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Sam Downey

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Posts posted by Sam Downey

  1. That is a very nice looking car! I'm sure the Emira will be just as nice, but starting to feel sceptical that it will be meaningfully better to drive with the same drivetrain. I think it will (hopefully) score on more modern infotainment tech, build quality and (purely subjectively and not really to my eyes,) looks. None of which mean anything much in terms of driving pleasure and capability, which is really what these cars are about. There is also the charm of knowing an Evora/Elise/Exige is much more hand built.

    So congrats! imho you have one of the best sports cars ever made as far as handling and feel and driver feedback are concerned, (aka driving fun! - the sometimes forgotten reason for even having a sports car in the first place!) and is right up there with the best in terms of noise and performance too. Can't do much better ;)

  2. Ok got out on the weekend, so an update from me on my rev limit issue.

    Turns out there is no 'issue'. Contrary to what the owners manual states (rev limit 6,800rpm in all modes) it does hit the limit at about 6,600rpm in tour mode, but revs out to 6,800rpm in sport mode (and I didn't try it, but surely race and off also).

    Interesting, and easily missed as it's only 200rpm, but not unwelcome I guess.

    Thanks to Paul_D and Inversed for their info. 👍

  3. Yes maybe it's a first world problem, but still relevant. Can't be helped now I guess. Hoping this weather settings down so you get some nice Autumn driving days in the new machine!

    I'm just trying to get some activity going so we can enjoy the cars more. I'm a little sceptical that we'll get much attendance to runs etc, but we have to start somewhere! :)


  4. On 20/03/2022 at 21:12, Paul_D said:

    I can’t help directly, but do have a couple of thoughts which might help narrow down the issue. 

    Which Final Edition have you got? (390/420/430?)

    I am making an assumption here that the rev limits on all three models are the same as my 410, so this may not be correct and I’m about to type a load of rubbish.

    On my car, the rev limit in normal (tour) mode is 6600rpm. That would tie up with what you’re seeing when you hit the limiter. 

    If I select sport or race mode, the rev limit increases to 7000rpm. 

    Do you see any physical change in rev limit when you select sport or race mode? 

    If there is no difference, I wonder if the problem is actually related to the modes not working correctly, rather than the rev counter being inaccurate?

    I assume that the dash shows that you are in Sport or Race mode when you press those buttons?

    The other thing you could do to confirm that the rev counter is accurate is connect a basic OBD reader which shows live data. You can cross check the rpm value on the OBD reader with the value on the AIM dash. 


    Thanks for that info Paul.

    I'm in a 420FE.

    I thought the different rev limits in different modes was a thing of the past, perhaps in 410's or whatever. The owners manual states that for 390FE/420FE the rev limit is 6,800rpm for all modes. For the 350 Sport, it is 6,400 (tour), and 7,000 (sport, race and off).

    When I tested last i was in tour mode, because the previous test I confirmed that there was no difference between tour and sport. But @Inversed is experiencing different behaviour to me (thanks for the info mate) so now i will do another test, in all modes, to make sure I'm being accurate in what I'm saying. I will check next time I'm out and report back!

  5. My rev counter only gets to around 6,500-6,600rpm before the engine hits the limiter. It should rev to 6,800rpm according to the manual (even though the red line is at 7,000rpm!).

    Has anyone else noticed this?

    Strangely, the shift lights seem accurate, in that they are all on and flashing when it hits the limiter. But I'm only pulling 6,500rpm at this point.

    It makes no difference if I'm in tour/sport/race/off mode.

  6. On 17/02/2022 at 09:33, Exigo said:

    Sorry I missed you Sam.  I assume you're heading back today?

    Sorry Jason, I picked up the car and came down with the guys for the New Plymouth run. It was a great weekend.


    What news of your car?

    On 18/02/2022 at 23:30, lueysgarage said:

    Everyone is on the New Plymouth trip now, saw Sam's car driving past the Newmarket Viaduct this morning purely by coincidence. I was driving in the opposite direction in my daily heading to work. Awesome looking Exige!

    Enjoy the club trip

    Thanks Luan! It was a great trip!

    Same to you, has your car landed yet? They can't be far away?!

  7. Oh excellent! That's good to know.

    Yeah i saw an email about that event, would have been cool I'm sure. Lovely Elan M100 (and a 60's one maybe also in yellow? cannot tell) a modern Europa! That's rare. Plus I see some of the usual suspects there also! Awesome.

