2010 Exige: Like? Dislike? No real difference? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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2010 Exige: Like? Dislike? No real difference?

Just finished reading a quasi-test of the 2010 Exige in what (from what I could tell weeding though the usual journalistic artsy-farsty writing style) approximate the trim and the mechanical specs of the 2009 Exige 260 in the latest issue of PERFORMANCE CAR (British magazine.) They enjoyed the car, but what brings me to my point is the fairly good photos of the new, 2010 'look' of the Exige.

Since it appears that there is little or no change in the mechanical specs (and that too is hard to discern from the article or the press releases from Lotus) the primary change is the front end, mostly the new lower intakes or 'grill' and the rear spoiler.

The former, IMHO, is a bit to 'Corvette-ish' for my taste, an attempt to go mainstream in an otherwise straightforward and established design. Ostensibly they changed to 'enhance' air intake. I say change for the sake of change and a little busy for me. Unless there was a real need to increase the airflow (and this could have been done without altering the existing look of the car) then why change to a more bland or mainstream look in a design that had its own personality and presence? I vote no.

The other change is at the rear, where the spoiler goes from 'tea tray' to a larger, full width design with the pieces at the sides body colored and the center natural cf. Now I will grant you that this may be a more efficient design with more downforce at the rear, but aesthetically it looks like the rear wing from the now deceased Toyota Supra and several other current Japanese and Euro designs.

I wonder if more downforce at the rear was really needed and just how much of an increase was had in abandoning a rather distinctive and, to me, appropriate design in what again appears to be an effort to just make the Exige look a bit more mainstream rather than offer any real improvement.

Taste and appearance is, of course, in the eye of the beholder (or, perhaps more accurately, in a portion of the anatomy somewhat lower and on the other side of the body.) I don't see any of these changes as an 'improvement' and IMHO Lotus is simply messing around with an existing and satisfactory product just to be able to say, 'new, improved' rather than perhaps more correctly saying 'hey, we've got to come up with something to call new to sell.'

I don't see many existing owners rushing out to trade in their earlier iterations to get the 2010s nor do I forsee others who had passed on buying an Exige before now saying, "oh gosh, that new front end and Toyota spoiler makes me want to buy now where I passed last year."

Your thoughts solicited.

Dave

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Last edited by dnovo; 11-10-2009 at 05:06 AM.
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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 05:55 AM
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Oh gawd, I thought I disliked the Lotus "grin" design of the front, but the "half-911" approach is even worse to my eyes.

And the rear spoiler is all kinds of fail. It's bad enough having a great big red-baron biplane on the back of a street car, but the Subie-style wing is my least favorite thing EVER.

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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You know, it IS kinda 911ish looking in front and, as I said before, the rear wing is classic Japanese boy racer.

Why trade a distinctive design for a 'me too?' And if Lotus thinks that making a unique car look closer to a Porsche or a Subie, then someone needs to have a talk with the chaps in Marketing -- soon. Dave

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 08:51 AM
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I like the look of the car but I won't trade for that alone. I am interested in the stiffer rear; should make the car a bit faster on track...
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, but stiffer compared to what? The 'normal' Exige? The 260 or 260 Cup? The actual technical details seem a bit sparse, and nobody seems to know if the changes are capable of a simple upgrade, which I suspect they may very well be. Be nice to have some real data rather than just press releases. Dave

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 10:56 AM
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I have to agree with the OP on the 2010 - don't like the front end especially. For casual fans the progression has gone like this in the States.

06 - First Year - Baseline
07 - Added Supercharger - Huge Improvement In Power
08 - Added Mohawk Roof - Bigger Brakes - Interior
09 - No Changes
10 - Restylized Body

Honestly for the street/ occasional track drive 07 or later and you are set. Changes have been incremental.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dnovo View Post
Yes, but stiffer compared to what? The 'normal' Exige? The 260 or 260 Cup? The actual technical details seem a bit sparse, and nobody seems to know if the changes are capable of a simple upgrade, which I suspect they may very well be. Be nice to have some real data rather than just press releases. Dave
That's a good point, I'll confirm that the "30% stiffer" relates to all 2010 Exige's over 2009's and not just the Cup car. Since previous Cup cars had the same chassis as the road car I assumed that the chassis for the 10's were stiffer than the 09's. In re-reading the release, it's not clear...
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 12:50 PM
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I'm from the other camp, I like the changes but will keep my 07 S until the sale of the same car with more tire width occurs.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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That's a good point, I'll confirm that the "30% stiffer" relates to all 2010 Exige's over 2009's and not just the Cup car. Since previous Cup cars had the same chassis as the road car I assumed that the chassis for the 10's were stiffer than the 09's. In re-reading the release, it's not clear...
Spoke to a couple of US dealers about it and they can't tell either, and have no current information on mechanical changes for 2010. Until the factory releases official word on this, I assume we will have to wait. By the way, compared to my 07 Elise, the 09 260 seems to be far 'stiffer' or perhaps a better phrase would be more responsive. 30% stiffer than the 260 may be a daunting prospect for any type of street use on the other hand. Dave

