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Lotus Exige Owners

Discussion in 'British' started by Ferrari 360 CS, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Ferrari 360 CS

    Ferrari 360 CS F1 Veteran
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    Dec 4, 2004
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    Cape Town,SA
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    Jacques
    Anyone on here owned one of these for any decent length of time?

    I am possibly looking at getting one of these, a 240 S to be precise. Been looking around at something that resembles a go cart for the road and these keep cropping up in my search. I love the Alfa 4C, love the styling and the little bit of Ferrari passion that is infused in it but the lotus with the manual box and apparently robust Toyota motor has serious appeal.

    Main purpose of the car would be weekend mountain pass driving, spirited back roads, maybe a few track days.

    Running costs? No real idea but if anyone could shed some light on these it would be appreciated.

    Sheer top speed does interest me but agility and driver involvement do, those are the crucial things for me and, well if my ear gets to hear something nice while I am being blasted towards the horizon, that's a bonus.
     
  2. ypsilon

    ypsilon Formula 3

    May 4, 2008
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    The 4C motor is robust as well, quality of Italian engineering, especially engines, is not the same as the US Fiat paradigm (Fix It Again Tony) of old may suggest.

    The Germans f.i. with their VAG 1.4 tsi, 2.0 t(f)si, 996/997 C2/4 and 991 Gt3 engines have had quite a bit more trouble on that front recently (oil burners, blow ups, fire etc.)

    And if your 6.0 ft. or over, a Lotus is a small, cramped place to be in, even more so when your taking passengers along.

    On the plus side though; Exige's 240 are more affordable and probably more delicate/go-cart like.
     
  3. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 Veteran
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    I have std non s/c elise and am enjoying it. Fun drives and track days. Great handling, engine better than expected, rides horrible. Never have roof on it as impossible to get in and out with it. Would worry about roof on exige. Running costs zilch. No cheaper sports car on market to own
     
  4. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Karting
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    #4 Dave.0, Aug 17, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
    I have a 2006 exige we have owned since new. Its the perfect car for what you want. Ours is has the NA motor so it is a little down on power, but thats not really the beauty of the car. The 240s should have more than enough for the weight of the exige. Getting in and out takes some technique, and my wife learned not the try it in a skirt, but its not that big of an issue. It is small and a bit cramped, but has a pretty special feel from behind the wheel. You can get a faster car, but you can't get a car that handles better. Still looks exotic and fresh.

    As for running costs - basic maintenance. Changing the oil involves removing the under tray, which is a pain in the ass but not hard. We have 30 something thousand miles on ours with no other issues. Its light, so its easy on brakes and tires. Downsides - its a bit fragile with regard to the front and rear "clams" so be careful where you park it. The air con works, but is not super strong.

    For a weekend canyon carver and occasional track day car I can think of nothing better anywhere near the price.
     
  5. I had an '05 Elise for 6 years and have had my '10 Exige for 3 years. Great cars, very few issues and cheap running costs. Ingress and egress take some getting used to but it'll keep you limber. Running costs are dirt cheap. I just did a diy oil change for about $85 including filter. Maintenance can take longer than with an ordinary car and the dealer will generally charge a bit more for everything. The clams are fragile and ground clearance is similar to a Ferrari, about 5" at the lowest point. Overhang in the front is short though and the suspension is stiffer so I find it harder to bottom out than some other exotics. After owning my Elise I have never bottomed out or scraped with my Exige. The biggest maintenance cost will be tires. With street use I get 4k miles on the rears with Yokohoma AO48's and double on the fronts. My Elise with Yokohoma AD07's and Toyo R1A's got double the wear life of my Exige, 8k rear, 14k front. The biggest expense I have found has not been in maintenance or upkeep, but in the mods that inevitably follow..
     
  6. Flash G

    Flash G Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 24, 2006
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    ^^^^^^^^What he said.

    I am an Elise and Exige owner. My 2007 Exige S has been very reliable. I don't put a lot of miles on it, but the only non-maintenance issues I've had have been a radiator that burst (common) and a replacement of the DBW throttle body (uncommon).

    Other than that, it's been bulletproof.

    You will chew through the Yokohama AO48s like crazy. I'm on my 4th set of rears in 20k+ miles.

    One warning though - the fiberglass clams are VERY fragile. (A 5mph fender bender could be a $10k-$15k repair.) Ask me how I know. I've replaced the front clams on BOTH cars.

    Many an Elige have been salvage titled for clam damage to the front and rear.

    Other than that, the suspension setup is one of the best in the world. It will make driving a stock 911 feel like driving a 1970s Cadillac. The steering feels like it's hardwired into your brain.

    If you're looking for Porsche build quality and feel however, this isn't the car. They're stiff. They rattle and buzz and feel like they're going to come apart over every pothole. They won't though. They're very stout and raw cars.
     
  7. k wright

    k wright Formula 3
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    Feb 4, 2004
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    North East TN
    I have a '07 Exige SC and it is one of my all time favorite cars. It is hard to get in and out of but once inside it has plenty of room. It is a very small car so every road presents an immense opportunity to really drive the car.

    I've only seen the Alfa at the car show in Detroit. It is a much larger car than the Lotus.
     
