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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To those who have had experience/driven these cars...

I'm seriously considering buying a 2008 S240 or 2006 M400. I'm used to Lotus and know what to expect, I like the S240, but there's a Noble M400 for sale in California that's sparked my interest. Price is about the same, mileage about the same, etc.

I've never driven a Noble, but while riding passenger, the power and sound this car makes is mind blowing. For those who have driven both, what were the biggest differences? Is a Noble a practical car for driving around the city during the week? Is it too much power for normal street driving?

I know I'm on a Lotus forum and I have a feeling the opinions might be slightly biased, but I'd love thoughts from those who have driven both!


Thanks,
Graham
 

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I've owned both and Elise NA and M400. I've driven the S220 and S240 a few times but did not own one. I'll attempt to answer your questions
  • Driveability and general purpose use - The M400 is much easier to get into and much easier to drive around town due to the suspension being softer and a general smoother ride. However, the M400 doesn't have a boot/trunk so it's kind of a pain to buy groceries if someone else is with you. You have nowhere to put them. Also the radio is really far away but I never used it.
  • Power - M400 is ridiculously fast and out to kill you. There are no nannies (no abs, no traction control, etc). It's scary fast, literally!
  • Handling - M400 handles great but the Elise is just amazing. It's a gokart and I miss the general fun you have driving the Elise. It's balanced and confidence inspiring where the M400's handling is excellent but the power can put the car on edge very easily. The M400 is very controllable but the Elise wins in this category.
  • Sound - Subjective but I preferred my M400 because I had straight pipes and it didn't drone like the Lotus's tend to do.
  • Reliability - Lotus

Overall I preferred the M400 for around town road use and backroad carving because the power was intoxicating. However, the car is not very reliable and will require someone familiar with a wrench. The Lotus was a LOT of fun for autox but on track in HPDE's with long straights (VIR, Summit Point) it was just slow. I didn't do all the mods and when I owned the Elise, the mod options were much less but it was a let down at times. The best way to describe the Noble is it's the Elige grown up :).

With all that said, and this will sound backwards, but if I were to buy again, I'd buy an Exige. I like to tinker with cars but I'm not a mechanic or want to be. I want a car that is reliable and I never worry about. My Elise had 40k miles on it, multiple track days, autox, etc. with 0 issue. My Noble had 8k miles with bi-monthly visits to the shop to fix something random. Weekends at the track would always be a follow-up with a fix needed for something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've owned both and Elise NA and M400. I've driven the S220 and S240 a few times but did not own one. I'll attempt to answer your questions
  • Driveability and general purpose use - The M400 is much easier to get into and much easier to drive around town due to the suspension being softer and a general smoother ride. However, the M400 doesn't have a boot/trunk so it's kind of a pain to buy groceries if someone else is with you. You have nowhere to put them. Also the radio is really far away but I never used it.
  • Power - M400 is ridiculously fast and out to kill you. There are no nannies (no abs, no traction control, etc). It's scary fast, literally!
  • Handling - M400 handles great but the Elise is just amazing. It's a gokart and I miss the general fun you have driving the Elise. It's balanced and confidence inspiring where the M400's handling is excellent but the power can put the car on edge very easily. The M400 is very controllable but the Elise wins in this category.
  • Sound - Subjective but I preferred my M400 because I had straight pipes and it didn't drone like the Lotus's tend to do.
  • Reliability - Lotus

Overall I preferred the M400 for around town road use and backroad carving because the power was intoxicating. However, the car is not very reliable and will require someone familiar with a wrench. The Lotus was a LOT of fun for autox but on track in HPDE's with long straights (VIR, Summit Point) it was just slow. I didn't do all the mods and when I owned the Elise, the mod options were much less but it was a let down at times. The best way to describe the Noble is it's the Elige grown up :).

