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This may not be the right place, but probably only Exige owners will want this anyway. Let me know if you think it applies to 2008 Elises as well and I can move it.

I have owned my Exige S 240 for a month now and have been keeping notes. I have experiences some spirited driving, put 1500 miles on the car, and driven it every chance I get. It was serviced once by SVAG. For the previous three years, I owned an early Elise, equipped with LSS and some minor handling modifications. The differences are astounding.

Some might be attributed to my poor memory. I am approaching the age when senility becomes a factor. Also, this is going from an Elise to an Exige, so there are some differences because of model. However some may be attributed to the significant model year change to 2008.

1. The doors are harder to close. Perhaps this is just new rubber seal.

2. There is a new instrument panel and dash. The instruments are a mixed blessing. At first I was impressed. The warning lights are not as bright and the needles for tach and speed are not as bright. The lights are always on, and the numbers and needles are always illuminated. Unfortunately you cannot dim them as before. (Presses on the button either reset the trip meter or switch from trip meter display to KPH speed display.) The Lotus logo is large and is distracting at night because it is so bright.

The good news is that the status display is legible all the time. In the dark, there are red letters on a dark background and in the sun light, the display is black letters on a red background. I can even read it with my sunglasses on!

I have had problems with the dash going blank suddenly on a long trip and once the tach needle would not reset. (I have not been able to find instructions for resetting the needles as before. The old instructions do not work.)

In general, the dash is a vast improvement.

3. The various buttons are more positive in actuation, harder to press. The lights are computer controlled as you can see them flash upon startup.

4. The gas door is smaller.

5. The alarm is different. You do not get the positive indication when disarming the immobilizer. The doors unlock in two stages, first click the driver's, two more clicks, the passenger. It is not clear if the alarm pulses an indication as to what set off the alarm in your absence.

6. Buttons on the key remove do not look like buttons and the panic button is difficult to press.

7. Gear shift is dramatically different. It is much more positive and you can feel the notches as you engage the gears. I saw a quote where a magazine reviewer mentioned this and Adams indicated the design did not change but the supplier and quality of materials did. I still feel like the lever is slightly higher and the throws shorter, but that might be my imagination.

8. I have the upgraded clutch so I expected the release to be shorter and more aggressive.

9. Drive by wire is obvious. I think I can write a whole section on this, how it gets fooled, how it shuts off gas completely and instantly and puts it back on again. Interesting.

10. Obviously the suspension is very different. It is very colorful. I took some beautiful pictures before driving the car and will post them on my website and included one here.

11. The air pressure warning is included in the valve stem. The wheels were significantly out of balance so that weights were needed on the outside of one of my rims.

12. Size markings on the wheels are imprinted lightly on the inside of the rim. I was disappointed to find my fronts were only six inches wide.

13. The inside of the doors are plastic! (I ordered without the touring package.) Only the inset where the electric window switch is material. The silver like color, simulated aluminium, is easily scratched as I swing my feet out.

14. The fiberglass on the body panels is not up to the surface quality of the Elise. The Elise is injection molded and after a quick color sand, ready to paint. The Exige is hand-laid and has more waves in it.

15. There are more shims in the uprights! Does this offer more camber adjustment potential? There were six shims in my right rear, including the ABS bracket.

16. Most important, rattles! There are none! Yep, you heard me right. I am astounded as there is not a single creak or rattle in the car after all these miles, in spite of some rough roads. Lotus has clearly made some attempt to track down the earlier problems and remedy them. Very impressive.

Oh, I almost forgot one dramatic difference. I now have 50 more horsepower. As my son said when he was young, Weee HA! This will have to be the subject of another post as well.

Which do I prefer? I honestly now see why people talked about the Elise being sufficient. I could make the Elise dance, and it was very light and easy to drive. The Exige is much more solid and focused, sacrificing the fun part for ultimate levels of handling. I miss the Elise in some ways.

Michael
 

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Thanks for the comparo, a forced induction Lotus is a wonderful thing, especially from the factory.

I'm not entirely convinced I need one anymore though since I discovered motorcycles :D
 

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Thanks for the write up.
 

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Your thorough and interesting write-up reminds me of a similar swap I did some years ago. Way back in the '80's, I sold my pristine '73 911T coupe with S options to upgrade to a then five year old '82 911SC coupe w/sunroof. I had a very similar experience, as the car seemed like it was carved out of a billet compared to the older car. The engine, brakes, suspension, and many other aspects were notably improved. Something was missing, though, and I noted at the time how much I missed the older car's "tossability" for lack of a better description. The early car was several hundred pounds lighter, had less grip due to narrower rear tires, but the steering was much more communicative. It was just plain more fun. The new car wasn't happy unless it was spooled up over 100 mph and was a chore to drive at lower speeds.

Fast forward to the Elise. My 2005 is #285 and has Stage II, LSS, HT, but no Touring package, so rattles are there and then some. I recently bought a set of touring seats/panels, but have had second thoughts about "pimping" my ride and will probably sell them. Somehow, it just seems like I shouldn't make it too civilized or I might just take the fun out of it. On another note, after reading what you and others say about DBW, I'm mighty glad I have a throttle cable!
 

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Dimming the guages on the '08

Nice post! :clap:

2. There is a new instrument panel and dash. The instruments are a mixed blessing. At first I was impressed. The warning lights are not as bright and the needles for tach and speed are not as bright. The lights are always on, and the numbers and needles are always illuminated. Unfortunately you cannot dim them as before. (Presses on the button either reset the trip meter or switch from trip meter display to KPH speed display.) The Lotus logo is large and is distracting at night because it is so bright.
Maybe I can help you out just a bit with the above though. I too have a new '08, just picked up about a month ago as well, and this little ditty was driving me CRAZY! :wallbang: I finally figured it out just last night.

You CAN adjust the brightness (dim) of the instrument lights, but the procedure is quite strange, and you can not do it while the car is in motion - weird. When does Lotus think we would ever need the function anyway? :shrug: The brightness setting needs to be "pre-selected", then
"stuck" with (apparently) :huh:. Here's what you do:

1. Park the car, and shut the engine off.
2. Now, turn your key "on" - full forward to the on/run position, but DO NOT START the engine.
3. Scroll the display by pressing the "magic button" (not too short - not too long!) to the KPH view setting.
4. THEN, turn your lights on (either top-button marker only, or full headlights ...even though they are already "on") :crazyeyes
5. Now, and ONLY NOW, push and HOLD down the "magic button".

Watch your gauges now "fade" to a (somewhat) more dim (or should I say marginally less bright?) setting. :sheep:

Hope this helps.
I've never owned a previous Lotus, so I truly enjoyed the read of your post. You very eloquently communicated to me so that I could now understand, - something that I had heard before, but really could not quite otherwise before, comprehend. I LOVE this "community" (even the disfunctional one's that yes - I've already seen too ;)) and appreciate all the sharing and interaction as a group here, we all seem to have.

Enjoy your new ride!
-Grant
 

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Goodridge lines from the factory?
 

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P.S.

I have had problems with the dash going blank suddenly on a long trip and once the tach needle would not reset. (I have not been able to find instructions for resetting the needles as before. The old instructions do not work.)
P.S. - I have had this same problem too, and it really spooked me. None of the guages or display seem to work when the car is in this condition. With a car so clearly heavily computer managed too, driving any distance in this condition is/was worrisome. The only resolution I found to it was a complete system "reset". ie: Disconnecting the battery.

Just be sure your alarm system is in the disarmed state, or... -eek-

What a pain too, needing to reset absolutely ALL the Alpine system settings following this too! - You could probably write an entire technical white paper just on all the multifunction button settings needed to even hear anything at all out of this unit, other than "tin"!

Oh well, just thought I might add my personal experience on this as well.
Cheers,
-Grant
 

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So take the enhancements of the 2008 Exige and match them with the advantages of the Elise (bodywork, visibility, etc) and you get a Elise SC .......... (available now at your local Lotus dealer)
 

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So take the enhancements of the 2008 Exige and match them with the advantages of the Elise (bodywork, visibility, etc) and you get a Elise SC .......... (available now at your local Lotus dealer)
my thoughts exactly....
 

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So take the enhancements of the 2008 Exige and match them with the advantages of the Elise (bodywork, visibility, etc) and you get a Elise SC .......... (available now at your local Lotus dealer)
Your tactics are suspect......:no:

But they are very hard to resist!!:)
 

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So take the enhancements of the 2008 Exige and match them with the advantages of the Elise (bodywork, visibility, etc) and you get a Elise SC .......... (available now at your local Lotus dealer)
Spoken like a true salesman...
 

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So take the enhancements of the 2008 Exige and match them with the advantages of the Elise (bodywork, visibility, etc) and you get a Elise SC .......... (available now at your local Lotus dealer)
That's pretty much what I had been wondering for a while.
....so I made a decision. See signature:clap:
 
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