  8. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Rookie
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    Oct 31, 2003
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    I own an 2008 Exige 240S. Other than routine service, it has needed nothing other than a recall on the front oil coolers. I bought it as a track toy after driving a friend's Elise on the track. Nothing (IMHO) street legal can match it for steering feel, minimal consumption of brake components, etc. I actually needed to drive it on the track to appreciate its "goodness" on the street. I assume that I won't sell it until I reach the point where I cannot get in it and drive it. I stopped tracking it a few years ago, and now I use it as a summer toy (and drive it to a vacation home 3 hours away). Per the local Lotus (and Ferrari/Maserati dealer) these are starting to appreciate big time. Happy to answer any specific questions. I haven't driven a 4C but if you want a true manual tranny they will never ever build anything like this again.

    P.S. Flash's comments are totally accurate. It is rattle-palooza in the cabin. And I have very stiff springs, double adjustable coil over shocks, Borla exhaust, and other mods. Even with this (at the age of 53) it is absolutely driving Viagra.
     
  9. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Rookie
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    I thought I'd post up a bit more on running costs. I put in Cobalt race pads, and I have about 20 track days on them and there still is a lot of pad material left. Rotors are fine. Slicks last about 6-8 track days, unless it is wickedly hot or the track days have a ridiculous amount of time on track. Compared to my other track toy (an 98 M3) the Lotus is ridiculously easy on consumables. The only real downside is that the top speed is low (it slows down at 110-115 mph, and hits a wall at about 125 mph). As with any car, long hard tracking brakes stuff (exhaust hangers, suspension mounting points, etc.) but occasional tracking isn't an issue.
     
  10. Flash G

    Flash G Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #10 Flash G, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  11. Flash G

    Flash G Two Time F1 World Champ
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  12. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 Veteran
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    Crazy indeed but no more so than what stick shift 550s and gallardos have gone up to.
     
  13. rdefabri

    rdefabri Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I saw an Elise on a business trip (I drove up to Massachusetts, stopped to get a coffee and it was parked next to me), what a great looking little car. I'd love to have one - I'm confused by the different models / years - is there a "buyer's guide" available online?
     
  14. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 Veteran
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    go to www.lotustalk.com. best website for lotus

    basically have to decide if want n/a or s/c engine. open top elise or closed roof exige. that's it
     
  15. rdefabri

    rdefabri Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I'd go elise with N/A engine. But why are some roof tops black and others body colored? Also, what is a "touring" package over base (I'm assuming AC and power windows)?
     
  16. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 Veteran
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    soft top is black canvas and optional hard top that has to be stored in garage is body color. not sure about options. there is a touring, sport, paint protection film, few others too. its a great car. good luck
     
  17. boxerman

    boxerman F1 Veteran
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    May 27, 2004
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    I have a NA elise. For the road its plenty, but yes an exige is faster. As otehrs have said the big consumable is tires. For the track I use Yoko medium compound slicks they last 3-4 days. Pads RS14 black will last 20-30 days on track plus street driving.

    To drive and Elige is one of the few cars where very control works just as it should, the only other car I have driven with this purity of control was a 997.2 Gt3, and the lotus was better.

    For the roads around cape town, I cant think of any car that would be better, and probably for those roads nothing can be faster.. As others have said your biggest expense will be the upgrade choices as you decide to handle, stop and acclerate better on track.
     
  18. Flash G

    Flash G Two Time F1 World Champ
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    #18 Flash G, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    My friend has a 997 GT3. You're right, it is the closest thing to the feeling of the Exige. It still felt a big "big" to me, but the suspension feel is very close.

    I drove a stock 911 after the GT3 and the Exige, and it felt like driving a Cadillac. Too soft.
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  19. boxerman

    boxerman F1 Veteran
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    My BBi feels like a cadillac after the elise, the M3 feels like a pickup truck after the elise.
    The GT40 feels like a harder meaner less forgiving 600hp elise.
    Although the elise is mostly run on smaller tracks, I cant say its less fun than the Gt40 on bigger tracks, these loti are just that good.

    On a saturday at 7 am when the mist is clearing on the Ct backroads the elise acheives automotive nirvana. Its the little car that can.
     
  20. bergxu

    bergxu Formula 3

    Aug 16, 2005
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    I have an '06 Elise. Totally stock and in the one-year-only non metallic British Racing Green. Love the car immensely and I'll echo others' comments re: running costs being comparatively low to other exotics/sports cars. Since I don't track my car, tire consumption hasn't been an issue for me, rather we've used it on a couple long-ish road trips of 5 or so hours and it's surprisingly comfortable. Granted, it rides stiff and is a bit noisy inside but the seats are very supportive (at least for my 6'-1" 190lb self) and my wife prefers traveling in it over my TR6 or Healey 100/6 (which, granted, are antiques so it's not really apples to apples), but I find overall that for $35K, you can't do much better than an Elise. Don't know about Exige prices, but the general vibe is that they're all holding steady or creeping up slowly since you can't get 'em any longer here in the Colonies.
     
  21. Flash G

    Flash G Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Even salvage title cars are creeping up into the mid to high $20s, which is crazy.

    But who am I to complain.

    ;)
     
  22. WJGESQ

    WJGESQ Formula 3

    Dec 30, 2004
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    I bet these are a blast!
     
  23. ShineKen

    ShineKen F1 Rookie
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    In 100% stock form, I think the Exige sucks. I remembered how unimpressive it was when I first got it (100% stock with 8k mi) Put $15-$25k in it, you’ll have a proper beast. Now it’s just as fun as any car I have. It is unique in the sense it is more of a go-kart for the road than a car, while others are cars trying to be a go-kart for the road. Here’s mine :).




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  24. 95spiderman

    95spiderman F1 Veteran
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    interesting take.
    elise is the only car ive ever owned in over 40 yrs that ive left absolutely stock!
    what did you do to yours?
     

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