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On the brink of a 350 and need some advice - V6 Exige Chat - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


On the brink of a 350 and need some advice


SpeedMatters

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Hi all.  

As the title suggests I'm looking at an Exige 350, three of them in fact, and wanted someone more experienced to cast an eye over the deals and answer some questions before I take a plunge.  I should say that I'm awaiting test drives which are possible although a lot of stars have to align at the moment, as you'd expect.  I've done plenty of research going on for a few months but I may well have missed or forgotten some thing so excuse anything dumb :)

Option 1:  New Exige 350.  Has pretty much every option I want other than cruise control (easy retrofit, I believe) and is factory fresh and ready.  Think it was built in 2019 if that matters at all.  This is the most expensive option but has a considerable discount.  Not sure if it's the done thing to talk about exact deals so enlighten me and I'll give a rough idea.  We'll call this the base for the money though as the next two options are cheaper.

Option 2:  '66 Exige 350.  All the options I'd want bar some different trim to the new one and is sat at a very reputable dealer.  The price it's up for would mean a £5k less deposit than the new one but basically the same cost on PCP.  Mileage is under 10k and from the photos at least it looks in excellent condition.  Downsides are only 1 years warranty and the colour isn't my first choice.  PPF treatment on the car too which I'm lead to believe 'could' be a life saver in future value and general peace of mind.

Option 3.  '16 Exige 350.  Identical to the one in option 2 but 2.5k cheaper.  All the options I'd want but the same issue with a single year warranty.  ~6 months older car.

So no bad options really but I'm in need of advice to help decide and owners who've been through this before are always the best source of information.  For the used ones I'm fairly sure I can get money off the sticker price or negotiate something such as a soft top which I'll want anyway but again I've never bought a used Lotus so don't know what to negotiate on without appearing to be a chancer rather than someone who wants a mutually beneficial deal to take the car home.

Dumb questions:

  • I'm sure I read about a spate of early clutch issues on the 16+ cars.  Of course anything would be covered under warranty on all the cars above but was there a recall to resolve something specific or is it just a bit of bad luck meeting good customer service?
  • Was there any iterative improvements to overall quality or general build from 16 to 19 I should be aware of?
  • Are there any issues that 'should' have been solved over the 4 years on the two used models I should be quizzing the dealerships about?

Thanks for reading :)

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Tough one to answer fully as a new car to some is very special, you’re the first to sit in it and run the car in. It’s yours and you know exactly what has and hasn’t been done. I bought my 350 new and have zero regrets as I also got a nice discount meaning depreciation wasn’t that bad at all when I sold it. 
 

the best financial sense will be a well cared for used model. I don’t know how much the £5k difference means to you as that depends on people’s earnings - to some it’s a lot Of money and to others it’s not even going to cover half of one months outgoings.

i had a 2017 350 and had the clutch replaced under warranty. Make sure if it’s had the replacement then the newer part was fitted and not the same clutch. I’d personally be a bit wary of very low mileage cars that are a few years old as they won’t have uncovered the issues. My clutch went at 8k miles to give you an idea.

most dealers will offer warranty extensions and they aren’t horribly expensive. Outside of the clutch, I did 12k miles, 8 track days and the car never missed a beat so if they are looked after, it shouldn’t give you any issues.

like any car manufacturer build quality got better year on year but to be fair I’ve not sat in a bad v6 exige so it’s nothing to be seriously considered. They shouldn’t rattle or squeak and if they do that’s normally a sign of the dealer being a bit crap rather than the car being a bad one.

main thing is get a print off of the ecu so you can see any over revs, any launches the car has done and how it was run in over the first 1000 miles. Outside of that look for the usual stuff - servicing/brakes/tyres etc.
 

good luck, these cars are just awesome.

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Personally I would take a different look at the question

Instead of a new 350, for mid to high £60k's you're in the used 410 market, which I would feel more comfortable justifying.

If you're looking at a used 350 there are some cracking deals around for mid £40ks to low £50k which are hard to beat for the value. following on from that I would avoid early 350s now as they are getting old and for not much more you get a much newer car, possibly even a face lift model. 

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The trouble is no one pays list. 

my 350 had virtually every option and was £63k list Back in 2017. I paid £55k as it was unregistered dealer stock. 

I would imagine in the current climate the OP has an equally great deal given the difference between brand new and a 66 plate is only £5k.

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I saw one at B&C, a blue 350 with a good spec on it.  I've been in there a few times and they've always had a good reputation.  I'd love a 410 but then we're into project creep territory :)  For reference the OTR price for the new 350 is extremely low 60s so excluding the road tax etc it's late 50s

Edited by SpeedMatters
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this is an interesting topic as im in a similar ish situation.....

They way im working this is to first of all figure out what is the most i can afford....Im my case its around 60-70k and for that money I think I would rather buy a used 410/cup 380 knowing that the car won't suffer much depreciation...

