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I have been a member of this board for several months, doing research and ultimately trying to decide if Lotus is the right car for me. This site is hands down the best resource I have come across. But there is only so much you can do behind a keyboard. Eventually, you just have a go at it and see how the car makes you feel. I had the pleasure of doing that this weekend...

On the way up to Milwaukee for German Fest (great time BTW) I set up an appointment to stop in and see Rick over at Fox Motorcars in Chicago. He and I PM'd back and forth leading up to the trip and we made arrangements for a test ride in an Exige. So I pull up to the dealership (and when I say pull up, I really mean park in an adjacent lot because I'm driving my mother-in-laws Dodge minivan, so embarrassing...) and the place is just beautiful. Lambo's in all flavors, Porsches, Ferrari's, and of course, our beloved Lotus cars:coolnana:

Right out of the chute, my wife and daughter zero in on the Autumn Gold Elise. I am here to tell you that this car is gorgeous. The color was not at all what I expected. But, nonetheless, I was focused on the Exige... So after chatting for a few minutes, Rick takes my license and heads inside to grab a set of keys for the pretty Solar Yellow...S! :no: Now Rick knows that I am looking for a NA Exige, but this guy is really good at his job. He conveniently had all the NA's removed from the lot before my arrival:p

So, after a quick run through on the car, he takes me out to a race track conveniently disguised as a business loop. So there I am sitting in the passenger seat in a 30mph zone when all of a sudden, my eyes blur, my ears start ringing, and I feel this intense pressure in my chest:crazyeyes Once my equilibrium settles down, I realize that we are full on (speed undisclosed) heading into what would normally be a gentle left sweeper. I immediately note that there are no "oh sh!t" handles in this car!! At this point my body sees this coming and my immediate reaction is to get my butt off the seat, keep low, kiss the upper, and stick my knee out:panic: But the seats kept me firmly planted in the upright position (thank god because I wouldn't want Rick thinking I was "that guy".) Not even a hint of traction loss out of the AO48's and into the chicane and repeat on the right sweeper. Woohoo! That was fun:coolnana:

Now we switch, but not before a quick reminder about the proper entry method. So, after bending my way into the car and unfolding all 6' of me, I felt surprisingly right at home behind the wheel (just like the 1,001 threads on the subject suggest;) .) At this point, I thought of asking Rick which one of those little pedal thingy's was the clutch, but stopped just short. Didn't want to take the chance of losing the privilege :no: All settled in, we pull out of the lot at the midway point of the track (a.k.a. back road) and I look over at Rick and say "don't make fun of me if I can't get in it right away like you just did." Yeah right, what was I thinking:nanner2:

Everything just clicked with this car. Much like my Ducati's, I found it very easy to go what I call "controlled fast." From the driver's seat, I could feel every nook and cranny on the road, and never once felt like the car was TMTH. Just phenomenal feedback all around. This actually surprised me because I felt totally out of control in the passenger seat (I know...revelation) but you know what I mean;) The car was extremely responsive to my every intention, acceleration was brisk and inspirational, cornering was solid and stable, and braking was strong and precise. :bow:

Once my turn was over, Rick was so kind as to let me give my wife, mother-in-law, and daughter a quick spin. In all, we probably took up a good 2 hours of his time between looking at all the cars and the test drives. He was gracious and professional the entire time and never once did we feel like we were being rushed or overstaying our welcome. I thought that was above and beyond in my book, so a HUGE shout out to Rick and the FVMC folks for an afternoon that will end up costing me a lot of $$$ in the end :clap::bow::clap:

Here are a few more of my side notes on the Exige S:

- These cars are smaller than they seem. This is a good thing for me because I'm a very defensive driver by nature. Small is quick and nimble.

- The S supercharger is realllly nice. :coolnana: Can't even imaging how crazy the 240 must be!

- The A/C wasn't completely horrible (not great either), but even the aftermarket stereo is completely worthless with aftermarket exhaust

- Both the A/C and the stereo have the same level of effectiveness regardless of windows up or down rotfl

- When people say there is no rear vision with the Exige, they really really mean it

- I see why most people remove the sun visors

- Did I mention the supercharger was nice???:cool:

- These cars have a lot in common with modern sport bikes:nanner2:

- I can't imagine how one could possibly fit TV screens in the headrests :no:

- The seats were very comfortable. That, or driving is so much fun that you don't notice otherwise :clap:

- Note to self...thou shalt never follow a Lotus drive with a minivan drive. it's not safe and wrong on so many levels :panic:

- I can't wait to :shift: my own Exige soon!!!

Sorry for the long post. I am so excited!!!!
 

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I too saw that autum gold Elise. It's absolutely stunning. All I needed was a 10 minute test drive to convince me I needed an Elise.
 

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Pushed our Seven home again.

Well almost ready. I pushed the Seven home again. I am now 0 out of 3 :mad:for test drives around the neighborhood.
 

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hey. it was great to meet you. i am glad to hear you enjoyed your time by us. hope to see you again soon.

T.J.
 

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Now Rick knows that I am looking for a NA Exige, but this guy is really good at his job. He conveniently had all the NA's removed from the lot before my arrival:p
How many N/A 06 Exiges do they have that they had to hide? They're rarer than hens teeth!
 

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Jesse, It was my pleasure meeting you and your family! Thanks again for the "goodies" from Germanfest.........I enjoyed a few of them last night!
Glad to see your excited about the Exige S, just let me know when your ready. Thanks again, Rick.
 
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