    I'm hitting the road tomorrow morning and will drop my car off at McLaren's on Tuesday morning.

    Looking forward to catching up with the team and meeting some new people also, next weekend.

  8. Mine has supposedly no sound deadening and only floor mats and it's more refined and quiet than my '06 111R that has sound deadening and carpet. You are right though, not even having a simple cheap stereo is weird. I miss my tunes so need to get on to a stealth stereo of some sort.

    I thought the 390 came with P4S anyway?

    I haven't got a sliplo, but I've grounded the front spoiler twice already, luckily not badly and the ppf took the brunt of it. But it's a good idea and I think Jason got one ready for his car.

  9. @lueysgarage Awesome! It's funny, I'm very happy with the spec of my car but every time I hear about someone else's I'm still envious! I don't think there was a bad colour option on the FEs so you really can't go wrong. I also think that bold colours work best for this car. When I was daydreaming about speccing one back in March 2021 (when it wasn't a realistic proposition) my dream spec was a 390 in Flat Red, stereo blanking plate, floor mats but no carpets or sound deadening and that was it. I ended up with something quite different but I'm very happy. I've never been a carbon fibre fetishist previously but this car might have converted me. It does look gorgeous.

    If you're thinking of modifying in the future the 390 is definitely the best starting point. It has the important hardware (as in the chargecooler) so you could tickle it up to around 475hp with little effort and then change suspension and styling to suit. If you wanted much more than that (more than 430bhp/tonne?! Lol) then it starts getting more serious no matter what your starting point I think.

    I also completely agree with your sentiments and justification for purchase as that was exactly the same for me. As great as the Emira looks once it was shown I realised that if I was going to buy another "dream car" it had to be an Exige FE so was now or never if I wanted a new one.

    So you are currently without a Lotus? Are you coming on the Forgotten Highway trip though? Could bring the GTA maybe! :)

    @Exigo When you say "you're not sure you can wait that long" you don't mean you're thinking of cancelling the order do you? And thanks for keeping an eye out for things on facebook for me :)

    I'd definitely be keen for the little button for the exhaust but bare a couple of things in mind guys: 

    1. Lotus Auckland service looked into it for me and said they couldn't fit it without it impacting the warranty and therefore they simply can't do it. So I'll buy the button as I think it's only around $60 anyway but I'll simply be hanging on to it until the warranty is out in case parts supply dries up for certain things. I won't be messing with it for the time being.

    2. There is no guarantee the button will work unless you test this first, which I haven't done. Your car may lack the required wiring in the steering column or the ECU might not be compatible either. It sounds like it is pot luck on which cars it works for and which it doesn't. 

    I'd also be keen on the little rubber grommets and roof spars for a soft top conversion. They don't cost much but the soft top itself is around $3k or something and also on backorder anyway plus i can't afford that right now anyway (and already have my Elise soft top). I haven't asked Lotus Auckland if they'd do this yet and if there are warranty implications. Other dealers around the world are doing it but that is no guarantee on what terms or restrictions our local guys might be bound to.   

  10. Hi Luan!

    Yeah I think this forum is an amazing resource. I'd love to see more of the CLNZ crew use the forum from time to time.

    So you are the guy that had the white Exige with blue stripes? I saw your youtube video and see your car in the CLNZ calendar. That looked a fantastic car.

    So what is the spec of your 390?

    Have you driven an S3 Exige before? It is a special thing.

    It sounds like yours and Jason's must be some of the final cars to be finished. That's pretty cool.

  11. Ok I know what it's like waiting (and also making it worse for yourself with gps tracking the ship. Have you done that yet?! 😂) from when I imported my Elise. So hoping it gets here as soon as possible for you Jason.


    Bit of a personal rant for my own entertainment and Elise vs Exige thoughts: 

    Today I took the Elise out for the first time since I got the Exige (about 3.5 months ago...oops) I have been a little worried because there are things I thought the Exige doesn't do as well, but after today I think I have it figured out 😂but the bad news (for my bank balance) is that I won't be selling my Elise.

    The Elise has better steering feedback. My Elise's steering is heavier than any other Elise I've tried, and it's constantly wriggling and feeding back information from the road. It's only slightly lighter than the Exige but the amount of information coming through the rim is unlike anything else I've ever driven.

