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Used 997 CS2 or Lotus Exige S w/Performance Pack



I posted this on Seloc and got some interesting answers but not enough to make a final decision.

I have a difficult decision to make and would appreciate some help.

Background info:
I am 41 years old, married, three kids (6,9, and 12). I just recently had my birthday and am experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis. So, I told my wife either it is going to be a Swedish Blonde, or it’s going to be a sports car; of course she said I couldn’t have either, but we all know she prefers the car to the girl. I was originally thinking about a Porsche 997 CS2, but I started researching and came across a Lotus. I loved the look of the Exige from the very beginning. My thinking was that I wanted something a bit unusual, totally impractical and fun to drive.

I test drove a 2008 Exige S with Performance Pack, sport, and touring, and loved it. Very intense experience driving it at night in Barcelona for the first time. Also, no one could stop looking at the car as you drove by. I explained to my wife that I had decided on the Lotus and had put down a deposit on an Aspen White with Performance Pack, Sport Pack, and special interior, and although she did not know what it was, she was not impressed. You see in Spain, only kids over 12 can ride in the front. So she says to me, “Since obviously you want to get a car, why don’t you just get the Porsche even if it is more expensive?”

We currently have Audi Q7 and a Mini Cooper S Works (Modified). The Mini would probably be the one to go, so the Lotus would be the daily driver.

So my dilemma is which one?

• Lotus Exige S Performance Pack
• 62,000 Euros
• Fun
• Exciting
• Raw
• Fast
• Can’t quite get in and out of it without pulling my leg to my body
• Live on an Island and no Lotus dealer
• Live on an Island with great roads
• Love the looks
• Not ideal with three kids
• Never tracked a car
• Might be too low to get in the garage
Or
• 2005/2006 Porsche 997 CS2
• 84,000 Euros
• Great car
• Good looks
• Not quite as exciting
• The practical thing to do
• More expensive
• Four seats so kids can join me
• Would probably fit in the garage
• There is a dealer on the island
Facelift model coming out soon, so will be looking at depreciation on current used 997 plus it looking a bit dated.

Appreciate the opinions.
 

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997, hands down

don't buy a lotus just for the attention it brings.
don't buy a lotus if you don't have a dealer and can't turn a wrench. these are not hondas. they are not without their naggy little issues.

edit: i must admit that i am not a lotus fanboi. i think the car has a purpose, but most people interested in it are doing so for (what i belive to be) the wrong reasons. hence so many lotus being sold after such a short time of ownership and so few miles. for example, look at the 2008 exige s240 that fmvc just put up for sale... with a whopping 400 miles on it.
 

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Exige. Enjoy it.

don't buy a lotus just for the attention it brings.
So, I told my wife either it is going to be a Swedish Blonde,
Best of both! :)
 

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Well, at least your kids will be 12 eventually :p


If you love the Lotus, get the Lotus, and if you can keep the Mini, that's a plus.


The Porsche is an amazing car also, but it's apples and oranges.



The Porsche is responsible, but who said buying a sports car had to be a responsible decision? :p
 

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for my 42 birthday i went with the 19 year old swedish blonde... i have been playing with that a lot more than with the lotus lately :shrug:
 

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With all the "practical sports car vs. impractical Lotus" posts on this site, I wonder how many folks bought the Lotus and were unhappy. Given the OP's situation, I would say get the Porsche. Too many negatives on the Lotus side of the equation.

BTW, this is post #997 for me, so it is a sign.
 

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How are we suppose to help you make a decision without pics of the Swedish Blonde? :D
 

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I can relate to your pending decision. I currently own a 997 CS2. I previously owned an Elise with the Forcedfed 275 turbo (therefore, the performance of my Elise was fairly comparable to an Exige S240). For daily driving, the CS2 is the car you want (for all the reasons you cited above in favor of the Porsche). I loved my Elise, but I have zero regrets about replacing it with the Porsche.

That all said, I am seriously considering purchasing an Exige for track use in 2009. Tracking the car is what it was made for. If tracking the car was a primary use of the vehicle, the Exige is what you want.
 

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997, hands down

don't buy a lotus just for the attention it brings.
don't buy a lotus if you don't have a dealer and can't turn a wrench. these are not hondas. they are not without their naggy little issues.

edit: i must admit that i am not a lotus fanboi. i think the car has a purpose, but most people interested in it are doing so for (what i belive to be) the wrong reasons. hence so many lotus being sold after such a short time of ownership and so few miles. for example, look at the 2008 exige s240 that fmvc just put up for sale... with a whopping 400 miles on it.
I think ace10 is correct. Good advice.
 

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For the Lotus

I do not have kids......only four yorkies and there is no limit of how many I can have in the front seat. I did not ask the wife for a choice I got the Lotus and the blonde........Lotus gets used more than the blonde!.......plus the Lotus does not talk back, has a sweet voice especially when it gets "mad".rotfl.....yes will have to do your own maintenance however with all the DOY videos a 3 year old could follow the instructions!.:crazyeyes......I love my lotus I have over 20K on it, it is a daily driver, yes in the begining it did have some quirks that had to be fixed but now we are burning tires and collecting tickets!........and I am doing really well on the tickets!
 

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Used 997 CS2 or Lotus Exige S w/Performance Pack


Background info:
I am 41 years old, married, three kids (6,9, and 12). I just recently had my birthday and am experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis.
I have a 2001 996 C4 and a 2006 Elise. They are both great cars, and you really won't go wrong with either the 997 or the Exige (not exactly the same as what I have, but close enough for government work). The only thing I can add is that you should really check the back seats with the kids. The 6-year old won't have a problem [in fact, he/she might like the cozy seating], but by the time my daughter was about 10, she really didn't want to sit in the back seat of the Porsche. It can be done, but the seat gets a little small when the kid gets bigger. So . . . the rear seat may or not be much of a plus on the Porsche side of the equation.
 

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Trade both cars in and buy both. Last year I purchased an 07 C2S and an 07 Exige S. They are both great cars with different hot buttons.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have always wanted the Porsche, but it now feels like the practical decision when, actually, I don't want to be practical. One of the positives is that it is a 2+2.

I don't think I would keep the Lotus more than a couple of years, and then I would probably want to get a Porsche. Where we live, there really is no traffic, roads are great (lots of curves), and no rain. The longest you can actually spend in a car is maybe an hour, if your trying to make it last.

If I were to go with my heart, it would be the Lotus and with my head, the Porsche.

I test drove the 997 last week, and it sounds great, you really do notice that torque, inside is very comfortable, responds very well, was solid; when the guy said it was time to head back, I did not feel a bit of sadness. The main thing was when I left the car, I did not look back once, whereas with the Exige, I must have looked back about 10 times before leaving. While there are various Porsches on the island, there is not one Lotus.

The other major negative, as far as the 997, is the facelift. Am I going to feel like I have an old car in a couple of months time?

Family Poll

Wife: 997
Son: Exige
Daughter 6: "Dad it only has two seats; that's not practical."
Daughter 9: "Please keep the Mini

I have actually made up my mind a hundred times, and then changed it.

Appreciate the comments, except for the "take the blonde" since that really is no longer an option. Anyway there aren't many on the island.
 

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Trade both cars in and buy both. Last year I purchased an 07 C2S and an 07 Exige S. They are both great cars with different hot buttons.
Tell me more. If you had to choose one, which would it be? How do you like the Aspen White? I have only seen Chrome Orange and Ardent Red, so am taking a risk with the White.
 

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I/we DD our Elise.

The practicality (kids aside) depends on the user. If stuff like ingress/egress bothers you, then go Porsche. If you want as raw of a car as you can find, go with the Lotus.

With all that said, you might as well buy a used Lotus, because you're going to be going with a local mechanic anyway.

I think this car is a wonderful DD, but I'm in shape and I don't mind a rough ride - in fact I enjoy it. I love the steering and the sound of hell breaking loose when I hit the second cam. I also am not that into cool $hit in a car and the Pcar will definitely have more leather and other goodies.
 

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I just went through a very similar thought process. 996 gt3 RS, 997 gt3, or exige S240:

996 gt3 rs vs exige s240:
former is faster on top end but several years old, definitely seen track time and costed twice as much as a new exige s240...

997 gt3 vs exige s240:
might be fast but 'feels' slow because so refined, relatively new such even used versions cost more than twice a new exige s240...

Porsches were more user friendly but I think with time, getting in and out of lotus's becomes second nature. The new 08's have a softer feel to the interior. Though parking garage ramps may be an issue in exige.

On the track (depending on layout) exige S should be faster 997cs2 with similar drivers. 997cs2 - sports car, exige s more like race car...

Maintenance wise, exige has got to win, after all it's toyota. In my experience, things break no matter what, when they are used in full. I'm not sure how hard you plan on pushing the car but all other variables constant, exige should be cheaper.

As far as looks go, not much to comment here, depends on your personal preference.

My dad and some of my firends said same thing, "if you are going to get something like this go the distance and get the porsche." But these are mass auto-market people, they see things from a completely different angle as compared to a traditional lotus owner.

You said "My thinking was that I wanted something a bit unusual, totally impractical and fun to drive." Depending on what supply/demand situaton in your region, depreciation should be less on the lotus and probably more "unusual"

I've driven all three cars considered and must say although the lotus is not as fast, its a lot more fun. And if fun is defined by the challenge and thrill of mastering driving techniques, then lotus definitely fits the boat over a CS2.

I have a friend who uses his exige as a daily driver. He is 6ft tall, wears a suit to work and he's adapted just fine. Your fuel costs would be lower on exige and if you hug trees, this is an important factor.

As for kids and wife, they shoudln't be allowed inside your midlife car anyways. :p Q7's are quite nice.

For me, I went with the exige, there's always time later for the porsche.
 

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Many of us in the Track section of this site are ex 996 GT2 & GT3 and Ferrari CS owners. The Lotus costs half or less to buy, and about a third for each trackday (around $750 Exige S vs 1600 GT3), but oddly the Lotus really is twice as much fun. We've all come from F & P cars to the Lotus not just because we like saving money, but because it really is the most fun you can drive to the track.

If your main use is at the track the Lotus wins big time, but if you want an everyday road car, and don't plan on going to the track much the Porsche is the way to go.
 

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How are we suppose to help you make a decision without pics of the Swedish Blonde? :D
+1

seriously tho, i would get the one that suits your needs!

the lotus is a great "drivers" car, and is very rewarding

on the other hand the 997 C2S would be almost as fun to drive but can hold all 3 of your kids if need be

i vote 997 C2S, in regards of your situation

ace10 is right, quite a few people bought their lotus for the wrong reasons, and for most it is not a great daily driver

but for me i love my lotus, ive managed to log 12K+ miles on it in 9months of ownership

let us know what you come up with :wave:
 
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