyone installed the '07+ hardtop bracket? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
     
  12. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    Reading through the Lotus thread shows that the mod should work and save having to sell the one you've found and buy a later version.

    One other thing I noticed without the middle clamp tied down - water leaking into the cockpit during heavy storms ! Clamping it tight solved that.
     
  13. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    If you buy the touch-up paint from Tesla for a Radiant Red Roadster, what you get is a tube with a Lotus logo and a label that says Canyon Red.
     
  14. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Looks like I don't need that middle Lotus retrofit kit. I found it odd that the glasstop fit perfectly without any distortion in the middle but the Lotus top did. Its a fiberglass top, unless the mold is off it should be pretty straight. I took the top off, readjusted, and then shimmed the driver's rear side mount to the top to pull down more. This pulled in that middle buldge in the pic. Will take it out for a ride, twist and shift the frame/top of the Roadster, and see if it holds. If it doesn't, I'll make adjustments.

    But that $236 outrageously priced retrofit kit appears to be a gimmick to generate a profit by Lotus by not addressing the real issue, proper fitment of the top and a sound set of hardware. Just like the stupid soft-top cables. Have to visit a machine shop to see if I can make some custom hardware for the top where the cables can easily be replaced with stainless cables & plastic housing.

    Will post pics of the fixed top when I get the chance.
     
  15. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Here's the pics of the top properly pulled down evenly after playing with the side mounting brackets. Basically shimming both sides so it pulls the top down more in the rear. Center is pretty even, good enough for me.

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