    I also thought the Exige had a more comfortable ride, but now I've jumped back in the Elise I think it is marginally softer (like a really subtle difference). But the Exige feels more solid. No squeaks or rattles, so it feels like it makes less of a fuss over bumps etc, but the big difference is that it also smothers the road with those big fat tyres (relatively speaking) and it gets down the road with less fuss and drama. You can still feel the road surface, but there is like a layer of numbness you need to get through first. The Elise... is like a go kart, or a mini race car. It is ever so slightly more absorbent of bumps probably, but you feel everything. It dances down the road and it's constantly talking to you; little bump here, crack in the surface there, imperfection in the road surface there... so if you want to just cruise along it is tiring. But if you want a sports car that communicates everything so you know exactly what it going on at the contact patches at all times, then it is incredible. Because of all this you also get more of an impression of speed in the Elise. It feels smaller and more vulnerable on the road too. Driving it like the Exige, it feels a little flat, put your foot down at 3,500 revs and it picks up speed instead of blasting you down the road like the Exige does. But the Exige doesn't rev out to 8,600rpm... Select the right gear, get 4,500 or even 5,000rpm plus on the dial and put your foot down and it pulls very strongly. It's not like the Exige, but it is still comfortably faster than any normal traffic and because the car is such a live wire, you really have to think about putting your foot down in 2nd gear. It has traction control (that loves to allow a good amount of slip) but no ESC. The Exige is more capable and planted, but the Elise is more intense and alive feeling.

    The Exige is lovelier: It's newer, all that carbon fibre, the exposed gear shift (even if I prefer the feel of the Elise's tighter, more precise shift) the interior (Lol seriously) the mini supercar looks, the torque of the motor, and the step up in performance. It is way nicer on a long run too. And I'm sure it still has miles better steering and chassis feedback than any other car on the road except for a well setup Elise (or S2 Exige or 2 eleven).

    So I love the Exige too, it is also is a 'never to be repeated' type of car, but they both excel at slightly different things, both do certain things better than the other, so I've decided I have to keep both 😂

    What a ridiculous, privileged and fortunate position to be in. But it feels really good to have made the decision.


    • Like 1
  12. It looks great, but appears to have around 2inches of ground clearance at the front, less that the 72 F1 car....and it's not even the long front splitter version.

    Checked the website: "A hydraulic front lift system is optional, designed to raise the Type 62-2’s nose over speed bumps and uneven roads." - Not really "optional" if you intend to get it out of your driveway I'd suggest.

    But it does look nice.

  13. On 20/01/2022 at 21:29, Bibs said:

    @Sam Downey, if you hover over the 'more' a sub menu will appear in the bar below that menu bar with a few options there for you :)

    That said, you have a wider screen so 'forum extas' is 2 items to the left. Again, hover over that and a sub menu will appear below.

    Thanks Bibs. "more" is definitely a dead link for me in multiple browsers, nothing comes up hovering over it, but i can get to the guidelines via forum extras anyway so no problem.

    Many thanks guys!

  14. On 26/01/2022 at 14:59, Exigo said:

    So apparently my car will leave UK 31 Jan so looking like mid-March.  Seems the spec has changed too, no fire extinguisher, but added stereo and full sound deadening.  Had kinda got used to the idea of the fire extinguisher.  Will be interesting to see what actually arrives!

    Ok that's life. Tbh the extinguisher adds no value on the road and is quite a nuisance for passengers, it takes up a significant amount leg room so it's quite impractical. For me it really is only the "cool points" of having the kill switches Lol. Because I'm immature!!! ..and I do miss a stereo! The one you get might be cheap but who cares it works. Sometimes when you're just cruising it is nice to play the "outrun" soundtrack or something hahahahah!

    Sound deadening I really wouldn't bother with, because my car doesn't have it (apparently, but who knows? I wonder how you tell? maybe my car does actually have it?!) because it is already better for NVH than my old Elise that does have deadening.... But again it makes the car more liveable and it's hardcore credentials are still intact. It's probably a minor thing either way I imagine.

    You still have the coolest colour combo of the three of us (sorry Frank!) so it's gonna be fantastic no matter what.

    I'm loving my car, just waiting on insurance to sort the windscreen now. Shouldn't be far away.

