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Exige S2 Test Drive Review by 40of50

Much to my delight I got to test drive the 111r and the New S2 Exige back to back today (Saturday)

Having had an S1 on LSS with racespeed bits on it, and then a factory S2 I was most eager to get to the bottom of what this new engine is like.

I'm no motoring journo and but despite the fact that I really dont like the electric windows and air conditioning poofery that you can get in both these cars, I'll start off by saying I was impressed. In fact more than impressed.


The 111r has been reviewed on here to death by people better at it than me. BUT at the rish of sounding like one of those gits who quotes everyone else, plus the obvious, it really is rather exciting. In fact, I'll say it now. It IS the BEST ELISE YET....... except for the 135R of course. And thats bloody marginal, if you like the 135R and you like the K series engine.

Sorry if you have a new 111s. But this toyota lump really does sew the thing up nicely. THIS is what many elise owners have been waiting for. That change of engine note at 6200 and this astonishing kick that the yota lump delivers really is fun. I found myself, especially in the Exige, siting at 6200 rpm, waiting to do stuff like overtake people and be generaly lazy.

 

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NOW.... the good one. The S2 Exige . This is the most wonderful driving experience I have had to date. If may not be the fastest or most expensive car Ive driven. But be-jesus it really is WONDERFULLY involving.

I drove to bluewater shopping, then home, not stopping smiling. Still can. Slightly depressed really cos I think I'm about to part with a sh1t load of cash.



The 111r S2 Exige gap.
In summary, as far as I can tell, the 111r is going to appeal to a wider market, the Exige is just ...well... im smitten. The handling is beautiful. It is as composed as the 111r but has a much nicer turn in and less cusiony forgiving nature. Obviously due tot he wider fronts.

My partiicular concern was the understeer. The 111r understeer was as always very S2, stuck the thing into a roundabout (albeit in the wet) and it understeered much sooner than any threat of the back goin. Good. Thats what is should do for the market its aimed at.



The front end of the Exige however just stayed on track and kept digging in, for much longer before understeer started. and then it was minimal. It reminded me of driving my S1 on LSS. It was, for me, just right. Just a little too hard for daily use, although its very well behaved in traffic and doesnt require wringing out to get it to do things

 

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OK, the hard top may well come off. In fact i'd bet my life on it. The salesman wouldnt really talk too much about that, but I have a feeling (very strong) that it somes off, and the vent doesnt feed the engine. But I may be wrong.


Stuff I liked................

I love it, basically. The front grilles are replaced with a mesh like tigga was doing, and in my view it REALLY works well.


And something else I hadnt noticed was the air scoops on the side also have a mesh covering

Releasing the engine cover is done using a lever and it comes all the way up, nicely, and holds there. It then closes lovely too without having to be dropped.

Theres a boot too.

I couldnt hang about taking pictures for too long as the North Kent Lotus Owners Club were there, queueing up to go in it.

I expect they love it.


So I've got my options list and am looking at the performace pack which is basically a harness bar, 4 point harnesses and twin oil coolers, plus a load of alcantara what not.

I cant see th epoint of a touring pack on this car

Now, where can I get 34K from.
 

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Another pic of an Exige in Black....

 

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sounds like the Fed Elise with the Sport Pack could be a perfect medium. The wider fronts clearly seem to make a big difference.
 

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I agree that the US Elise with LSS might just do the trick. Though it would be perfect with the sport seats, 4point restraint system (why not 6?) and alcantera. Yes, I still want my alcantera!

Scot
 

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scot said:
4point restraint system (why not 6?)
4-point with push-botton release mechanism (eg. SCHROTH ASM FE-II belt) is road-legal, 6-point is not.

Bye, Arno.
 

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Can somebody confirm for me --

The upgraded front tire situation is simply a different aspect-ratio tire, right? Is the wheel still the same, or is it also slightly wider? I really don't like the thought of the Elise understeering heavily in an effort to "dumb-down" the handling...

Thanks... :)
 

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Goose said:
Can somebody confirm for me --

The upgraded front tire situation is simply a different aspect-ratio tire, right? Is the wheel still the same, or is it also slightly wider? I really don't like the thought of the Elise understeering heavily in an effort to "dumb-down" the handling...

Thanks... :)
the Sports Pack wheels are wider in the front
 

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Derek said:
I think for most oversteer is more dreaded than understeer.
i've never understood why people would rather plow through a corner (and potentially off a cliff or into a tree) rather than spin in it.
 

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ChrisB said:
Ah yes, that dreaded understeer problem...
Oversteer is dreaded on the street when you're a passenger, understeer is dreaded on the track when you're the driver.

Jeff
 

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ChrisB said:
Ah yes, that dreaded understeer problem...
Call me an idiot (its been done before), but isn't the car exhibiting oversteer, with the driver trying to counter-steer????
 

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LET IT SPIN!!!

I've piloted several "steered with the accelerator" rides. I think it was a brilliant bit that the lotus test driver offered on that video piece of the new Elise. The mouthy fellow from "Top-Gear" was owned when he yelped of the understeer that came "in buckets". The test driver simply did what "drivers do" and corrected the understeer. Had the "top-gear wanna be driver" soiling his trousers through a bit of drift........ ala oversteer. He even querried, "How come I couldn't do that?". I'll be out practicing as soon as the run in is complete, in the local parking lots, as the dew dries. Don't we want the Elise because we can leaaaaarn to drive it, not because it is suppose to drive itself?
 

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ivan1 said:
Call me an idiot (its been done before), but isn't the car exhibiting oversteer, with the driver trying to counter-steer????
Of course. Chris was being ironic.
 
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