The major drawback to this is that its obviously not a new car (ive never bought a new car in my life) and there is a certain amount of risk when buying used...I would mitigate this as best as i can by only buying from a trusted source (whether private or dealer) with some kind of robust warranty...Id want to avoid ex press cars and cars that have lived on the track all of which are things that can be found out.

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  • Gold FFM

Buy the best car you can afford and compromise on spec where you have to. Through upgrade, upgrade the car to the spec you want and end up up with your dream drive for a fraction of the price.

Just look at what owners on here, including @GFWilliams; @MAG; @alias23 and many others have done to their cars for inspiration. They are all highly individual cars but bloody well done and all look superb. Find the way that works best for you! and good luck with the journey @SpeedMatters. Being the first and breaking the ground can be exciting, but then, dabbling with a bit of experience can open up some wonderful experiences too! ;)

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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I have some ECU data from one of the cars.  If someone has experience in knowing what's good/bad in the data I'm all ears.  It's easy to understand but I don't know what would be considered fine or not.  What I do know is that during its 4 year life it did spend a total of 7 sends pulling 1.2G :)  DM me if you can help and I'll share the file.

And thanks for the advice so far :)

 

Edited by SpeedMatters
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14 minutes ago, SpeedMatters said:

I did see that one but not being from a Lotus dealer I didn't look much further.  Great colour though :)

 

It was supplied new by Bell and Colville, had one owner who did 800 miles in it and was sold to its second owner last year. It’s done 200 miles since then. Still under warranty from Lotus - pretty risk free if you ask me 🤷‍♂️

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14 hours ago, Bandit said:

It was supplied new by Bell and Colville, had one owner who did 800 miles in it and was sold to its second owner last year. It’s done 200 miles since then. Still under warranty from Lotus - pretty risk free if you ask me 🤷‍♂️

Interesting :) 

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Their advert says it was an ex-demo.  Chatting to them now and it's due a service which they'll do, probably at B&C so I may get them to look over the car as well to give it the thumbs up.  Does look nice and the spec is spot on too, aside from the lightweight battery but I'd ask for that to be swapped out as part of the service.  They seem like good people too which helps.  Waiting for the ECU data and may go see it and one at B&C at some point.

In other news I've got a test drive booked more locally on Wednesday.

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Looking a little closer it's got an aftermarket tow hook and that needed the grill adapting/cutting.  To say it's got that and hasn't been tracked/raced... not so sure.  Need to see if that can be removed and the grill is intact or can be replaced and if the ECU data backs up the claims.  Not really interested in a short hard life sort of car and an ex-demo.  Seems a bit Roy Batty :) 

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57 minutes ago, SpeedMatters said:

Looking a little closer it's got an aftermarket tow hook and that needed the grill adapting/cutting.  To say it's got that and hasn't been tracked/raced... not so sure.  Need to see if that can be removed and the grill is intact or can be replaced and if the ECU data backs up the claims.  Not really interested in a short hard life sort of car and an ex-demo.  Seems a bit Roy Batty :) 

I've been looking at this car as well. As I understand it the previous owner was going to use it as a track car, but never used it on the track. I guess the ECU data should confirm this. It looks in fantastic condition though.

I was told that in this brave new world we now live in you can't take it for a test drive which should make buying new cars interesting!!!

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Don’t stress if the car has been tracked if everything else stacks up. Provided it had its running in service before any hard driving then it will be fine.

all cars before the new front  clam shell required a cut to fit the tow hook, my old 350 had it done and pretty much everyone I know also did it. It’s normal and done by dealers. 

my old 350 had perfect data but went on track 8 times. It was meticulously looked after and always warmed up/down correctly. I could have easily lied when I sold it and the new owner would have been none the wiser. Assume all cars have seen track life - buy on condition and data/servicing. 
 

these cars don’t die on track, they come alive and due to their weight they also don’t eat consumables. Very special cars.

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Thanks guys, all makes sense and the advice here is very refreshing. Should have a good idea which car works best after the test drive on Wednesday. This won’t be any of the cars on the list for various good reasons but at the very least I’ll know if the Exige is right for me. 

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Look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

don’t be surprised if the rational approach you have had to date goes out the window completely after the drive. These cars have a way of bewitching you and the want will cloud any sensible thoughts you may have - you’ll want one and as quickly as possible! 

I hadn’t planned on sticking with lotus (before my first test drive) it was a journey through cars I was on and I wanted to try a lotus but I loved my 350 so much I now have a 430 and that won’t ever be sold. 

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Morning. 

In a similar position, looking at a used Exige 350 purchase start of next year but concerned about the 350 clutch issue.

Likely purchased from an approved dealer but want to ensure the clutch issues has been fixed /  replaced.

Just because someone said it has , how do I know ? get it in writing from the dealer ?

Car wont be tracked , looking at vehicles < 10k miles.

Thanks for any advice.

Scott

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