Convince me not to buy an Exige - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Darkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 139
Convince me not to buy an Exige

I've had my eyes on an Elise or Exige for a very long time now (years) and just can't take it anymore, I have to have one! However, the last thing I want is to buy one and find the car isn't what I think it is, I want to go into this with my eyes open. Specificially, I have my eye on a '06 Exige with the Track Pack, Star Shield and Traction Control. Basically, this car: http://www.lotusnewportbeach.com/det...-20l1145382140.

Why an Exige over an Elise? Well, I'm buying a sports car. The last thing I want is to be wondering if the next model would have been a better sports car. Also, after I add the options I want to an elise (sport, track, starshield, TC, hard top), I'm only $6k away from the Exige I want. I have a rule, if you have to spend 10% more to get what you really want, you should do it.

Since everyone who buys a new Lotus wants zero miles on the clock, including me, dealers are hesitant to let me test drive a car except for the car I will buy, and with check in hand. So I can't really be sure what of what I've bought until the deed is done.

So, here is what I think I'm getting, on the bad side:
  1. It's going to be loud. Perhaps not defining, but it would be difficult to carry on a normal conversation at freeway speeds
  2. It's going to have a stiff-ish ride. Somewhere around what a WRX STi or Mitsubishi Evo has
  3. Rear visibility will be poor
  4. The AC might be somewhat underpowered
  5. Entering and exiting the car will be a somewhat undignified process (I'm about 6'1")
  6. It might leak water in heavy rain or when washing it
  7. I will forever lust after the supercharged version
  8. A can expect the tires to last at least 5k miles if I drive hard, but not on the track.
  9. Dumb people will want to race at the stoplight

On the good side:
  1. It will corner, stop and go beautifully.
  2. There will be little in the car that isn't directly related to cornering, stopping and going.
  3. Being a toyota engine, it will be generally reliable. I'm not expecting it to be as reliable as an actual toyota, but more reliable than many exotics. Basically, I don't want know my service guy so well as to be invited to a barbecue.

If there is anything I haven't covered in either category above, please let me know. Finally, I have some questions:
  1. Regarding the traction control switch, is this an actual switch in so much that you can turn it off whenever you want and it will stay off between removing the key, and you can turn it off at any speed? I've had cars that enable TC every time you start the car, and won't let you turn it off above 45mph, which is highly annoying.
  2. I'm thinking of getting an '06 in the next few weeks, should I be waiting for the '07s? Is it true that the '07 will be a bit heavier?
  3. Does anyone have any recommendations on places to get the car serviced in the SF Bay area, ideally in or around Palo Alto?
  4. What is this "Exige Sport" and how does it differ from a non-sport Exige (see above link, they list the car as Exige Sport)
  5. How safe is this car? I mentioned to my Wife that Lotus got an exemption of the US bumper regulations, now she is afraid I'm going to kill myself. Is this car any less safe than other small cars, such as a Honda Civic, Fit, Yarus, etc.
  6. Anyone wanna give me a ride? I'll buy ya lunch...

Whew! thats a long post. Thanks in advance for insight.
Darkness is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:25 PM
Registered User
 
MotorCade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: California
Posts: 2,344
Let's see:

1. True. Get a sports exhaust and avoid conversations altogether.
2. Stiffer ride than either the evo or sti.
3. more like non-existent.
4. I haven't used the ac in months... it's completely useless. ymmv.
5. not as bad as you'd think. You get used to it.
6. maybe, but I haven't had any leaks. ymmv.
7. True.
8. No... you'll be lucky to get 5k miles if you drive hard on the A048s. And they'll heat cycle out long before then. It's best to get a second set of wheels with more appropriate street tires, and use stickies for the track.
9. True.

1. It's incredible. The cornering makes up for every other flaw.
2. See 1.
3. Very few motor problems... most issues are transmission related or related to hard track use. Easy to self-maintain, too.

