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Discussion Starter #1
Alright guys, I need some opinions.

I bought a low mileage 2008 Lotus Exige S240 about two weeks ago.

I am used to fast cars (straight line performance) and I live in central Illinois (read: flat straight roads) so this tends to be the most useful type of performance around here.

At the time, I was looking at 2008 Dodge Vipers or Lotus Exige S240's. I ended up buying the Lotus due to the looks and uniqueness of the car. Being that there are so few around, I didn't get a chance to test drive one before I purchased it.

Here is what I have discovered:

Lotus Exige S240 Positives:
- Very Unique (gets tons of stares and comments).
- Best looking car on the road (minus the "IT'S SO TINY" comments)
- Super fun to drive around town and in corners.
- Sounds Awesome.
- Capable of HDPE's out of the box without major modifications.

Negatives in performance:
- Shifter. very imprecise/sloppy.
- Very average highway performance and straight line acceleration. I like to be able to drop the hammer and disappear (no matter what speed I'm moving).

Negatives in practicality:
- I am 6'3" (but fairly thin), so getting in/out is somewhat awkward but liveable.
- Can't wear wide shoes while driving because I can't get to the gas pedal without hitting the brake(my dress shoes for work). Plus I'm so tall that I can't put the shoes on/off while in the car. So, I have to take the shoes off to get in the car and vice versa.
- I live in Illinois where the roads are absolute crap. Going over potholes, cracks, etc. feels like the car is going to fall apart.

All goes to say, I was having second thoughts, so I decided to test drive a 2008 Dodge Viper last Saturday. I really enjoyed the car. Scary acceleration, great brakes, decent handling, and decent looking car. Also, they are slightly more practical/comfortable than the Lotus.

If the Lotus were the ultimate in performance, I could live with the quirks and impracticalities, but the power is just leaving me dissatisfied in stock form.

My question is: How big of a difference does 50 to 60 bhp make in these cars?

I raced a Ford SVT Lightning the other day and barely kept up with him (not a good feeling).

If i were to do a 3.0" pulley swap and KF tune would it be enough to make this car feel like a beast at 290 bhp? I don't mind doing simple mods to make this car more fun (headers/decat/shifter mods/ oil pan/ intercooler).

If I keep this car, I will end up building the engine and trans eventually for big power, but having just bought the car, I don't want to open up a $15k can of worms in the next couple of years. So for now, I would bump it up to 300 bhp and hope nothing breaks and I don't drop 3rd gear for awhile.

The other option would be to sell the Lotus and buy a 2008 Viper.

Please feel free to give me any advice. This decision is keeping me up at night :crazyeyes
 

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There are a ton of threads on this (maybe not specifically comparing to the vipers V10 mind you but it's there).

The power change is quite noticeable - consider hp/weight ratios. Adding that much power to a Viper - sure not a huge difference (though noticeable) - adding it to a ~2k lb car - you will feel it.

Give it a shot and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There are a ton of threads on this (maybe not specifically comparing to the vipers V10 mind you but it's there).

The power change is quite noticeable - consider hp/weight ratios. Adding that much power to a Viper - sure not a huge difference (though noticeable) - adding it to a ~2k lb car - you will feel it.

Give it a shot and see what happens.
Thanks for the reply.

The problem is, the car has less than 3k miles on it and is under warranty for another year. If I keep the car and start modding, I'm in for the long haul.

If I sell it, it has to be now, where I can still get the money back out that I put in.

I did do some quick calculations while considering all this:

Power to weight ratios:

Viper: approx 3400 pounds. 600 bhp. PWR: 5.66
Lotus: approx 2000 pounds. 240 bhp. PWR: 8.33
Modified Lotus: approx 2000 pounds. 300 bhp. PWR: 6.66
 

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- Shifter. very imprecise/sloppy.

My question is: How big of a difference does 50 to 60 bhp make in these cars?
The shifter can be upgraded rather easily with the S111 re-enforcer mod.

As for power, if you spend enough money, you can end up like this:

http://worldtuningfans.com/2012/03/tuned-lotus-elise-the-ultimate-giant-killer/

However, in stock form, these cars are built for the racetrack, not straight line speed. If you want to street race, you bought the wrong car. If you live in central Illinois, take your Lotus to the Autobahn County Club or Putnam Park and see what they were designed to do.
 

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Alright guys, I need some opinions.

I bought a low mileage 2008 Lotus Exige S240 about two weeks ago.

I am used to fast cars (straight line performance) and I live in central Illinois (read: flat straight roads) so this tends to be the most useful type of performance around here.

At the time, I was looking at 2008 Dodge Vipers or Lotus Exige S240's. I ended up buying the Lotus due to the looks and uniqueness of the car. Being that there are so few around, I didn't get a chance to test drive one before I purchased it.