With all that said, and this will sound backwards, but if I were to buy again, I'd buy an Exige. I like to tinker with cars but I'm not a mechanic or want to be. I want a car that is reliable and I never worry about. My Elise had 40k miles on it, multiple track days, autox, etc. with 0 issue. My Noble had 8k miles with bi-monthly visits to the shop to fix something random. Weekends at the track would always be a follow-up with a fix needed for something.
Great explanation...this makes the decision that much harder. Are the Noble's known to be finicky in terms of reliability? I've been hearing that they're fairly bullet-proof for the most part. With my Elise, it was totally hassle free - I had no issues whatsoever. Just normal oil changes and it was good to go.

In terms of speed - this car would primarily be used on the weekend, mildly spirited drives, and around town as a second car. I hate sounding like a Grandpa, but is the speed a bit too much for the type of driving I do? The S240 was a good amount of power, but on the freeway, I feel it could still use more pull in the low RPM's.

Graham
 

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I've owned both and Elise NA and M400. I've driven the S220 and S240 a few times but did not own one. I'll attempt to answer your questions
  • Driveability and general purpose use - The M400 is much easier to get into and much easier to drive around town due to the suspension being softer and a general smoother ride. However, the M400 doesn't have a boot/trunk so it's kind of a pain to buy groceries if someone else is with you. You have nowhere to put them. Also the radio is really far away but I never used it.
  • Power - M400 is ridiculously fast and out to kill you. There are no nannies (no abs, no traction control, etc). It's scary fast, literally!
  • Handling - M400 handles great but the Elise is just amazing. It's a gokart and I miss the general fun you have driving the Elise. It's balanced and confidence inspiring where the M400's handling is excellent but the power can put the car on edge very easily. The M400 is very controllable but the Elise wins in this category.
  • Sound - Subjective but I preferred my M400 because I had straight pipes and it didn't drone like the Lotus's tend to do.
  • Reliability - Lotus

Overall I preferred the M400 for around town road use and backroad carving because the power was intoxicating. However, the car is not very reliable and will require someone familiar with a wrench. The Lotus was a LOT of fun for autox but on track in HPDE's with long straights (VIR, Summit Point) it was just slow. I didn't do all the mods and when I owned the Elise, the mod options were much less but it was a let down at times. The best way to describe the Noble is it's the Elige grown up :).

With all that said, and this will sound backwards, but if I were to buy again, I'd buy an Exige. I like to tinker with cars but I'm not a mechanic or want to be. I want a car that is reliable and I never worry about. My Elise had 40k miles on it, multiple track days, autox, etc. with 0 issue. My Noble had 8k miles with bi-monthly visits to the shop to fix something random. Weekends at the track would always be a follow-up with a fix needed for something.

Well put! The Noble is well over the top for power but the Lotus is all about the handling.
 

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Hit up evomind. He had an Elise and Noble

I believe Notorious has both right now
 

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On paper the Noble really doesn't even compare to the Exige imo.. I mean the Noble is more of a supercar, at a value price. Perhaps they compare because the price points are quite close?

That being said, the Elige is built not with the finest materials, for example the duct-tape holding my wires in the boot secure.. I'd imagine the Noble had to cut quite a few corners to keep their prices lower. Building them in Africa would be an indicator, although not to knock anything that comes from there (thinks BST wheels). Makes me think build quality would be less than an Elige as stated by someone with experience with the car. So my guess is, if you want more supercar performance, but probably more maintenance and headaches go with the Noble?

Otherwise if you wanted a slow but better build quality go with the Elise?

Either way, both cars are hands down awesome, and unless you plan on living at the racetrack will the power of the noble respectfully be used? Well can't wait to see pics of what you end up with :D
 

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On paper the Noble really doesn't even compare to the Exige imo.. I mean the Noble is more of a supercar, at a value price. Perhaps they compare because the price points are quite close?

That being said, the Elige is built not with the finest materials, for example the duct-tape holding my wires in the boot secure.. I'd imagine the Noble had to cut quite a few corners to keep their prices lower. Building them in Africa would be an indicator, although not to knock anything that comes from there (thinks BST wheels). Makes me think build quality would be less than an Elige as stated by someone with experience with the car. So my guess is, if you want more supercar performance, but probably more maintenance and headaches go with the Noble?