1. I don't have TC, but I understand it enables each time the car is switched on, and must be turned off.
2. There will be little functional differences between and 06 and 07. I have an 05, and I wouldn't trade any of the new gizmos for the fun I had with this car in the last two years.
3. Don't know.
4. Do you mean the Sport Exige 240? It's a track only supercharged monster.
5. Very safe. There's a few videos around here of wrecks, one in particular has the car flying through the air and through one tire wall and into another, flipping and coming to rest on its roof, and the driver crawls out and walks away. The active safety aspect of the car is your best benefit, though. It can avoid wrecks like no other, if you're on your toes.
6. Come on down to SD, and we'll take you canyon carving!

Good luck!

Cade

Last edited by MotorCade; 08-12-2006 at 03:34 PM.
MotorCade is offline  
post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:27 PM
Registered User
 
Serebo1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 7,002
What he said.

Matte Black, Sport, Touring, ***** intake (TBA), RAC Mono wheels, Painted Shift knob, smoked turn signals, Alpine SPS 6.5" rear speakers, MB Quarts, JVC Nav, Starshield, LBH exhaust, Dpic perf. gauge, Custom true HID projectors, GUT wing and splitter, Mesh side pods, Sector111 harness bar and 4-point harness, Lotus Sport Ohlins double-adjustable suspension, swaybar, '06 LED tailights, Toda flywheel, Lotusport interior.
Serebo1 is offline  
 
post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:31 PM
Registered User
 
MethodX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: So Cal
Posts: 769
ditto.

Poor is the man who's pleasures depend on the permission of another.
MethodX is offline  
post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Darkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 139
OK, so if the TC enables every time you start the car, how lenient is it? Is this going be annoying me every time a wheel looses traction for a microsecond, such as would happen over a bump under power? Or is it going to let me get completely sideways before it decides I'm having too much fun?
Darkness is offline  
post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:47 PM
OSX Black hat
 
charliex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Las Vegas , NV
Posts: 10,000
you don't notice it most of the time, on the track you can switch it off, supposedly its 6% slippage in the stock config before it kicks in

its also easy to disable it permanently by disconnecting the switch harness.

Black Exige S / Elan M100. Don't run a smaller pulley without an upgraded fuel pump! http://www.goth.am ecu stuff.. New reflash box coming soon!
charliex is offline  
post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:49 PM
Registered User
 
CarNut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 418
I generally agree with the comments above. I love the look of the Exige, but the ability to remove the top (easily) was what made me go with the Elise.

The TC is a button and it resets to the default (on) each time you start. Haven't tried to turn it off or back on while moving.

With the stock exhaust, conversations are not difficult at highway speed. It's not quiet, but not real loud either. Or as mentioned above, any of the various sport exhausts will pump up the volume - in some cases considerably.

The US bumper regulation exemption has nothing to do with safety. There is a crash structure just as there would be if it met the bumper regulation. What it doesn't do is absorb a 5 mph hit with minimal damage. A light tap front or back is a very expensive fiberglass repair. As for safety, get in an argument with a 5000 lb SUV in any 2000 lb car and you will lose.

Getting in and out is something you get used to. I'm 6'3" and 60 years old - I get in and out without any difficulty - not exactly graceful, but no problem.

I don't know about dealers in your area, but I test drove an Elise 5 different times at 2 different dealers, including a track day in a dealer car. Only once did the sales person (at the first dealer) think he even had to ride with me. I wouldn't buy any car, especially something as far out of the mainstream as a Lotus, without driving it first. Just my 2 cents.

A Lotus isn't for everyone (fortunately) but if you're really a hard core sports car guy, you'll love either the Elise or Exige and nothing else will do after you drive one.

2006 Elise - Phantom Black, Magnolia, Black Pack, LSD, Touring
1970 Elan - Yellow, Restored/updated, Spyder chassis, Panasports
2004 MINI Cooper S - Pepper White, many mods
2002 MINI Cooper - Chili Red/White
1969 Morris Mini Cooper S - White/Black, Restored to original
CarNut is offline  
post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 03:55 PM
Registered User
 
CarNut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by rouvier
OK, so if the TC enables every time you start the car, how lenient is it? Is this going be annoying me every time a wheel looses traction for a microsecond, such as would happen over a bump under power? Or is it going to let me get completely sideways before it decides I'm having too much fun?
It's traction control, not dynamic stability control. It only checks for difference in rotational speed of the rear wheels. No yaw sensors or anything like that. If you're "completely sideways", it will neither help nor hinder. Its not intrusive; I never even notice that its on. On the track or in the wet, you might notice it and can turn it off it you want.

