The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody, my name is Anthony. I say I'm semi-new because I just joined today, but I've been reading these forums for a few months now. I've wanted an Elise ever since I played with an S1 on Gran Turismo II... however long ago that was. Junior high, maybe high school?

In November 2007 I came extremely close to buying a salvaged title one for $23k. The bank printed up all the paperwork for a loan, but then backed out at the last second. It was a big upset at the time, but I'm really happy it didn't happen now for 2 reasons. One, it was an eBay car that was supposedly in great shape, just had rear clam damage, but I really didn't know the condition of the chassis. And two, the guy had done a custom paint job that I thought was pretty ugly.

After that disappointment, I stopped checking eBay religiously as I had been for 6 months or so. A few months later the itch came back though, and after a little more thought and research I stopped wanting an Elise and started dreaming of an Exige S. One thing led to another, and I scheduled a test drive for a used '07 S in Atlanta while I was in town for what I thought was going to be the NOPI Nationals. I told the salesman I'd be there at 10am, but I ended up getting there around 1pm or so. By that time, they had assumed I wasn't coming and rented the car out.

I already knew I wasn't going to buy one, so I asked if there was a similar used one I could drive. I was expecting them to be a little hesitant about handing the keys of a $45k car to some haggard looking kid from Mississippi, but he nonchalantly said, "nah, you can just drive this one," and tossed me the keys to a brand new S 240. Needless to say, I wasn't upset about that, and started trembling with excitement.

Unbeknownst to me, my friend shot a short clip of me pulling out of the parking spot with his little point and shoot camera. It's not very interesting, but I'm happy he did it so that I have something to better remember it by:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Like I said, I've been wanting one for years, and I was pretty sure I was going to like it. I would've had no problem buying one without ever sitting in one, but since it was convenient, I thought I'd give it a test drive just to make sure. In the back of my mind I was actually hoping to be disappointed so I could just let it go and save some money.

After finally getting a first hand experience with an S 240, here is my review:

I'm 6'2", so it was pretty interesting getting into it, but not unbearable. It's really loud inside, which makes it hard to talk to the passenger in a normal voice. It has no sort of interior comforts or luxuries. There is almost no space between the driver and the passenger, so it's instantly a bit intimate once you're both in. The combination of the small steering wheel and the lack of power steering make it difficult to turn at parking lot speeds. The car sits pretty low to the ground, so you've got to constantly be mindful of bumps and hills. Side to side visibility is extremely limited to the point of forcing you to use the mirrors most of the time, and the mirrors don't do a good job of covering your surroundings. Rear visibility is nonexistent. The shifter felt sloppy and kind of cheap. Overhead visibility is also limited so that you have to stop far from red lights if you don't want to be resting your chin on the steering wheel to see the green one. As if it weren't already loud enough at daily cruising speeds, the supercharger makes it even louder at higher RPMs. So if you're trying to listen to your girlfriend talk about her friends' problems, you can just forget about it. We got out to look into the engine bay, and while opening the lid, I noticed it felt like a light flimsy piece of nothing. And to top it all off, the one I drove was an extra-feminine hot freaking pink.

So to sum it up, the car was absolutely amazing. I went around a sharp turn in a small neighborhood high in 4th gear. I don't know how fast I was going, but if I had been in the same position in my daily driver, it would've been a barrel roll fest. The Lotus was just like, "oh? Are you trying to take this corner with spirit? I didn't even notice. Hmm hmm hmm..." I felt sick that I didn't have $73k to drop on it right then, and I had no more interest in going to NOPI at all. I just wanted to spend the rest of the day making the supercharger scream like a jet around every corner in Georgia.

I could actually afford a decent used '07 S right now, but I'm trying to be responsible and buy some land and a house first. Since I drove a 240, I'm really tempted to wait until I can afford one, but the only thing I really like about them over the '07 S is the cup roof. I'll be honest, I just like the way it looks. I know it's got traction control, but I completely forgot about that feature when I was test driving, not that I could've made use of it on public streets anyway.

From what I've seen, this seems to be a really good forum. I haven't seen a whole lot of senseless flaming, and most people seem to be supportive. Thanks to this forum, I've actually got a small list of things I already want to buy for my imaginary Exige:

LETSLA shifter linkage
Multivex mirrors
Backup camera
Extra set of wheels with street tires

And once I've had it for a while or my warranty runs out (whichever comes first) probably a Gotham tune.

I'm really hoping to get one next year, but... we'll have to see how the house thing goes.

112 Posts
Welcome to the forum Anthony. I am also from Mississippi and just so happen to have a 2006 Exige that I am looking to sell. Let me know if you are intersted or are ever up near Starkville and we can go for a drive.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.