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 11:15 PM
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If there are any Aerodynamic improvements that came with the styling, then I'm all for it, and for now, I assume there are. Otherwise... the change was unnecessary to say the least.
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Finally spoke to a friend who is a Lotus buff on the other side of the Pond. He has a 2-Eleven he tracks and an Elise for the (very) occasional sunny days they get over there. His discussions with Lotus tech people say there IS an upgraded rear suspension, but that the differences are primarily those that would be apparent on the track to allow a better contact patch for slicks and to allow more individual adjustment for a particular track or driving style. They also insist that the revised air intakes are a real improvement, again primarily in track mode, ditto on the new rear wing.

Me? I prefer the original look and find the 09 hardly lacking in the handling department. I remain happy my current ride. Dave

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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by dnovo View Post
Finally spoke to a friend who is a Lotus buff on the other side of the Pond. He has a 2-Eleven he tracks and an Elise for the (very) occasional sunny days they get over there. His discussions with Lotus tech people say there IS an upgraded rear suspension, but that the differences are primarily those that would be apparent on the track to allow a better contact patch for slicks and to allow more individual adjustment for a particular track or driving style. They also insist that the revised air intakes are a real improvement, again primarily in track mode, ditto on the new rear wing.

Me? I prefer the original look and find the 09 hardly lacking in the handling department. I remain happy my current ride. Dave
Hey Dnovo,

This is Dave Kirk from Bozeman MT. Small world this internet isn't it?

I'm just moving from a Seven to an Elise and should have the car in less than a week and I'm looking forward to it.

Good to see you are still enjoying the finer things in life. Stay well,

Oh..... sorry for the thread hijack.

dave
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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Nice to hear from you too. I too moved from a Caterham 7 to an Elise and now to an Exige. Have fun with your Elise. Dave

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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 04:42 AM
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The old Exige wing is useless and ineffective, it's about time Lotus realized what the aftermarket did years ago and changed the design. Not sure how much better the new wing is, but it sure can't be worst...

The front also needed work. Covering the wheels was essential, this original design mistake is now corrected. The overall look of the front does not integrate very well with the curves of the car. But they needed a face lift and decided to go with that. If someone prefers the old look they can always buy a used car.

The problem with the Exige is they want to built a track car, to be used on the street by people who'll most likely never go to a track. So they make a car that looks like a track car, but nothing really works. The wing is useless, the splitter too big and not long enough, the underfloor could be use a better design, the diffuser border line to being useless gets its airflow killed by a heavy exhaust that exits in the middle of it... So a serious track driver needs to change all of this if he expects to have effective and efficient downforce for his track car... Hopefully the redesigned Exige adresses some of those problems.

The Elise/Exige is getting old and Lotus need to keep it fresh. A complete redesign is probably right around the bend. But it is a small company selling a niche car. They are gonna try to milk that car to the last drop before they go for a complete redesign.

Meanwhile, expect the small power increases, minor cosmetic changes and the bogus "special editions" to come up every now and then.

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Yep, poor old Exige. Needs to be scrapped. Old design, lousy aeros, etc. Heard the same about my Caterham Superlight R when I would drive that on that on the road from time to time. Given that a current Caterham CSR with a 260hp Zetec-based engine would run you a bit more than an Exige 260 and would not be street legal, all of a sudden the Exige makes sense.

If the Exige is past its sell date, the Caterham is really putrid. Doesn't seem to bother many of their owners.

Look, I like the look and the response of my 09 Exige, as I did my Elise. So I drive it on the street more than I do on the track. So what, that is a function of having time and wanting something to enjoy myself when there is neither time or weather for a track day.

Sure I recognize that any design ages and that some prefer upgrades that address issues, but your commnents seem a bit harsh. Many of us run our cars on the road and take them to the track from time to time. Does that make us posers? Hardly. I was out yesterday on deserted country roads having a blast with my Exige and not endangering anyone. I could have had more fun at the track, but not an option given the few hours available.

All your comments about making the Exige a 'serious track car' have been addressed by Lotus, in its 'real' track car, the 2-Eleven. You want to use a car on the track? Get one of those, or perhaps an Atom or something else. I respectfully submit that the ability of the Exige to do double duty is an option that is not matched elsewhere and while it may need replacement, I still prefer the look of the original to the marginal improvements the 2010 offers that you point out in your note. Dave

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post #16 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 06:46 AM
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Dave, you ask for our thoughts but it seems you're only interested in people thinking like you.

