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Buying advice for my first lotus


SCMTBCOACH

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Hi all

After a frustrating month trying to sell my current car I have taken a deposit and should be sold by Wednesday fingers crossed!

Happy days as i will cash in hand to buy my first lotus. I nearly bought and S1 Elise years ago for ........wait for it 7K! But went down the Caterham/ Westfield route instead which i loved but just so impractical for what i use the car for (i need to be able to leave it in a car park for 5 hours whilst i run up a mountain and not worry it's gonna get nicked for example!)

Anyway a few years on now with a 4 year old in my life the more practical Evora seems to be the one to go for. I am at the bottom of the market price range and realistically pushing the boundaries of what i can afford so looking for a car that doesn't have many big bills in the immediate future of the price reflects that is does. Price seem to be variable and it is hard to say how much more they will go down? But life is too short to wait eh! (anybody thoughts on what prices are going to do over the next few years appreciated)

I have looked at a few and thought i had found the one with the perfect spec for me but on driving it I found the clutch super heavy and gear change not great. The car has done under 50k so my question is can this be adjusted/ improved or it is realistically going to be a 3k clutch change (this would put it out of my budget) I have read loads of threads about clutches but it would be good to hear experiences of people changing theirs and if it gets alot better or not. Also is it worth changing to the newer cables or aftermarket cables and how much extra cost/ time does it add to the job?

Second thing for me is noise. the first car had an uprated exhaust and CAI and sounded amazing! Then i drove a standard car at the low end of the market but disappointed by the noise so looking at cheap options to make the sound nicer. Does anybody have experience of just changing out the 3rd cat for the 2ubular decat pipe? It is only £170 i think so if it makes a noticeable difference i would get this and then a BOE CAI kit (any experience/ options on this much appreciated also)

There are a couple of other cars that look good in the middle of these two but both bright colours and i don't know if i want that much attention!? (maybe if I can get the price to where I want it!?)

People advice much appreciated and if anybody is thinking of selling give me a message always good to have more options!

Many thanks

Cheers Paul

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Hi Paul, I'm a recent Evora owner too. There's quite a bit of variability between cars when it comes to gearchange / clutch weight so I'd recommend trying to test drive as many as possible so you can just what's bad/good/normal. None of the pre-400 gear changes are amazing but it shouldn't be bad. 

Messing with the cables is a pretty big job, so if you're budget strapped I'd walk away from a car that doesn't shift well. As for the clutch, they're all pretty heavy but it depends what you're used to. If you're used to a modern runabout, yes it'll feel very different. If you're used to older sports cars, then it's very much in the ballpark. My Evora clutch is much lighter than the one on my DeLorean!

I'm also interested in improving the sound on mine - haven't done so yet though so can't comment on that :)

Post links here of cars you're looking at by the way!

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My NA has a heavy clutch, original factory fit, 66,000 miles. The S clutch is much lighter. I am told if I change the clutch in the NA, it will be lighter. So I assume if you buy a car with a later clutch fitted, it will be better but I have no direct experience of this (yet).

Most cars have the MY12 upgraded gear-linkage/cables. The change is a bit clunky around town but when you press on, it is wonderful. I love the slightly mechanical nature of the change when in traffic, it adds character. Some NA cars have a long box, others a closer ratio. Most early cars were long, most (if not all) cars 2011 onward are close. Only you can decide which you prefer, as opinion is divided. 

None of my business but I would be cautious about buying Evora on a tight budget. They are very reliable and I am sure can be owned without significant expenditure. However, what is significant expenditure (on a 10 year old+ car)? Some would say more than £1,000 pa. Others would argue that a low volume, rare sportscar is bound to cost more to run than a mass produced sports car. Discs and pads are not cheap on Evora - but not in my view expensive for the unique product I am driving. I would recommend you look at parts prices before you buy, just so you go in fully aware. Lotus do fixed price servicing at the moment - check that also.

Depreciation - the Evora set to double in value over the next 2 years is the carbon grey NA with cocobolo leather trim. The rest I don't care about. 😉

Good luck and I hope you are in an Evora soon.

Justin

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Hi Paul, Most NA came from the factory with a good gear change but sadly not all of them. My NA was great and as far I know was still on its original cables.and truth be known the gear change was as good as my new 410sport. When it comes to removing the 3rd cat it only makes a slight improvement noise wise. A good option is to look out for the optional sports that some owners had fitted from new, they do come up for sale ebay occasionally. Fitted one to my NA and it was a massive improvement also fitted a plack exhaust which was very load, you can also find them on eBay occasionally or have one made up and would not be to expensive.