Here is what I have discovered:

Lotus Exige S240 Positives:
- Very Unique (gets tons of stares and comments).
- Best looking car on the road (minus the "IT'S SO TINY" comments)
- Super fun to drive around town and in corners.
- Sounds Awesome.
- Capable of HDPE's out of the box without major modifications.

Negatives in performance:
- Shifter. very imprecise/sloppy.
- Very average highway performance and straight line acceleration. I like to be able to drop the hammer and disappear (no matter what speed I'm moving).

Negatives in practicality:
- I am 6'3" (but fairly thin), so getting in/out is somewhat awkward but liveable.
- Can't wear wide shoes while driving because I can't get to the gas pedal without hitting the brake(my dress shoes for work). Plus I'm so tall that I can't put the shoes on/off while in the car. So, I have to take the shoes off to get in the car and vice versa.
- I live in Illinois where the roads are absolute crap. Going over potholes, cracks, etc. feels like the car is going to fall apart.

All goes to say, I was having second thoughts, so I decided to test drive a 2008 Dodge Viper last Saturday. I really enjoyed the car. Scary acceleration, great brakes, decent handling, and decent looking car. Also, they are slightly more practical/comfortable than the Lotus.

If the Lotus were the ultimate in performance, I could live with the quirks and impracticalities, but the power is just leaving me dissatisfied in stock form.

My question is: How big of a difference does 50 to 60 bhp make in these cars?

I raced a Ford SVT Lightning the other day and barely kept up with him (not a good feeling).

If i were to do a 3.0" pulley swap and KF tune would it be enough to make this car feel like a beast at 290 bhp? I don't mind doing simple mods to make this car more fun (headers/decat/shifter mods/ oil pan/ intercooler).

If I keep this car, I will end up building the engine and trans eventually for big power, but having just bought the car, I don't want to open up a $15k can of worms in the next couple of years. So for now, I would bump it up to 300 bhp and hope nothing breaks and I don't drop 3rd gear for awhile.

The other option would be to sell the Lotus and buy a 2008 Viper.

Please feel free to give me any advice. This decision is keeping me up at night :crazyeyes
I've never driven a Viper (driven a SRT-10 RAM but that thing was a boat), but I've driven/raced a friend's I/H/E cammed C6 Z06 a few times, which I would assume is relatively similar in performance to a stock Viper.

I believe I have right under 300 whp on my car (highest I am willing to go on factory transmission), and quite a bit of torque for a 4 cylinder (don't remember exact numbers...maybe 245ish to the wheels? I'd have to dig up the dyno), and I can tell you this:

My car runs pretty close to my friend's Z06 up until 80 or so and then he starts pulling me pretty hard. In fact, I'm fairly sure there are quite a few mid-sized family sedans out now that would pull on my car at high speeds. Our little cars just aren't very aerodynamic and they don't have enough power to really get going at high speeds, even when modded.

There are a ton of options to get your car up to around 300bhp, and with that these cars are pretty peppy up to 60 or so. Beyond that, you are really fighting a losing battle.
 

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I raced a Ford SVT Lightning the other day and barely kept up with him (not a good feeling).

If i were to do a 3.0" pulley swap and KF tune would it be enough to make this car feel like a beast at 290 bhp? I don't mind doing simple mods to make this car more fun (headers/decat/shifter mods/ oil pan/ intercooler).
You seem motivated by straight line performance. I am not judging you, but I think A viper or a vette would be a better option for you.

a 290 hp elige will not be a "beast" on the highway.
 

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My two cents.

I have a base model Elise (190 HP). I rented a 2003 Viper ( ? 500 HP).

Although the Viper was quicker, I was happy getting back into my Elise the next day. I like the nimble feeling and the appearance of the car.

If horsepower is what you are after then I'd say to get the Viper.
 

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You seem motivated by straight line performance. I am not judging you, but I think A viper or a vette would be a better option for you.

a 290 hp elige will not be a "beast" on the highway.
I 2nd that. You already sound like you will be happier with the Viper.
 

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Sell the Lotus, get the tire burner. You live in a State of right angles.

-Rob
 

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+above. Why spend all kind of time and effort (and resale value) turning the car into something it isn't (especially coming into mod city with reservations)? Compared to a Viper I think you'd end up wanting more than 50-60 HP. Easier to swap for Viper IMO.

And on that note, if you do the swap join the viper club! VCA Illinois is pretty active.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice guys!

You confirmed my thoughts. I actually cleaned the Exige last night to sell and as I went over each beautiful panel and piece of the car I started to panic about my decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would never trade an exige for a viper.
I have been told the same by many of my friends, but I have to do what I know will make me happy, and I think I'm making the right choice.

I looked at other options:

C6 Z06 - 2 of my car friends drive them
996 Turbo- 1 of my good car friends drives one

Those were really my only other options at this price point other than the Viper, which none of my friends have. I don't like to have the same car as everyone on the block.
 