    I've been meaning to get in touch with you two, (so here is a tag @phrankeee too) because the club are in the final stages of organising the Forgotten Highway Run over the dates 18/02/22 to 21/02/22. It's a real shame you're car hasn't arrived in time Jason, but not sure if you have something else you could bring if you were keen?

    Frank: Your car will be serviced and ready to go...Would be great to see you there but no pressure and we're all busy and this one is a bit of a time commitment too.

    But if either of you are keen go to and there is a membership page. $55 p.a. but well worth it for the community and runs you get to go on which really add to the enjoyment of running these cars. Then probably contact Rich Miles who is organising the run, by the looks of it via facebook, but if you're not a facebooker (like me) DM or txt me and I can put you in touch with him just to confirm and lock your places in.

    I'm thinking of driving my car back up to the Republic of AKL to get the windscreen done (and a oil change for fun) the day or two before the run and then come down with the rest of the guys. It will be epic!

    • Like 1
  15. @ramjet Apologies for the last reply, and many thanks for your help. The "more" button appears to be a dead link to me? My mouse cursor changes when hovering over it to indicate a link, but i click and nothing happens. All the other options on that menu work fine.

    I tried in Firefox and Edge, and in IE it isn't there at all it has "contact Us" in it's place. See attached, three browsers layered top to bottom: IE, Edge, FF.

    Not sure If the problem is my end or what, but I've bookmarked the guidelines page now anyway thanks to you giving me the direct page link in your post. :)

    Many thanks


  16. In my opinion, its a sports car.

    Seeing as there is no official definition of a supercar, or a hypercar (AFAIK?) or a superduperhypermegaturboplusmaxextra car, I would tend to think of a supercar as something more impractical, most likely with a large dollop of unusable performance and top speed, a big and/or very powerful engine making (these days) probably over 700bhp and loud noises and wild looks.

    The Exige arguably makes the loud noises, but so does a Honda with a straight through exhaust.

    I wouldn't really think of a Ferrari F8 as a supercar either though. It's too common-or-garden.

    What about some other examples?


    V12 Lambos

    F40, F50, Enzo, La Ferrari

    McLaren 720s etc (but an F8 isn't?! wtf?!)





    Not supercars:

    911s (except a GT1)

    Baby Ferraris including F8

    Baby McLarens 540,570

    Baby Lambos

    Front engined Ferrari's (oooh!)

    Aston Martins (Vulcan could be, but does it count if it's not road legal? I guess it does, so that's a supercar).

    Lotus Exige 😂👍



    The 720s gets away with it because of it's outrageous performance, quicker even than a 488 Pista or F8, and it's looks. To the non car enthusiast masses, they would be able to pick the F8 as "Oh, that's a Ferrari!" But the 720s could easily be mistaken for a UFO from outer space.

  17. But this is a coach built car. The top trumps numbers are pretty much irrelevant for what they're trying to do. If you are very rich, like the looks and basic concept then you can spend a lot of money in having something tailored to your own desires. All it needs to be a success is enough people like that putting deposits down and there is certainly more than enough people like that in the world today. What is the state of the order book?

    It's almost certainly not going to be hailed as the new McLaren F1, Carrera GT, F40, F50, or whatever. If it is, it will be purely by accident and not intention.

    • Like 1
  18. Congrats Frank!

    Sounds like you're enjoying the car more. I hope they get that replacement extinguisher quickly for you but with the time of year etc, let's just cross our fingers for you!

    I fully trust Daire but considering everyone else is getting oil changes it certainly wouldn't hurt and will give piece of mind. If it's true that they don't in fact have any kind of run in oil, and the Toyota units will be bench run in anyway then it does seem logical that there is no oil change needed. But i'll do it when the car goes back.

    Do you mean >1000kms but not yet had the run in service? I just go by the owners manual which says something like you can go full throttle and higher revs but don't use "full vehicle performance" Lol. I think that means you can open it out (in fact it will be good for it at that point) but just don't do it constantly or go tracking it or anything. Heat is probably the thing, the odd put your foot down moment = good, driving it like you stole it = bad.

    Much thanks Frank! Sam to you and yours! Have a great Holiday and hope we all get to meet up soon!

  19. Interesting. It looks like it would help. I already scraped it again on the way home into Ken's drive at KW Historics! It seems fine most of the time and areas and speed bumps that I'm familiar with, but it's always the places you're not used to that put it at risk. Thankfully it is all invisible under there anyway.

    • Like 1
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