From the 2004 Autocar test, the Exige was pulling higher apex speeds than a 911 GT3 RS. So I suspect the Exige is cornering well, but still doesn't have enough low end grunt to keep up. Addtionally, some of the comments made by Autocar about the 240R make me suspect that the car is more difficult to drive than a standard Exige and Elise, and that the suspension needs a bit more tuning. Perhaps it needs an LSD? The 911S certainly has more power and better traction coming out of the turns. Plus they are very good at making their cars go around the track well.
On the other hand Ara, the Federal Elise and Exige have never been super fast on the track. Could have told you a year ago not to buy these cars if you want fast lap times. It IS somewhat surprising that the 240R is slower, but I guess you really have to enjoy the driving experience and the whole package to buy one over a Boxster/Cayman. Even if it is slower, I'd take a 240R over a Cayman S any day. I wonder if the fastest variant isn't the Elise with Ohlins and a supercharger, and not the Exige.
On the other hand, Lotus really hasn't evolved the speed of these cars much in the last five years have they? Seems like most of the evolution has come in the form of refinement and build quality (which still isn't that great). The bread and butter Elises may be faster, but not the ultimate street legal ones. For example, the S1 Exige on older A038s is probably as fast as an S2 Exige on A048s around most tracks. The extra weight is a killer. Maybe I'm getting carried away. I prefer some the controls and brakes on the earlier S2 than the Fed Elise as well.
'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
'16 Porsche Cayman GT4
Last edited by Vantage; 10-12-2005 at 11:06 AM.