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I have been told the same by many of my friends, but I have to do what I know will make me happy, and I think I'm making the right choice.

I looked at other options:

C6 Z06 - 2 of my car friends drive them
996 Turbo- 1 of my good car friends drives one

Those were really my only other options at this price point other than the Viper, which none of my friends have. I don't like to have the same car as everyone on the block.
Have you considered a Noble or Rossion? What about a used GTR?
 

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I own a Viper and have driven both. They're amazing in their own right, for very, very different reasons. I love my Viper for being so 'MERICAN! and rediculous and exciting, but the Lotus handling is an adreanaline rush all in itself.

All cars will have their +'s and -'s, you'll likely have to do little things like shifter/whatever probably to any car you'd buy, so don't let that influence your decision.

What do you want?
Drag: Viper
Autox: Lotus
Road Racing: Depends on the track. Both will be fast.
Daily driver: well... Viper will ride smoother and is easier to get in/out of. For your location (which is similar to SE WI BTW, all straight roads!) I'd say Viper. Well, I'd more than say Viper, I'd buy one, because I did.
What it feels like in the drivers seat: Only you can pick a winner here!




Here's a fun experiment... Go on the Viperclub.org forums and ask the same question. Get the story from both sides!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Have you considered a Noble or Rossion? What about a used GTR?
Looked at GTR's, I hate the fact that they are automatic, not to mention pigs, and I really wanted a 2 seater. I've heard driving a GTR is like driving a robot. Plus, automatic kinda takes the fun out of performance driving.

I did look at Nobles and Rossions. The Noble is too kit car looking for me personally. I hate the alcantera interiors.

As far as the Rossions, they are out of the price range I want to spend.
 

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Cool, you will enjoy the Viper if mostly street driving is your thing :) The Lotus is a pretty crappy street car. It's noisy, rattly, slow (no torque), and tiny.

Some of my fondest memories are from the first time I took my old Elise out on a track. The cars shine there like nothing else. I've driven my buddies Viper on a tight track and was honestly scary... the weird feeling steering, (lack of) brakes, and the immense power made is very hard to handle.

Anyway, different strokes. I would gladly add a Viper to the garage if I had the space and the means to do so :D
 

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I own a Viper and have driven both. They're amazing in their own right, for very, very different reasons. I love my Viper for being so 'MERICAN! and rediculous and exciting, but the Lotus handling is an adreanaline rush all in itself.

All cars will have their +'s and -'s, you'll likely have to do little things like shifter/whatever probably to any car you'd buy, so don't let that influence your decision.

What do you want?
Drag: Viper
Autox: Lotus
Road Racing: Depends on the track. Both will be fast.
Daily driver: well... Viper will ride smoother and is easier to get in/out of. For your location (which is similar to SE WI BTW, all straight roads!) I'd say Viper. Well, I'd more than say Viper, I'd buy one, because I did.
What it feels like in the drivers seat: Only you can pick a winner here!




Here's a fun experiment... Go on the Viperclub.org forums and ask the same question. Get the story from both sides!
I dont think there is a road race track any iteration of the elise will out run a gen 4 viper. Of course 90% of road racing comes down to driver.
Also I dont think any of my vipers, gen 3 and 4 rode any smoother than my LSS Elise. My gen 2 viper rides a bit smoother than my elise though.
2 very different cars indeed!
 

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Looked at GTR's, I hate the fact that they are automatic, not to mention pigs, and I really wanted a 2 seater. I've heard driving a GTR is like driving a robot. Plus, automatic kinda takes the fun out of performance driving.

I did look at Nobles and Rossions. The Noble is too kit car looking for me personally. I hate the alcantera interiors.

As far as the Rossions, they are out of the price range I want to spend.
You have to drive cars for yourself and not rely on what you have heard. If you actually drove a GTR i think "pig" would be the last thing that would come to mind. I understand not wanting to drive an automatic, same reason i wouldnt buy a ferrari 360 with paddle shifters.
Ive owned a noble and it is truly a great car but if it doesnt appeal to you then thats that.
I love vipers myself and it is a fairly rare car. Heck i see more elises than vipers on the road. So if exclusivity matters, both the viper and the elise have that.
You could keep the car you bought and enjoy it for a few years and then buy something else. Who says you cant enjoy more than 1 kind of car? Just a thought.
Plus if you held onto the car you bought for a few years you may be able to get into a gen 5 viper.
Let us know what ya do and above all, have fun!!!

BTW...A gen 4 with a viper ECU and headers is considerably faster than a similarly modded zo6. My gen 4 was scary fast, and beyond my capabilities at a track. Conversely my elise was more manageable at the track because of my skill level. Not that im a track rat, just sayin.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
 

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I had a gen 3 viper, it was much faster than any stock lotus I have ever driven, but it just was not as fun. Plus everybody thought it was a Corvette, that got old real fast.
 
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