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I started out looking at a 2017 Evora 400. I was lucky to find one with super low miles about an hour from me. $70,000 which was in my budget range. Red with black which is my pick. Beautiful car in person that seemed to glow. I was a big Ferrari 308 and testarossa fan from my youth. I liked the Lotus brand as well. The Esprit was hot in my teens. So i was sky high to drive this car after a lot of online research. once inside it was all down hill for me. More plastic parts than I expected on the interior and the seats were very uncomfortable. I was very disappointed. Now the engine exhaust was fantastic. It was plenty fast for me as well but the overall experience was crushing. I was expecting to cal the bank and buy this car. I have no doubt the 400 is a killer car just not for me. I pretty much crossed Lotus off after that day.

So I set my sights on an older R8 (09 to 12) or an older NSX. I was able to drive both. The NSX was beautiful but lacked power that I knew I would crave. The R8 was really good. My wife fell head over heels for the R8. So I began searching for a low mileage R8 and I started to really dig into the maintenance cost. this is where I hit the wall hard with the R8. there were 5 different issues that were common per audi owners that should be expected at one point or another. most owners advised me to get an extended warranty and to set aside $6000 to $8000 a year for maintenance. that seemed really high but there are proven issues that will cost you some cash with the r8. I also called a solid german indy shop and the reviews finished me off. I explained to my wife the common issues with the older r8's and so we were back to the search.

I looked at older 308 ferrari's and again the maintenance was just too much.
I was on Facebook marketplace and typed in Lotus just for kicks. A 2014 S pops up an hour away with 4000 miles. So I went to try out thinking it would be another bad experience but it was a beautiful sunny day so why not?
When we arrived to test the Lotus I was still taken back by the appearance of these cars. Solar yellow that glowed with the black wheels and trim. Again it was stunning in person just as the 400 had been.
Once inside I was shocked to see leather everywhere. The seats where night and day for me in terms of comfort and quality. I really liked the layout of the dash as well. Very little plastic inside. I knew at this point that my interest was really high again. It took about 3 miles from the dealership for me to know that I had found my car. It had plenty of power and the exhaust was fine by me, not as good as the 400 for sure but it still sounds like a proper sports car to me. The S seemed to ride better than the 400 to me and my wife. We drove the car for about 45 minutes and we were both sold on the S.

After 3 months I still love this car. However it has not been without a few issues. Surprised? Probably not. I had an oil line leak that was $1024 to fix with the tow bill. I have purchased new struts for the hatch and another key Fob as well. Tack on another $425. Currently I need to see if I have a condenser leak. The AC was charged when I purchased the car and did not hold the charge after a few weeks. So back to Nashville soon to get this fixed before summer. I have no idea how much this will be. The compressor is fine so who knows.

with all of that I still love this car and It gives me everything that I want in a sports car. we cannot go anywhere without pictures, videos or conversations when we stop. It is not my daily so it is garage kept. I really hope to keep this car. I knew Lotus has a history of small issues so this has not been a big surprise but I do hope the AC issue is the last for a bit. Right now I would still purchase this car. I will say I did not know about the cost of a clutch replacement. I looked up the parts cost before buying a Lotus but I had No idea there was so much labor involved. So my wife and I try to drive this car sensible and if we want to have fun we do it in higher gears. I do not gun the car from the dig. A $12,000 repair would definitely change my opinion if it happens anytime soon. If you are looking at Lotus I hope this has helped you in some way. For my wants it is everything I wanted.
 

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Looks great good luck with it.
The condenser can get blasted with road debris and get a leak, the good news is it shouldn't be too expensive to replace.
I've heard about the R8 strut towers, what other issues do they have?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ac compressors go out quickly, mag ride suspension leaks(replacement) many admit to needing clutch replacements early on, some early models have a weak frame issue that could be a big problem. 09 and 10 year models are still in the mid sixty range with 30,000 miles. oil change was a $400 job at Audi due to bumper removal. To be fair I have not priced an oil change at lotus. my local guy can do it for $95

Who knows if this is the norm but there was a lot of info on the forums. no car is perfect as I have quickly found out but some these issues are the $4k to $6k variety. Most members advised a lease over an older model simply because of the exposure to high repair issues.

I will say it was comfortable, quick and a much easier car to get in and out of. Most members there definitely advised an extended warranty along with a fairly hefty maintenance account each month. the warranty does not cover many of the big ticket items so that did not give me much comfort
 

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yes that is in the top 4 that had me worried. There is an alternative shock available that does not adjust but it is still $3000 or so if the info given was correct. Believe me I did a lot of research because we really liked the r8 before driving the Lotus S
 

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I had two R8's and did have an ac failure, and one shock fail but both covered under warranty. Other than that they are pretty bullet proof, I supercharged both and no problems. I'm really surprised of your opinion of older Evora over 400, I have ridden in friends older Evora's and was never tempted to get one. Then I saw a 400 and drove one and was sold on it. Also while oil change on an R8 is between $400-$500 bumper does not need to come off, but bottom tray does and then you have like 7 drain plugs. Still that was cheap compared to the $1,000 I now pay for just oil change on Huracan
 

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Congratulations to robbdom, who is the only person in the world who prefers the early Evora's interior to the 400's, besides me. Clearly he is a man of taste and sophistication.