The Caterham, I owned one (hayabusa Caterham 400hp/ton). Amazing car. No need to bring this up, we're talking Exige. But if you want to talk about aero, the Caterham is arguably the worst car you can bring to a track. Ask how I know...

Posers, never used that word. You brought that up and I don't understand what you mean.

I say if you are a serious track driver, you are gonna take off all the Exige aero stuff and replace them with better parts. If you think the Exige aero is fine, well keep it like that, but be prepared to be hugely disapointed when a Lotus with proper wing and splitter pass you by. It could even be a 190hp Elise...

If you watch the movie about the conception of the Elise, you'll see that everything is a compromise. The designers and engineers constantly fight for the last word. The Exige wing is a compromise, the splitter and diffuser too. It is much better than most street car out there, I admit. But still when a company decides they want to make a (close to) no-compromise track car for the street they can come up with real wings and splitter even canards that can still be used on the street. The SRT Viper is a fine example.

That's what I, personnally, would like to see from Lotus. And this would make me spend the extra $$$ for a new Exige. And in that regards, the 2010 is a small step in the right direction.

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post #17 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Dave, you ask for our thoughts but it seems you're only interested in people thinking like you.

** As opposed to you? Hardly. I accept that opinions are just that, and mine is no more or less valid than yours. I wasn't the one who trashed the entire concept of the Elise/Exige. I would also ask what you propose as another street/track compromise? None out there that I am aware of, but I would like to hear your thoughts further on this.

The Caterham, I owned one (hayabusa Caterham 400hp/ton). Amazing car. No need to bring this up, we're talking Exige. But if you want to talk about aero, the Caterham is arguably the worst car you can bring to a track. Ask how I know...

*** I agree that the Catherham has the aerodynamic qualities of a brick. No, that's not right, a brick no doubt has less drag. I know first had as I tracked mine with a QED Vauxhall based two liter engine. Great acceleration out of corner, no top end and tons of buffeting.

Posers, never used that word. You brought that up and I don't understand what you mean.

** Those who talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Own a fast car or bike and never drive/ride it hard or as intended. More into the look of fast than going fast.

I say if you are a serious track driver, you are gonna take off all the Exige aero stuff and replace them with better parts. If you think the Exige aero is fine, well keep it like that, but be prepared to be hugely disapointed when a Lotus with proper wing and splitter pass you by. It could even be a 190hp Elise...

**** I am not questioning the fact that the existing Exige/Elise package can and should be redone for track use. I intend to take it out to have fun with it and still drive it on the street. I have no intention of adding track only changes that I am sure will enhance my lap times. Don't need to. To quote Chevy Chase in CADDYSHACK when asked how he measures himself against other golfers if he doesn't keep score, "By height."

****I intend to work on lowering my own times in the Exige as it is. At 62, I sure ain't gonna be as fast as I was when I was in my early twenties and doing this with an eye towards turning pro and was sponsored. I may be a very fast 62 on a bike or in a car, but my only sponsor now might be Cialis.

If you watch the movie about the conception of the Elise, you'll see that everything is a compromise. The designers and engineers constantly fight for the last word. The Exige wing is a compromise, the splitter and diffuser too. It is much better than most street car out there, I admit. But still when a company decides they want to make a (close to) no-compromise track car for the street they can come up with real wings and splitter even canards that can still be used on the street. The SRT Viper is a fine example.

*** And UGGGGLLLYY.

That's what I, personnally, would like to see from Lotus. And this would make me spend the extra $$$ for a new Exige. And in that regards, the 2010 is a small step in the right direction.
Could be, but as I said before, the front end lost some of its individual character as did the rear wing. No question that it may be an improvement for the track.

But we are talking about a dual purpose car. Why not simply buy a 2 Eleven for Exige 260 money or a bit more and track that? Less compromise even if no street usage available.

I still feel that the existing Exige/Elise package is a fine compromise for of looks and ability and (as I enjoyed on the way home from my 'private track' in the country yesterday) perfectly content to run in heavy traffic without overheating, balking, and with a good heating/air conditioning system and a nice sound system as well. Oh, the Viper is not a car, it is a caricature and having tried out the package you mentioned, streetable only for a true masochist.

My opinions only, YMMV. Dave

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post #18 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 05:25 PM
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I think it looks awesome!
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post #19 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 10:26 PM
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i don't know...still looks weird to me.

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post #20 of 50 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 08:13 AM
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I think if you delete the 'Coxster bits' by blacking out, or removing the horizontal pieces that bisect the side / oil cooler openings that it would improve things quite a bit. I feel the same about doing so on the Cayman as well. I wouldn't kick a 2010 Exige outta bed.

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