Welcome! I jumped into my 06 exige from a 996 C4S, that started life stock for years, then turned into an all-out caged track car. After driving my exige home, an 800 mile cross-state trip, I jumped back into the Porsche, and I felt like I was underwater. It felt utterly gigantic, unweildy, it really just felt like driving a boat (and this was with 500 lbs of lightening, complete interior strip, caged, straight pipe etc).
These cars don't feel or drive anything like most cars on the road today. The cabin feels more like a cockpit, and they're crazy low to the ground. Camrys feel like SUV's when you pull up next to them. The closer comparison is an oversized go-kart imo, in terms of directness and feel. So yeah, they're raw but you have really supportive seats in your exige, you have HVAC and a radio. Is that enough, or do you need the plush leather, navigation, etc? Sounds like you have plenty of luxury in your lineup already, so it sounds like the perfect complement to your garage and perfect for your use-case. If you don't like it, you could prob flip it with minimal risk.
Here's a question though - what appeals to you about these cars?
Where are you at? If you can find a local owner, I'm sure they'd be happy to show you their car and/or take you for a ride.
I sold my Elise a few months ago, hoping to jump into something larger and more exotic, like a 997 Turbo.
I am now a proud owner of an Exige S240.
Originally Posted by Certified Lotus
I owned a 997 C4S and a 2007 Exige S at the same time. The Porsche was a great long distance comfortable touring sports car. The Lotus handled like nothing else I have ever driven. After 2 years I sold the Porsche because I just didn’t drive it enough. The Lotus was always my first choice.
That being said, the Exige is not a comfortable long distance touring car. My wife didn’t like it saying it was too loud (it was) and too uncomfortable (yes dear). There is no way to get in and out of the car elegantly. But it handles like nothing else you have ever driven (I know, I’ve said that already).
It’s laser sharp, very quick and the super charger whine is addictive. When the engine gets on second cam this car moves very quickly. Parts and service are cheap (compared to Porsche) unless you have body damage. You need an area with good roads. If you live in an area with lots of pot holes don’t buy the car. Lots of aftermarket performance parts. Lots of engine/ECU upgrades available. A replacement short block is stupid cheap.
Just understand they are two totally different cars.
You guys are awesome, thank you for the perspective.
As far as what I’m looking for: live out a dream, as cheesy as it sounds.
I’m proud to be at the place I’m at career wise and financially. I’ve played with matchbox cars (ok, I still buy 1-2 a month on grocery runs) my whole life and now able to play with the big kid versions. In the last few years I’ve had a BMW 1M, the 997 and E46 and 36 M3’s currently.
The attraction to the Exige is the simplicity, looks, low cost of consumables and truly less exposure to major issues. My 997 has perfect oil analysis reports but if it lost an engine I’d be in a very bad spot (as I assume most would). I wouldn’t be happy about it in an Exige but it would be a literal fraction of the cost of the 997.
The cons, IMO, to the Exige are: pretty niche and it seems if I ever wanted to get off of it they tend to sit for a long time, where as 911’s move fairly quickly, rear visibility is non-existent and I’m hearing you’re on edge in traffic hoping people see you, body work prone to costly repairs if needed.
Here are some particulars about the car I have a deal in place for (works best since it’s in Vegas and I’m in SLC and they will take my trade for a good number/tax savings):
-base car (to track or touring)
-2 owner, both Vegas residents
-CarFax shows no accidents but auto check shows a minor one. Lotus West has the car and they inspected and said they believe the rear end of clam looks to be repainted but very well done and needs a good eye to see and Starshield was reapplied after
-previous owner drilled a freaking back up camera into the rear clam......(unreal)
-spider cracking on front lip and very minor cracking on roof panel.
-Lotus West reports the car is very clean otherwise, trans ****s great and motor pulls hard
Based off that, any guesses on worth? Want to see if my deal makes sense to this group.
Sorry for the ramble but any and all feedback is welcome (and appreciate all that replied so far!).