511D212D-BD72-471E-A166-39317D48095A.jpeg

3A7899A0-6AC2-451A-95B4-CA92FECFE63E.jpeg

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10 hours ago, jerzybondov said:

Hi Paul, I'm a recent Evora owner too. There's quite a bit of variability between cars when it comes to gearchange / clutch weight so I'd recommend trying to test drive as many as possible so you can just what's bad/good/normal. None of the pre-400 gear changes are amazing but it shouldn't be bad. 

Messing with the cables is a pretty big job, so if you're budget strapped I'd walk away from a car that doesn't shift well. As for the clutch, they're all pretty heavy but it depends what you're used to. If you're used to a modern runabout, yes it'll feel very different. If you're used to older sports cars, then it's very much in the ballpark. My Evora clutch is much lighter than the one on my DeLorean!

I'm also interested in improving the sound on mine - haven't done so yet though so can't comment on that :)

Post links here of cars you're looking at by the way!

Many thanks for the reply. I am currently in a modern performance car with a light ish clutch (amazing really for a 400 bhp car!) but have had lot so cars with heavy clutch's and that is one thing that puts me off a little as it bring back bad memories of being stuck in traffic in a supercharged MX5 with a racing clutch! ha ha! so yes i think i will hold out for one that has it recently done or just got lucky when it was done at the factory. That being said a IPS has popped up close to me and seems very cheap for an S from a dealer but it seems that IPS versions are cheaper in general (this is one for 24k right now online!) I had discounted them as i am not really an auto man (never had one in my life) but it would bypass the clutch issue and i hear the new software updates makes them better? Any opinions on this much appreciated! I am after an Evora for the ride handling and balance so maybe being auto won't be so bad?! 

Cheers Paul     

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7 hours ago, jep said:

My NA has a heavy clutch, original factory fit, 66,000 miles. The S clutch is much lighter. I am told if I change the clutch in the NA, it will be lighter. So I assume if you buy a car with a later clutch fitted, it will be better but I have no direct experience of this (yet).

Most cars have the MY12 upgraded gear-linkage/cables. The change is a bit clunky around town but when you press on, it is wonderful. I love the slightly mechanical nature of the change when in traffic, it adds character. Some NA cars have a long box, others a closer ratio. Most early cars were long, most (if not all) cars 2011 onward are close. Only you can decide which you prefer, as opinion is divided. 

None of my business but I would be cautious about buying Evora on a tight budget. They are very reliable and I am sure can be owned without significant expenditure. However, what is significant expenditure (on a 10 year old+ car)? Some would say more than £1,000 pa. Others would argue that a low volume, rare sportscar is bound to cost more to run than a mass produced sports car. Discs and pads are not cheap on Evora - but not in my view expensive for the unique product I am driving. I would recommend you look at parts prices before you buy, just so you go in fully aware. Lotus do fixed price servicing at the moment - check that also.

Depreciation - the Evora set to double in value over the next 2 years is the carbon grey NA with cocobolo leather trim. The rest I don't care about. 😉

Good luck and I hope you are in an Evora soon.

Justin

If i could run an Evora for 1k PA i would be chuffed! coming from a performance BMW so used to the potential for big bills around the corner! Probably more chance of a BMW motor lurching it's self than the Toyota lump so that is one less worry! Trying to be tight on my purchase budget so i can pay in cash and not have a loan/ finance. it is so tempting to just keep clicking on the next page to see the next cars up in price and end up 10k above what i want to spend! ha ha 

I have been looking at parts prices and it seems as long as i stay away from Lotus main dealer i should be ok. I have a friend who runs a garage so he will fit parts i can buy online (seriously lotus have much cheaper disks and pads for example...assume they are of good quality)and i have a local specialist who has a great reputation for the harder jobs so fingers crossed should be ok. 

be great if prices started rising straight after i buy one! ha ha! 

Looking at Elise prices though surely it is only a matter of time before Evora prices settle and then potentially rise?     

Cheers Paul 

5 hours ago, scotty435 said:

Hi Paul, Most NA came from the factory with a good gear change but sadly not all of them. My NA was great and as far I know was still on its original cables.and truth be known the gear change was as good as my new 410sport. When it comes to removing the 3rd cat it only makes a slight improvement noise wise. A good option is to look out for the optional sports that some owners had fitted from new, they do come up for sale ebay occasionally. Fitted one to my NA and it was a massive improvement also fitted a plack exhaust which was very load, you can also find them on eBay occasionally or have one made up and would not be to expensive.

