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I recently made the very same switch. Fantastic 997 911 to an even better 2007 Exige S.

Id never driven an Exige or Elise before I made the deal (trade + cash on my end) but I drove to Vegas from SLC in the 997 and back in the Exige same day.

Note, I LOVED the 997 but had other similar cars and wanted something more raw (my checking account version of an F40). Don’t regret it for a second as it’s the funnest car I’ve ever owned, bar none. Simply nothing like it available today at any price.

A lot of people talked about not liking the attention it brings but it’s been all fun for me and people really enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
so after been undecided between lotus or a supra tt.. im.back on to lotus.. found a deal on an 05 elise with a stage 2 supercharger kit.. which i really dont mind..
i also have a daily corolla xrs with the 2zzge.. which is very fun but after driving the porsche the 1.8l feels gutless.. but a supercharger should take that off the equation...

any tips on what to look for and what to walk away from..? keep in mind most engine and suspension stuff i can work on myself..
my only worrys are those expensive 5k+ paint clam shells..
 

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In my automotive life, I've owned a 190SL, 300SL, 246GT, TR512, 944, 951, 952, M5, M3, 240S, Briel, and currently a 260S. The Dino was the only car that came close to an Exige in its vehicle dynamics, and only the Briel bested the Lotus, but it's not a car. You will not regret buying a Lotus, and you won't miss the Porsche - you will only wish you had made this decision earlier, IMHO.
 

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selling my current car a porsche 997..
and looking to replace it with a lotus..
any advice on what to look for? what to avoid?
how hard is it to work on this cars..im use to doin my own work..
I owned and did my own maintenance on my 986S for 6 years before buying my Elise. The Elise is actually easier to work on. It's generally more simple, the engine bay is less crammed, and there's only one head with spark plugs facing up.
 

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i also have a daily corolla xrs with the 2zzge.. which is very fun but after driving the porsche the 1.8l feels gutless.. but a supercharger should take that off the equation...
Have you driven an Elise? My Aston Martin has about 420HP but I can go from it to my Elise and it doesn't feel weak at all, on cam anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
no i havent.. i did seat on an exige once.. and i loved the low seating position..other than the porsche, no other car ive been on have i felt so low..
btw the elise im looking at now is supercharged.. looks like it has a few issues.. like an oil leak from around intake manifold area.. and smoke on decelaration..
planning for worst case scenario.. will the celica/matrix 2zzge bolt up to an elise? or the elise blocks have different mounts?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
so im working on a trade.. my 997 for a 05 elise supercharged.. car is in good shape.. clean title.. has an accident on the carfax.. but it was that 1st owner hit a curb.. and scratch the front clamshell..
also the car leaks oil after you shut it off.. only started after last oil change.. im thinking they left filter loose maybe.
that is the only reason im hesitating..
 

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There are all sorts of places these cars leak on the "front" of the motor. A common culprit is the dipstick at the block junction but there are more. I'd be more worried about the "smoke on deceleration." What is the source of the the SC? I think you should price in an engine swap. Go check out Inokinetic and MonkeyWrenchRacing ...
 

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Discussion Starter #29
vision function stage 2 .. car has a few more stuff done.. like oil line recall, the toe links..
but its a weird leak.. car was on amd not leaking when we deove around the block and shut off.. started leaking from under tray.. havent had a chance to put it on a lift.
 

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Make sure you enjoy working on your vehicle. The Lotus will break. Then you will fix it. Then it will break. Over and over. It wasn't designed to last and the engineers took a lot of shortcuts. It's really really really fun to drive when it runs though!
How can you break a car so simply made? I can't imagine more simple car with similar performance.
Even my Evora other than finicky ECU (no problems if you stick to the owner manual) is as reliable as a Camry.
 

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My advice would be to test drive one before you sell your 911.

Elise/Exiges will make your 997 feel like a boat in comparison. It will absolutely recalibrate your definition of a driver’s car. There are very few vehicles at any price that offer a driving experience as visceral and connected.

With that said, you can roadtrip a Porsche in relative comfort and the quality of materials and fit/finish is better. The creature comforts in an Elige consist of AC, which works until the engine heats up, and power windows.


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I'm the proud new owner of a 2005 Elise. I flew down to the bay area yesterday, bought it, and drove it home to Portland up 101. It took 15 hours seat time. I had never driven an Elise before.

I was shocked how good I felt when I got home. I've felt worse after driving a day in our Sprinter van than after this trip. I'm not going to say that the Elise is an easy or comfortable ride, but I can attest that after 5 hours yesterday then 10 today, I wasn't a zombie.

When I got home, I needed to move my Dad's Merc SLK 250 out of the driveway to get my new baby in. It felt like a total boat. I mean, it's hardly a sportscar, but man.
Congrats
 

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This issue must arise often, as I find myself typing this stuff a lot.

I have at least twice driven Elise from Miami to NNJ, 17 hrs & 18.5 hrs. Stopping only for gas and bladder. (Bladder and gas gauge seem to be synchronized....)

Felt completely fresh and relaxed both time. One trip, I sat down for 20 minutes in kitchen and then went out and used snowblower to clear the pavement.

Look, it's really comfy (for me) once in. I make an involuntary noise getting in, but I am old and make those noises often.
 
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