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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Russ T:

"Sorry if the following offends, but I have just had a lengthy test drive, over all types of road, of the new Exige/Elise Coupe/Whatever and apart from one gripe, I think it is bloody brilliant!

The gripe first - the brake pedal, whilst having good feel and retardation, goes down far too much before biting. This hampers your ability to heel & toe, although it is possible if you are prepared to suffer a bent ankle. I would bleed the brakes to see if this particular car has a problem, coz the pedal was on the carpet when being stood on properly. If that fails,I would put braided hoses on and change the fluid and pads to see if it could be remedied. Even so, I would still buy the car, it is that chuckable.

The first thing you notice is the total lack of torque before the cams change, (against the Honda, it is poor in this respect) but recalibrate your brain to change down a gear, and it flies. On some serious twisties, getting air and then changing direction, all over crappy surfaces and bumps, this car gives total confidence that it will hang on. The suspension soaks it up and remains very competent even when being asked some serious questions - I would say better than a Nitron equipped Exige 1. It slides out of slow corners and your granny could catch it - even with yumps throwing the rear tyres off the ground. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat when we got back to LRV - we tried MWay, Duel carriageways and the twisties, and it is good in all areas, but unbeatable on the twisties. Given the same driver, I would say the suspension set up would give the Mk 2 the edge on a fast road, but on track the Mk1 would be faster due to the brake feel and weight. (standard cars)
If it was a straight choice, the Mk 1 gets it for looks, weight and aggression. However, if you are a girlie hairdresser who wants air con along with excellent back road ability to use everyday, or to go to Le Mans in relative comfort, it fits the bill perfectly.

Oh, and the gearbox is spot on as well. "
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