511D212D-BD72-471E-A166-39317D48095A.jpeg

3A7899A0-6AC2-451A-95B4-CA92FECFE63E.jpeg

Did you import your plack from America? (assuming no UK distributer?) I love the simple design of it but i have heard they are loud! I do have a really good custom exhaust shop up the road that could potentially do a similar job but add a resonator to make it a bit quieter and less drone on the motorway. Will do some more research 

Cheers Paul 

 

 

 

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I found the NA with sports exhaust pretty quiet, the switchable exhaust in my NA SR is *much* louder even with sports mode off it's louder than the sports exhaust on the older car.

I found my shift improved after an oil change. It's a deliberate and weighty action and good, I have two complaints with it, it can complain going into first at a stop sometimes and it can also baulk at third gear if you are really on it and going for a quick shift. Not always but it does happen. It's a good box but I've had better.

Running costs (so far) not bad. I've done quite a bit to mine in preventative maintenance including brakes, front end respray, headlight lacquer, a service door cable... It was still cheaper than my Abarth service (to be fair an outlier!). Normal services and parts are cheaper than my Alfa and Volvo and around in line with my Jag. Not sure if that helps but basically most things aren't too expensive it seems.

 

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@SCMTBCOACH - My Evora has cost me £280 in maintenance over the past 12 months including servicing at a Lotus main dealer.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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In 16,000 road miles since March 2018 my NA Evora has cost £2,809.54 in servicing and repairs via main dealer Bell and Colvill. That includes 4 new tyres at £650. It does not include warranty work of £837 which Bell and Colvill/warranty firm paid for (reversing camera, limp mode issue, door window actuator). 

To split that up a bit, the May 2019 service cost £850.41 with side indicator needed, CV clips, handbrake binding. Sept 2020 service was £785.14 which was plugs, oil, filter, coolant, sump plug and MOT (MOT free at B&C). 

The car does now need discs and pads but I have about 3000 miles left on those. B&C quote was £1,500 which I balked at, so I will source the parts from elsewhere and arranging fitting next year.

I consider this a bargain, irrespective of the hope that the car is probably worth only a few thousand pounds less than I paid from a main dealer. Not that I will ever sell the NA.

Justin

 

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@jep, the brakes may be more reasonable now if you asked them for a price a few months back...

https://www.thelotusforums.com/latest-news/lotus-cars-news/lotus-offer-further-price-reductions-on-brake-and-clutch-kits/

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Hi

9 hours ago, SCMTBCOACH said:

If i could run an Evora for 1k PA i would be chuffed! coming from a performance BMW so used to the potential for big bills around the corner! Probably more chance of a BMW motor lurching it's self than the Toyota lump so that is one less worry! Trying to be tight on my purchase budget so i can pay in cash and not have a loan/ finance. it is so tempting to just keep clicking on the next page to see the next cars up in price and end up 10k above what i want to spend! ha ha 

I have been looking at parts prices and it seems as long as i stay away from Lotus main dealer i should be ok. I have a friend who runs a garage so he will fit parts i can buy online (seriously lotus have much cheaper disks and pads for example...assume they are of good quality)and i have a local specialist who has a great reputation for the harder jobs so fingers crossed should be ok. 

be great if prices started rising straight after i buy one! ha ha! 

Looking at Elise prices though surely it is only a matter of time before Evora prices settle and then potentially rise?     

Cheers Paul 

Did you import your plack from America? (assuming no UK distributer?) I love the simple design of it but i have heard they are loud! I do have a really good custom exhaust shop up the road that could potentially do a similar job but add a resonator to make it a bit quieter and less drone on the motorway. Will do some more research 

Cheers Paul 

 

 

 

hi Paul

I purchased the plack exhaust from a member on this forum and he had it fabricated in the Uk. It was loud, but with the windows closed and with the sound proving inside the cabin, the difference between standard and plack was marginal. But drop a window it sounded great.

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On 12/10/2020 at 13:05, jerzybondov said:

Hi Paul, I'm a recent Evora owner too. There's quite a bit of variability between cars when it comes to gearchange / clutch weight so I'd recommend trying to test drive as many as possible so you can just what's bad/good/normal. None of the pre-400 gear changes are amazing but it shouldn't be bad. 