2006 Elise - Phantom Black, Magnolia, Black Pack, LSD, Touring
1970 Elan - Yellow, Restored/updated, Spyder chassis, Panasports
2004 MINI Cooper S - Pepper White, many mods
2002 MINI Cooper - Chili Red/White
1969 Morris Mini Cooper S - White/Black, Restored to original
CarNut is offline  
post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 04:08 PM
Registered User
 
bluejae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,234
becareful with the trackpack exiges... you might have excessive toe from the factory... examples are in my sig
bluejae is offline  
post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Darkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarNut
... I'm 6'3" and 60 years old ...

I don't know about dealers in your area, but I test drove an Elise 5 different times at 2 different dealers, including a track day in a dealer car. Only once did the sales person (at the first dealer) think he even had to ride with me. I wouldn't buy any car, especially something as far out of the mainstream as a Lotus, without driving it first. Just my 2 cents.
The age might have something to do with it, I'm 26, but on the other side of the coin, a friend of mind who is low 50's, wasn't allowed to *sit* in an elise at boardwalk auto center. Granted, he wasn't serious about buying one, just wanted to see what I was so excited about.

This isn't that uncommon around here. Another friend drove his new Evo only after he had handed them a check, but not put the final signatures on the line. I think it all depends on how many of the cars the dealer has. The Exige is a rare car, and when the dealer only has one or two, they can't let everyone who walks in drive them.

Anyway, yes, before I actually buy the car, I'm going to drive it. I don't drive = I don't buy.
Darkness is offline  
post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Darkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejae
becareful with the trackpack exiges... you might have excessive toe from the factory
Yeah, I saw that. And check the tire pressure.

I'm going to try to get the dealer who sells me the car give me a free alignment and free first service, the latter depending on if I buy local or not.
Darkness is offline  
post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 05:38 PM
JnC
Registered User
 
JnC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 2,923
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarNut
The US bumper regulation exemption has nothing to do with safety. There is a crash structure just as there would be if it met the bumper regulation. What it doesn't do is absorb a 5 mph hit with minimal damage. A light tap front or back is a very expensive fiberglass repair. As for safety, get in an argument with a 5000 lb SUV in any 2000 lb car and you will lose.
Agreed, except the standard is 2.5 mph.

The 2.5 mph bumper will be awesome if a flat vertical wall accidently runs over you at less than 2.5 mph in a parking lot. If it's greater than 2.5 mph, in addition to the resulting clam damage, you may need to replace the bumper assembly. I don't know what happens when the bumper strut force gets transmitted to the crash box or frame.... damage to either item could be, shall we say, salty.

If you're hit at less than 2.5 mph by some cars and all SUV's/trucks, the 2.5 mph bumper will not be damaged at all! That's because their bumper will sail over the 2.5 mph bumper and into the clam anyways. The Elise/Exige is a very low car with a sharply angled nose.

2007 Cross Country Travelblog
11 Lotus Elise Final Edition :: Chrome Orange
16 Honda CR-Z EX
76 Porsche 912E
95 Porsche 911
JnC is offline  
post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 05:47 PM
xtn
Registered User
 
xtn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,981
Yup. The rear bumper of the Honda Accord that backed into me actually hit ABOVE the front Lotus badge.

xtn

2006 McLareghini Bugatterrari, Storm Titanium... installed: air horn, Scroth 4-point ASM harnesses, Sector111 halon extinguisher and mounting bracket, Von Hep exhaust and rear panel delete, Pagid brake pads, red Volks CE28n wheels, Toyo RA-1 tires, Nitron SA coilovers, Sector111 (WorksBell) quick-disconnect steering wheel kit. awaiting installation: Scroth "pull-up" lap belts, Sector111 RTD Brace, Tony's heater bypass mod, and dropped steering rack mounting plates.
xtn is offline  
post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 06:59 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 1,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by rouvier
[*]It's going to have a stiff-ish ride. Somewhere around what a WRX STi or Mitsubishi Evo has
My Evo is a frickin' Lexus compared to the Elise.

