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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! My name is Roy and I'm new to the forum - first post. I'm here to learn more about Lotus. Why should I consider an Elise vs Exige? I am planning to buy an exige and have tested some car out. If you guys have any tips on what to look for that would be greatly appreciated or also don't hesitate to pm me if you are from Cali and have one for sale. I wanted one that is street legal here in CA.

I took this pic when testing one out.
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2005 Lotus Elise
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Welcome! Most go for the Elise over Exige due to availability and price. I didn't want an Exige because I daily mine and like being able to see out the rear view. The Exige looks better, but not enough more for me to spend the extra $10-15k.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I like both elise and exige. I consider exige due to that it has a little bit more power legally (due to california laws). I am currently in talks with a dealer out of state with a super low mileage-8k ‘07 exige S clean title. The thing that is holding me back is it had a reported moderate damage on carfax. I am also concerned about rust since it was driven in a rainy state. I would fly or pay a mechanic for someone to extensively check it out if anyone knows a mechanic in TX.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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What part of Texas? I'm in San Antonio, I might be able to if it's close. They have the same power, unless you're looking at a 240 or 260. Most are non supercharged, and all of those have 190hp. The base supercharged are 220 for either Elise or Exige, only the special edition Exiges got more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow! Thank you! Car is in Dallas. It’s a 07 exige S -SC. I have a vin and can pm it to you and the dealer’s name as well.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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That's 4 hours away from me unfortunately. Not gonna be able to get up there anytime soon. But regarding the carfax, that's pretty normal. A lot of these cars have minor damage that shows up on there due to the whole front being one massive piece of fiberglass. As for the rust concerns, salted roads cause rust more than being in a rainy state. Mine was in south Carolina for most of it's life and doesn't have any.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No prob! You’re the best! Yes, it’s a dealer in Dallas. I am thinking of putting a deposit since it’s a low mileage car for an ‘07. According to carfax it was in Kennesaw/Atlanta, GA for 7yrs then to Nashville afterwards. I am not that familiar with weather there.

Also, do you mean that an ‘07 exige sc would have the same hp as an elise non-sc even if they’re the same 2zz engine? Is it the tune and the compression that made it same hp?


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2005 Lotus Elise
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No, there are SC Elises that would have the same 220, and there are NA Exiges that would just have the 190. But the SC is more rare on the Elise, and I think at some point they did go SC only on the Exige but I'm not positive. For 07 there would've been the Exige that was NA, and the Exige S like you're looking at that was SC. What's the dealer?
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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For the rust concerns, make them send you underbody photos, the only rust I've ever seen on these was on the suspension and brakes. Not saying they can't have issues elsewhere, but that's all I've seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It’s RPM garage in Dallas. They have a few Elise. I am considering putting a deposit on the exige sc they just got. I just wanted it to be refundable. I don’t want to put down in something used with history of accident that I haven’t seen.

I see. Yeah it’s rare to see an SC elise I have only seen one so far for $50k out of state.


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Ok yeah. They've always got a few Lotus cars there. Looks like a fun shop to visit! Like I said, I would make them send you those underbody photos, and if those look good I wouldn't worry too much about rust.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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I just reached out to the Texas Lotus FB page to see if anyone has seen the car or can recommend a shop for PPI in the area. I'll let you know if I hear anything back.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have pictures of the car just no underbody. I will ask the dealer about it. I will reach out to the dealer to see if they could give me underbody shots and possibly a video call before putting a deposit. Thank you for asking in the tx fb channel!


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Welcome! Good luck in your search for he right car!
 
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2005 Lotus Elise; 2007 Lotus Exige S; 2012 Porsche 991S
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Hey Roy, welcome to the forum! I think your question really depends on what you intend to do with the car. I happen to have both an Elise and an Exige and although I bought the Elise first and planned to replace it with the Exige, but when it came down to it I've actually decided to keep my Elise.

My situation may be unique, but I bought my Elise (2005 model) in 2009 with only 6k miles on it. The car was perfect, practically new, when I acquired it. It still is very nice. But what I found what that more and more I was using the car for track days. And I felt "guilty" abusing such a mint car.

So I bought a wrecked Exige (see my signature) that was an insurance buy-back. I figured that since I was mostly doing track stuff, having a "less nice" (I don't want to call it a beater) would help me feel less guilty beating it up at the track. Well after 2 years of getting the Exige back together, I took it to a trackday and while it was fun and definitely faster, I also blew up the freshly installed engine.

But even before that happened, the more I reflected on it the more I felt like the Elise was the one I wanted to keep. Mainly because of sentimental reasons and a lot of really good memories in that car over 10 years. It was also my first real sports car. And when I weighed the pros and cons, I decided it was just the nicer and better car. Sure it has less power, but 190 hp feels like the right amount for a chassis like the Elise/Exige. And it's a challenge to extra the most from it. I've never felt like it was too slow, but more that I am driving it too slowly (again at the track mainly.)

Take that for what it's worth...I thought I wanted the Exige but ended up not being able to give up my first love, the Elise. Plus the rear visibility and being able to easily take the top off is fun. (Though you can solve both on an Exige too, the top can be removed and you can add a backup camera.)

Articles like the one attached also gave me newfound appreciation for the Elise, even though this article is about a S1 european Elise.
 

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The Exige just looks too damn cool... The Elise is more elegant... If I could do both, Id have both... and an Evora.. 😉
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Nice! When you pick it up, if you want to detour down south and drive through the Texas hill country before taking her home, let me know and we can probably get a group drive set up
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks! We’ll see how it goes. The car is sent to Autoscope - Plano for PPI today.


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