Rob, as Number 6 says, the condensor is not too terrible to replace. Your dealer will need to remove the front undertray and bumper, and may want to remove the front clamshell; though I did the job myself without removing the clam, doing so would have made it easier. The condensor itself was a few hundred bucks -- and you'll need to replace the dryer too -- so if indeed that is the problem you'll be looking at something probably a bit north of a thousand bucks or thereabouts.

About the clutch, don't worry about it. In almost a decade on the forum here, we've seen very few cars blow clutches, apart from some early ones that had some kind of build issue (run of bad parts or something). You're not going to blow up the clutch on your Evora.
 

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... I will say I did not know about the cost of a clutch replacement. .... A $12,000 repair would definitely change my opinion if it happens anytime soon. If you are looking at Lotus I hope this has helped you in some way. For my wants it is everything I wanted.
While the labor for a clutch job is not cheap due to aft body claim removal and pulling engine it cost nowhere near $12,000. Labor hours are 21-22 hrs
 

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Congratulations to robbdom, who is the only person in the world who prefers the early Evora's interior to the 400's, besides me. Clearly he is a man of taste and sophistication.

Rob, as Number 6 says, the condensor is not too terrible to replace. Your dealer will need to remove the front undertray and bumper, and may want to remove the front clamshell; though I did the job myself without removing the clam, doing so would have made it easier. The condensor itself was a few hundred bucks -- and you'll need to replace the dryer too -- so if indeed that is the problem you'll be looking at something probably a bit north of a thousand bucks or thereabouts.

About the clutch, don't worry about it. In almost a decade on the forum here, we've seen very few cars blow clutches, apart from some early ones that had some kind of build issue (run of bad parts or something). You're not going to blow up the clutch on your Evora.
I also prefer the late S1 interior. That early model stuff though....[vomit].
 

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" Currently I need to see if I have a condenser leak. The AC was charged when I purchased the car and did not hold the charge after a few weeks. So back to Nashville soon to get this fixed before summer. I have no idea how much this will be. The compressor is fine so who knows. "

My MY12S leak was due to faulty seals only at line attachment to condensor; replaced under warranty, condensor fine; would think relatively affordable not requiring clam removal.........
 

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Great looking car! I have the exact same model, color and everything... only had it for two weeks and I can’t get enough of it, I really do like this car. Although I miss the power of my supercharged 2008 M3 the Lotus feels almost as fast and offers so much more on the fun factor, like your experience, people give me thumbs up and it’s a great piece of conversation.
 

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Congrats on new ride . Not sure about clutch issues I have over 60k on mine no issues it's DD I don't know why everyone thinks its big deal I never had car clutch replaced less then 100K (4 Porsche's 2M cars 1 NSX) maybe it depends on how everyone drives. my buddy got NSX with 250K just 1 clutch job.Good luck and enjoy.
Ravi
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great looking car! I have the exact same model, color and everything... only had it for two weeks and I can’t get enough of it, I really do like this car. Although I miss the power of my supercharged 2008 M3 the Lotus feels almost as fast and offers so much more on the fun factor, like your experience, people give me thumbs up and it’s a great piece of conversation.
looks great, like looking into a mirror. Love this model and color
 

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Congrats on new ride . Not sure about clutch issues I have over 60k on mine no issues it's DD I don't know why everyone thinks its big deal I never had car clutch replaced less then 100K (4 Porsche's 2M cars 1 NSX) maybe it depends on how everyone drives. my buddy got NSX with 250K just 1 clutch job.Good luck and enjoy.
Ravi
thank you for the real world info. I hope its true to form for me. I can handle a clutch in 4 to 5 years but I was not sure. I may have read info on the older models that had quality issues.
 

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Our Evora doesn't have the dead pedal. Maybe some owners is riding the clutch and causing early clutch replacement? Or maybe the car was heavily tracked?
 

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Congrats, OP. I am going on 4 months with my '14 S and also enjoying it a lot. Solar Yellow is absolutely stunning and was one of my top choices. Photos don't capture the true color. I also prefer the S1 interior over the 400, even if ingress/egress is more difficult.
 

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Our Evora doesn't have the dead pedal. Maybe some owners is riding the clutch and causing early clutch replacement? Or maybe the car was heavily tracked?
good points. we have learned where to rest our foot and we both know to never ride the clutch. tracking will definitely shorten the life span as well.
 

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Congrats, OP. I am going on 4 months with my '14 S and also enjoying it a lot. Solar Yellow is absolutely stunning and was one of my top choices. Photos don't capture the true color. I also prefer the S1 interior over the 400, even if ingress/egress is more difficult.
I really like the leather trim everywhere inside. The seats are night and day compared to the 400. I do however wish the threshold was smaller. it is not easy in/easy out. The 400 is better in this area and the 400 does have more room in the footwell. The best thing we did was to take out the bottom back seat. I gained almost 3 or inches for the front and it has made a big difference.
 

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Congratulations to robbdom, who is the only person in the world who prefers the early Evora's interior to the 400's, besides me. Clearly he is a man of taste and sophistication.
a.
I can make you a list of things I like better about the S than the 400
 
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