2016 BMW M3
2012 Golf R
2011 Exige S260 - sold
2007 Exige S - sold
2005 Elise FF Turbo - sold
deddie is offline  
post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 07:12 PM
Registered User
 
shokwaves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carson, California
Posts: 1,019
It's a car with a purpose TRACK. I drive it on the streets every week. Love the damn thing. I have other sports cars that perform almost as good, but are much more every day car friendly. This car is just a toy. If you want hard core looks the Exige is the car! I test drove the Elise, it drives the same, obviously, but I wouldn't have gotten the Elise, the Exige did if for me, otherwise I'd be driving a Cayman S.
shokwaves is offline  
post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Darkness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SF Bay area, CA
Posts: 139
Yes, it's a track car, but I like to play with my toys, so I'll probably use it as a daily driver as much as I can. Luckily, I have big parking spaces at the garage I park in (actually, someone else is also parking an elise there almost every day) and the highway between my home and work is being repaved right now.

I don't see any reason to not drive it every day that I don't have to carry any more than my laptop to work and back. Am I being too optimistic?
Darkness is offline  
post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 08:18 PM
Registered User
 
Stretch002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 540
I drive mine every single day to work. I drive it for groceries, I take it to the mall, to the movies, to lunch...basically any time I can drive it I do so...although it is an Elise, I am sure the Exige experience will not be all that different.

You will definitely want to get street tires for normal stuff so you do not need a new pair every 5,000 miles. Save the stickies for the track!

Proud owner of a 2006 Storm Titanium Elise
Stretch002 is offline  
post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 04:51 AM
Registered User
 
CarNut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by JnC
Agreed, except the standard is 2.5 mph.
Sorry, I was out of date. The original standard was 5 mph front and 2.5 mph rear. The current standard - the one Lotus has an exemption for, was adopted in 1982 and is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHTSA
49 CFR Part 581, "The bumper standard," prescribes performance requirements for passenger cars in low-speed front and rear collisions. It applies to front and rear bumpers on passenger cars to prevent the damage to the car body and safety related equipment at barrier impact speeds of 2 mph across the full width and 1 mph on the corners.


This is equivalent to a 5 mph crash into a parked vehicle of the same weight. The standard requires protection in the region 16 to 20 inches above the road surface, and the manufacturer can provide the protection by any means it wants. For example, some vehicles do not have a solid bumper across the vehicle, but meet the standard by strategically placed bumper guards and corner guards.
I wonder if that last sentance gives a clue to Lotus' plan to meet the regulation in 2007? That would look OK on a truck, but would look nasty on a Lotus. The protection zone of "16 to 20 inches above the road" isn't going to do much for the front clam. 16" is the top of the grille, so even meeting the letter of the standard isn't going to prevent a major fiberglass repair if you bump something (or something bumps you) even at low speed.

2006 Elise - Phantom Black, Magnolia, Black Pack, LSD, Touring
1970 Elan - Yellow, Restored/updated, Spyder chassis, Panasports
2004 MINI Cooper S - Pepper White, many mods
2002 MINI Cooper - Chili Red/White
1969 Morris Mini Cooper S - White/Black, Restored to original
CarNut is offline  
post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 05:06 AM
Registered User
 
Bleu Omdurman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,720
As far as tires go... I got 17k out of mine. They didn't start losing traction until about 10K and even then didn't get noticable until 12k. I let them stay on until the 17k mark when i only switched out the rears for about $500. I found that i was able to have normal conversations with my wife at freeway speeds in 6th gear. Freeway speeds in third is a different story altogether.

laters,

ps I want a Black Exige too!

Take my track day survey: here You should enjoy it. 10 questions.
Now take survey #2 here

Mods: TurboXS Intake, Ultra Disc Rotors, Adare Motorsports Racing Pads.
Bleu Omdurman is offline  
post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 07:05 AM
Buz
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,950
Get the Elise. The rearward visibility more than offsets the looks and slight downforce. It is also lighter and cheaper.
Buz is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community > Lotus Discussions > New car information, Specs, Demos, Price.

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome