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Sam Downey

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  1. I would love front and rear clam wheel arch vents on the 420...but I'm not about to cut up the car anytime soon! Also the rubber lip looks good and would surely protect the front splitter from grounding out on driveways etc. I wonder if the person that has bought this will join the club. You guys also. Because we will have some amazing cars for February's central run to the forgotten highway if you all do. Do either of you guys plan to track you cars? I have done trackdays and club level racing before but I have never tracked the Elise and don't intend to the Exige either, because for me they are too precious and too much money tied up in them for me to risk.
  2. Ok, well hope it arrives and looking forward to pics! I think this car is going to look awesome in the grey.
  3. Driving up on the 15th, dropping car off, staying overnight and then picking it up next day to head back down to Welly! πŸ˜‚
  4. So is that the only 430 Cup in the country? Very nice. Pics please when you can Frank! πŸ˜‚πŸ™ There will also be a little activity at Lotus Auckland on the 16th Dec when my car has it's after sales service. Cannot wait to really see what this thing is like when unleashed.
  5. Sounds like your kids have the right idea anyway! Who cares about things like comfort if you get to ride in a Lotus?! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ I cannot remember how old I was, but my first ever experience in a Lotus was in an Elan Plus 2. I'm sure there wasn't much room but it made me a fan for life! GL with the car hunt I hope it works out well.
  6. Great work Mitch and thanks for the detailed update. Do you have confidence that an "ECU update" will get the switch working for you? I would have thought it is more likely to be the other way around, and that the most recent code/update in the ECU's is stopping the switch from opening, so you would more likely need a "downgrade" or older version of the ECU code, which I wonder if any dealer would be willing or even able to do? Perhaps you will not know until September next year? But it would be good to know if those of us with newer cars are going to need to rely on the fish tank valve.
  7. I'm not actually sure? I think VTEC probably came out in the early 90's? But I think the B16A and B18C were the first two really awesome VTEC motors. Yeah I think the guys try and get out most frequently, although they might be choosing their moments more currently with covid etc.
  8. People are still judging this as if it's a factory built car for half a mil from ferrari or porsche. They've made no bones about the fact that this is a coachbuilding project, which means a new body and nice interior. The fact that they've apparently gone further with all new suspension and even a different wheelbase is very impressive, because now the car will also have to be judged on how it drives and handles too. In some colour schemes (gold leaf) the body looks nice to me, ok, not amazing. In others (JPS) it looks incredible. These photos of the interior look very unimpressive, but I'm sure they don't do it justice. Pictures of the Evora 400 or 911 GT3 interiors looked ok to me, until i sat in them and just went "wow!" So I'm confident that seeing this in person will be a whole different thing to any pictures can convey. I bet it's amazing. This car is not meant to compete with anything else, not meant to provide a better value proposition or redefine anything. It's just an old school approach to a luxury, beautiful, wonderful car for those that want something different and can afford it. That is all there is to understand.
  9. I think the US market DC2 was a little watered down, I'm not sure. I haven't watched the Savagegeese video yet but i saw it come up in my subscriptions so will soon. Redline was at 8,000rpm and I'm not sure, sometimes It seemed like the cut out was 8,600 but other times it would rev right up to 9,000 it seemed. I loved the B18CR engine. Not as powerful or torquey as a K series, but sounded way better imho, and more characterful in it's responses. My favourite engine of any car I've owned. I bet a F20C is even better though but is it the F22C1 in an AP2? subtle differences I've read so I'm sure it's still a very special thing. And I bet the flat plane crank mustang motor is wonderful! Such a strange idea for a muscle car, but I bet it is fantastic. There is sadly not really any Wellington based activity in the club, but they do do an annual central meet that pulls in people from all over which is great. We would have been doing that this weekend except for covid, so they've postponed until end of Feb next year I think.
  10. Good questions! And we are free to chat in the Exige section also, I think Bibs just pointed us here because me and Jason started going off topic about Giltraps. I find the ride quality of the 420 utterly amazing on standard factory settings. I've read reviews saying that the Bilsteins in the 390 are more comfortable on the road, which I now find hard to believe because the ride in this car is the best I have ever felt. You feel everything, but nothing (like, nothing!) crashes and nothing is jarring. I'm very fussy and have gone through 3 lots of suspension setups for my Elise (factory supplied sport suspension, softer, base 111R suspension and Penske non adjustables) and its good, but I was never completely satisfied with it. I assumed that I'd be tempted to soften the Exige suspension before even driving away in it, but now I daren't touch it because I cannot imagine it being better resolved. I guess ride/handling can be subjective to an extent, but to me it is possibly the most impressive aspect of the car. It's fantastic. I was worried about the extinguisher switch also, but it is no problem. You have a priming switch tucked away between the seats that is impossible to accidentally trigger. You can unplug it anyway if you want. So from new you need to plug the priming switch in, activate the priming switch and then finally press the button on the dash. So it is not even primed when you're just driving around on the road. So it's never going to get triggered by a naughty child's exploratory fingers.... Lol. The kill switches i assume would just work immediately, so potentially dangerous on the road, but not harmful to the car in anyway (the ECU will lose it's AFR learnings like when you disconnect the battery in a modern car). A good lesson for young-uns to learn about the seriousness of cars and driving though I had my DC2R for 11 years in the end. Only ever being a weekend fun and/or track car it had the lowest mileage of any around when I sold it and was in better condition than any others around at the time also. Luckily I already had my dream car (The Elise) in the garage next to it when I sold it, which softened the blow. Likewise now, I haven't sold the Elise, as I just couldn't part with it. I will make a decision on that in the future when I get used to the Exige. I'm not very good at selling cars! I felt exactly the same as you about getting an Exige. I dreamed about it when they announced they were ceasing production of the current range at the beginning of the year but didn't think it was realistic. Then the Emira was announced and as great as it looks, I realised that this is the end for these stripped out, lighter than anything else comparable, raw, handbuilt Lotus's. It felt like a now or never type situation. Based on your car history, and what you're saying, I think you are going to really love the Exige. The NZ club is based in Auckland also, so they are very active and go for regular runs etc. Consider looking us up if you into that I bet the engine in the GT350 is something else also... Remember to post pics in the Exige section when you've got it! I think it will look awesome in the grey.
  11. Yeah I have no experience with peelable paint either sorry. I think they said my ppf was SunTek? I don't recall. I got various info about the different brands and products and ended up deciding that the installer was probably more important than the specific product as long as it was one of the big brands. I also have kill switch + extinguisher, black rims, and floor mat. It gives the car a very hardcore serious feel. When I was playing fantasy configurations on the configurator before I was serious about getting a FE, I specc'd no carpets, only floor mats, blanking plate for the stereo and no sound deadening anyway. But the difference is that with the kill switches, you either need to remove those or do something different to add a stereo. I will eventually look at one of those hidden classic car bluetooth systems instead. If you've read any of my other posts then you'll know that I've only been able to tease myself with the noise over 4,500rpm, but my initial verdict is that I've never heard a factory car like it. Obviously Italian V8s or 12's are something special but this is the angriest V6 I've ever you might find you don't care about a stereo, who knows! You are a true enthusiast! With varied tastes too! A Mustang GT350?! Wow, The modern one or a classic Shelby? Either way something very very special! The AP2 is one of those cars that was always loved within its community, but more and more are realising how special they were now that there will never be anything like it again. Prior to my Elise (which I still have sitting next to the Exige) my first love was a JDM DC2R. I swore I would never sell it and wouldn't have if not to make way for the Elise....I've also had a lovely Evo 9 and an early Boxster. I've never driven a GT3 (or any 911 sadly) But I would imagine that your ideas about the differences will be pretty much spot on. On a track especially the 992 would pull away from the 420 I think, because of the ultimate grip and rigidity and top end. Modern sports cars have become so competent, so good, that they perform amazingly. The Exige won't be the fastest, compared to current GT Porsche's, or Ferrari's, Lambo's McLaren's, but on the road especially (and also on the track) I think it is likely that it might be the most raw, exciting, old school driving experience around at almost any price. And the way cars are going that is a very very nice thing So haven't been able to test drive an Exige Frank? (I also bought blind, although I was coming from the Elise so had a vague idea of what to expect). I was surprised when I drive the Exige home. Some things were as expected, some different, to my old 2006 Elise.
  12. That place seems to spec some interesting cars. I saw they had an ad for a Nightfall blue/Monaco white V6 Exige at one point, like my beloved Elise Sports Racer. I've never seen another Exige like it. That is my favourite colour combo on and Elise S2, but as nice as it was I'm not sure it really suited the Exige.
  13. Hi Frank! Welcome to the forum! I think the majority of Club Lotus NZ activity happens on facebook, except for the odd hold out such as myself! Congrats on the 420! I haven't seen any of the other cars Chris has, as when I was in contact with him there was only my white one, and the black 390. He mentioned a couple of others he'd managed to get hold of and a Green 430 I think? Were you able to spec your build or got what was available? Can you share any other details? Yes, Chris put me in touch with Rob at Protect Autopaint who do a lot of work for Giltrap apparently. I had the whole car done. It looks like they did everything except where there was already factory ppf (which i didn't realise was a thing) because you can tell the difference. Protect's stuff fits great (mostly) and the factory stuff is just slapped on and doesn't reach the edge of the panels.... Only issues are on very awkward shaped panels the odd sort of pinched bubble, which is like a minor eyesore, which i could get sorted if i wanted to re do it but I don't think i'm that fussy. Also they said they'd do the black pack stuff in a satin film but it has not been done so is uncovered. I have no idea how that stuff will wear but again, i could take it to the local protect guys in Wellington for another opinion if I wanted to. DM me for further details if you like. Have you owned Lotus's before? What car are you coming from? What made you look at an Exige FE?
  14. well, no err, good news? πŸ˜‚ The car is currently sitting in the garage on trickle charge doing nothing. It has sufficient kms on the clock that if I could drive to Akl it would be ready for its run in service. I can't do that until the boundary is lifted (although thanks for the offer of meeting at the border Lol). I'm being patient until the end of the month when we will get some news i think. At worst they'll have to think about opening Akl for Xmas surely? So I've still only cruised around in the car like a taxi cab. Going for a proper drive and seeing what it's really like is still to come. It's a strange situation, but will be worth the wait I'm sure. On a more nerdy note, I'm really looking forward to being able to drive it back to back with the Elise to feel what the differences are too. So I think it's gonna be quiet for a few more weeks yet unfortunately.
  15. Thank you Jason, (if serious). I have another contact offering to do that also if needed. The situation can't last forever, so patience will see me through. It is a strange feeling though (I've never run in a car before). 630kms in and I don't yet know just how fast the thing is when you put your foot down! πŸ˜‚Something to look forward to anyway.
  16. Yes AiM original unit would be better with lots more features. Doubt anyone has bothered to replace the factory version with one yet, but don't see why it wouldn't work if you wanted to. AFAIK The factory version offers no benefit over the AiM one at all. But it comes with the car so, cool, i guess?
  17. It is a 'lite' version. No GPS. I think it is the same hardware, so presumably could be upgraded with add on modules like the gps, but i have no idea if this is possible or offered by Lotus, haven't heard anything about that.
  18. No, unfortunately i have to be patient, because with the Akl boundary in effect I cannot get the car back to Giltraps to service, nor can they send guys out down the Wgtn. It might be a possibility for them to nominate someone else to do it, but that would not be my first choice. So I'm just cruising around at half throttle not revving higher than 4k(ish) revs adding kms currently. 630kms and counting...