Otherwise if you wanted a slow but better build quality go with the Elise?

Either way, both cars are hands down awesome, and unless you plan on living at the racetrack will the power of the noble respectfully be used? Well can't wait to see pics of what you end up with :D

Noble build quality is contingent on who built the car and who maintains it. There is nothing I hate more than owning a car that I worry about. The Noble never stranded me but I never knew, making long drives a tough decision. I also paid a premium for my car because I wanted to make sure all the issues were worked out. You guys all know Lotus and I called them more reliable in comparison :).

It's a VERY low volume car and it comes with issues you would expect out of it. For example, when you roll down the windows (which don't roll down all the way) while driving, heat from the engine bay is sucked into the cabin unless you have done the "tunnel" mod to address this.

However the Noble is still a monster and a ton of fun to drive! I don't think I've ever driven a car that is more insane and fun. The car has gobs of traction when cornering and unbelievable power. If you are looking at the Noble, you might want to consider a Rossion. They worked out a lot of the kinks in their latest car and it's a more "refined" Noble. Still an absolute blast to drive!

If you want more info, let me know in PM.
 

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Interesting to hear that the Elise handles better than the Noble...says a lot.
Love my S260 for that exact reason. Any more power on the street is kind of over the top.


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I don't need to tell you this but for others the Elige is special. I had so much fun with my car. My only complaint was getting in and out was a PITA and my wife hated it when wearing a dress. I'm actually looking at getting another Elige for autox because it was so much fun.
 

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I have owned the Elise, Exige, M400, and a Q1. I have put many miles on them, combined over 50,000 miles. I have driven the Elise, M400, and the Q1 across the USA. I have put all of them on the track and have autocrossed all of them. I extensively autocrossed the Elise and the M400.

I think the previous comments are spot on, except one. The Noble handles extremely well. It has an amazing suspension set up and rivals the Lotus in my opinion. It is like the Exige on steroids.

There are some issues with build and who built it and even then there are some issues that users over the years have figured out fixes for, specially in heat generation in the rear engine bay (two turbos get hot!). You probably will have to wrench a little more on a Noble than the Exige.

But it may be worth it. :)
 

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I have owned the Elise, Exige, M400, and a Q1. I have put many miles on them, combined over 50,000 miles. I have driven the Elise, M400, and the Q1 across the USA. I have put all of them on the track and have autocrossed all of them. I extensively autocrossed the Elise and the M400.

I think the previous comments are spot on, except one. The Noble handles extremely well. It has an amazing suspension set up and rivals the Lotus in my opinion. It is like the Exige on steroids.

There are some issues with build and who built it and even then there are some issues that users over the years have figured out fixes for, specially in heat generation in the rear engine bay (two turbos get hot!). You probably will have to wrench a little more on a Noble than the Exige.

But it may be worth it. :)
I agree. It does handle very well but the Exige handles better out of the box.
 

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Yes, but a lot of that is weight. As Colin Chapman knew. :)

The Exige is 2000 pounds. The M400 is closer to 2500 pounds.

I love the handling feel of my Caterham (1200 pounds) and my shifter kart (200 pounds) even more.

My main point was that people should not think that the Noble (with a similar suspension layout as a race car as designed by Lee Noble) is a slacker in handling. That would not be accurate at all.
 

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Yes, but a lot of that is weight. As Colin Chapman knew. :)

The Exige is 2000 pounds. The M400 is closer to 2500 pounds.

I love the handling feel of my Caterham (1200 pounds) and my shifter kart (200 pounds) even more.

My main point was that people should not think that the Noble (with a similar suspension layout as a race car as designed by Lee Noble) is a slacker in handling. That would not be accurate at all.
I agree 100% regarding the Noble handling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for all the insight - this forum is amazing. I'm leaning towards the Exige at this point in terms of reliability and maintenance costs - and because I'm already familiar with Lotus and know what to expect - but I'll keep everyone posted. Even if I end up going the Exige route, I'm positive I'll own a Noble/Rossion soon enough when I have the cash. Harry has the right answer, BOTH would be ideal! ;)

Graham
 

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M400 and Elise

I currently have both. 2006 M400 and 2006 Elise. Most of the comments are correct in my opinion. To emphasize some points:

-Noble is easier to drive around town and my wife likes it better due to ingress egress
-I often run out of road with the Noble, and quickly. Not so much with the Elise, although I am going to add a supercharger.
-They both handle fantastically, as Randy emphasized
-I think both are reliable. And they both have quirks. This forum outlines many Lotus Elige quirks and issues (eg. oil line, toe links) the Noble has them too.
-My insurance is the same for each car, remarkably. Even though the Noble is valued double the Lotus.
-I really like the top off on the Lotus...
-The Noble feels more t]like a big boy car to me, the Lotus more of a toy.

Oh, BTW, my situation is changing and I am selling cars, likely including the Noble. CA title, no smog. Superb condition, well sorted. Message me for details.

Jeff
 

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Hi Randy,

I just joined this forum today and was about to purchase an Exige S240 last week when my friend mentioned looking into a Noble. I researched them but also found the Q1 and even more interested in that car. So how did the Rossion Q1 stack up when it comes to maintenance issues, costs, livability and driving experience?

Looks like you would be a good person to ask.

Thank you,

Chris
 

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I also wanted to mention if anyone else can chime in about this subject.

I really was hoping to get an Exige S350 V6 but only the track version is available in the US. They should sell the shell and assemble them here like the Noble, Rossion, Superformance cars to get around the crash testing issue even though i am sure they cannot because they are a well known car manufacturer.

I am debating to buy one from Germany anyway in hopes of driving it on the roads here in California.

I do like that the Noble and Rossion can be registered as a kit car, therefore being able to get that coveted SB100 tag where there is no smogging the car needed ever. Nice!!
 

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My 02c.
As someone here said its really agravating to have to do something to the car each time you go tot he track. A component car from my experience has needs after each track outing sometimes big sometimes small.
Lotus as a turn key car built by a factory mostly does not.

On road, the Noble Rossion is so much more powerful/faster than a lotus its not a comparison< how fast you need to go on road is function of sanity, skill and road conditions. My backroad enviroemnt does not need more than my NA elise.

As tot he comment about driving a exige sport 350 on the road in USA. Some have done it, depends on state rules but if the feds catch up its a problem. A crashed elise could take ona enw identity with a exige 350m but I digress.

As the owner of an exige 360 cup I can say that these cars are a bit much for the road, as in your unlikely to be able to deploy all it has on any sort of twisty road(like twisting the throttle on a japanese superbike), on highway they are 997 Gt3 fast. However youre still in an elige tub with all the comfort egress issues these have> To me elige comfort is simply not an issue because once inside its a race car you strap on, and everything else feels ponderous.

Ill also say that the V6 cars drive very differetly to the 4 cyl cars, the wheel is heavier more direct but also less delicate than a 4cyul car. the rear in is completely planted, never feeling skitish, and the front end has endless bite. But wheelbase is longer so its a little slower to rotate.

I thought of aQ1, but my prior component car experience, (its not just the build but the engineerign of things like wheel bearnings brake etc) led me to dismis it. Thats before you get into things like turbo power which comes in with a bang(not good on track).

On road I would say a noble is the quicker car, on track a v6 exige with sorted suspension is pretty hard to beat with almost anything thats not pure race car, its way quicker than a cayman Gt4, any of the current vettes, will smoke the prior z06. The one road car thats in the same orbit is a 991 GT3 which will be faster on the straights for sure.

Depeds on use then. If you have lots of tight twisty roads and recreational driving is your thing go lotus. If its bigger highways and open straight stretches Noble is good. If its very occasional track use a day here or there on street tires the noble is fine. Any more track use its lotus.
 
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