  19. sssh! Keep that to yourself otherwise everyone will want their exhaust valve's to be the same! Haha! There are threads on it around here that show how simple it is, probably a hose loose in the engine bay. Edit: This was the post I was thinking of:
  20. Congrats Matt! Looks great! I think that is great news Inversed. Yes, your admirable patience will be tested further, but it is a virtue so they say, and you will now get the perfect spec that you wanted, when originally you were told 'no' to the black transom from memory? It will all be worth it when you hop in and drive away for the first time
  21. Sorry Jason, I forgot to reply to this. The run in period is 1,000kms. The refinement aspect is all relative obviously. Against any other new car it would seem crude and basic. No iPad on the dashboard, no heated seats, multizone climate control etc etc....But I would bet that it will feel refined and comfortable and capable next to the Turbo, purely because of that car's age. So just to tease you (haha!) I managed to get it on a very windy and well surfaced little road around a local inlet and the traffic was flowing very well, the sun was shining, and I was able to tease it in second gear (still not putting my foot down though) but it was enough to get the exhaust to open a few times and it was ...very special. I suspect that using this car as intended is going to be something else...
  22. Interesting. It does sound like Inversed's guess is probably correct. Certain old parts (not really sure what though, surely the ECU coding on all FE's is the same?) on some cars mean you might be able to use a switch, but on other cars not. I would like a switch a guess, but certainly not that bothered. I also like the Jekyll and Hyde nature of it. Sound wise the effect is like a vtec turned up to 11.5!
  23. So.... Short version, is the car is amazing. There are limited things I can compare it to though. Long version: I've squeezed the accelerator down a little and let the revs go slightly above 4,500rpm and the thing absolutely howls! It is the most crazy, ferocious sounding thing I've ever been in. I've just done that for a split second at a time. I can't wait to experience it foot flat and all the way to the red line. It is much more immediately responsive to throttle than my Elise so, so far it feels like it's in another league in terms of grunt (It should do I think). But I haven't gone WOT so I don't know its true performance yet. I'm being a good boy with the running in But the more I have put my foot down, the more it seems like it might not be a huge difference in straight line grunt, but we'll have to wait and see. The Elise is around 277bhp/tonne with me and half a tank of fuel on board, the Exige should be around 357bhp/tonne, so it should be a big difference. It's great, but a little nerve wracking driving around in a brand new car and it obviously gets a lot of attention. The thing i didn't expect is that it is so much easier and more relaxing to drive than the Elise at normal traffic speeds. It's quieter, rides better, steers with slightly less effort and has air con! πŸ˜‚ I imagine driving long distances would be nowhere near as wearing. It's much better built than my '06 Elise also, which is nice, if not that important. It's just a lovely thing. But, something I have noticed is that the steering isn't as feelsome as my Elise. And the seat of pants feel, at first I thought it was perfect, I'd describe it as "you feel everything, but nothing bangs, crashes, or unsettles it" but now I think it is like the steering: Superb, but not quite as the same level of feedback as the Elise, which is a little disappointing but I'm hoping that it will come alive more when I can push it, or by tweaking the suspension, or the geo. I currently have no idea what the factory settings are supposed to be (i don't see them in the owners manual anywhere) or how close it is to them. I need to get it run in and then open it up and lean on it in some corners to see what it's really like, but driving home I thought "The Elise is going to be sold...." but now I'm not so sure. It possible that it doesn't match the Elise for feel and feedback, and if that is the case it's going to be very, very hard to part with the Elise. Maybe I'll end up keeping both after all... πŸ˜‚
  24. I picked it up today. It's soooo hard being good and not pressing the throttle hard or going over 4,000 revs. But at the same time, it's just amazing. It lacks carpet or sound deadening, yet its quieter and more comfortable than my 111R on Penske coilovers. The gearshift is nicely precise, but surprisingly light. The steering is lighter than my Elise (I'm convinced the steering on the Elise is somehow heavier than it should be). It's easier and nicer to drive all around and the ride is just amazing. Finally, there is the "magic carpet" Lotus ride I've read about and experienced in others cars! I've never driven a V6 Exige before, and it's better than I imagined it would be. It doesn't really feel bigger than the Elise, more like a super stable and ever so slightly swollen Elise. And the engine is giving the impression that when I do get to push my foot down harder it's going to be mega. Only one day in so far, but definitely don't regret buying a final edition so far
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