Messing with the cables is a pretty big job, so if you're budget strapped I'd walk away from a car that doesn't shift well. As for the clutch, they're all pretty heavy but it depends what you're used to. If you're used to a modern runabout, yes it'll feel very different. If you're used to older sports cars, then it's very much in the ballpark. My Evora clutch is much lighter than the one on my DeLorean!

I'm also interested in improving the sound on mine - haven't done so yet though so can't comment on that :)

Post links here of cars you're looking at by the way!

Tempted by this one but put off a little by some loooong intervals between services! anybody know this car at all?

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202009153756534?model=EVORA&radius=1500&make=LOTUS&advertising-location=at_cars&postcode=eh141df&sort=price-asc&onesearchad=New&onesearchad=Nearly New&onesearchad=Used&page=1

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37 minutes ago, SCMTBCOACH said:

That car has been up for sale for a while. Can't see the service intervals on the ad - but quite a few of the cars I looked at had lengthy intervals. The engine is solid and can take it - but it would be nice if a Lotus dealer had taken a look at the car in the last year for peace of mind. 

I'm a bit wary of the arty farty pictures. Evora don't cosmetically wear their age and mileage as well as some more mass-produced cars -which makes me wonder what those pictures are trying to hide. Sometimes you just have to see a car in the flesh to see how well cared for its been. 

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9 hours ago, jerzybondov said:

That car has been up for sale for a while. Can't see the service intervals on the ad - but quite a few of the cars I looked at had lengthy intervals. The engine is solid and can take it - but it would be nice if a Lotus dealer had taken a look at the car in the last year for peace of mind. 

I'm a bit wary of the arty farty pictures. Evora don't cosmetically wear their age and mileage as well as some more mass-produced cars -which makes me wonder what those pictures are trying to hide. Sometimes you just have to see a car in the flesh to see how well cared for its been. 

So I got in contact, he didn't answer my questions about the gaps in service history but sent me the receipts for work and one thing i noticed was the clutch was done in 2015 and over 30k ago so not recently as stated in the advert! So yeah basically not for me! then he told me he wasn't' selling anyway! one to avoid for sure! 

The search continues.... 

3 hours ago, pete said:

Nice car, forgot to say it needs to be a 2 + 2 for me

Cheers Paul 

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Pretty close to getting a car, going for a second viewing tomorrow and i think we can meet in the middle on price :)  

My only concern is it is a very bright colour (burnt orange) which i love but am a little bit worried it might gather some negative attention? I am used to attention in my old caterham but it was all positive, hoping that would be the same in the Evora but was thinking people might be thinking i was being flash!?

any comment from owners of bright colours much appreciated :) 

Cheers Paul     

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Hi Paul, sounds good! 

Is this the one on Pistonheads up in Scotland? Looks like a good car. Wouldn’t worry about the mileage at all with that service history. Colour looks lovely.

Only observation would be the gearknob is a replacement and is sitting too high - you’ll be able to screw that down much further and give it the correct throw, let me know if you buy the car and I’ll tell you how I did mine :)

Does it have the CR gearbox? Didn’t see it mentioned in the ad. The original ratio gearbox is great if you’re planning on doing lots of motorway miles, but way too long ratios for all other driving (IMO). 

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9 minutes ago, SCMTBCOACH said:

 My only concern is it is a very bright colour (burnt orange) which i love but am a little bit worried it might gather some negative attention? I am used to attention in my old caterham but it was all positive, hoping that would be the same in the Evora but was thinking people might be thinking i was being flash!?

@DaveC72? Over to you!

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6 minutes ago, jerzybondov said:

Hi Paul, sounds good! Can I ask where you found the car? I keep an eye on Autotrader and ebay and haven’t seen any burnt orange cars come up for sale!

Are you happy with the spec on it?

Here it is! it is just up the road for me as well so i think it might be destiny! I absolutely love it but i am a little apprehensive! I am not a flash kinda guy! Also I will use it sometimes for work. 

spec wise it is pretty much perfect, is slightly higher miles but it has good history and a recent clutch change. only think i will add would be a BOE intake i think? I think i would get the roof and mirrors wrapped black as well, but maybe not the splitter and sides as don't want to make a sports racer copy when it is not!   

https://www.pistonheads.com/buy/listing/10758509?cId=10758509&cId=10868790&cId=10545063&cId=10744725&cId=10680223&cId=10410550&cId=10155670&cId=10369920&cId=9522386&cId=10358992&cId=10806533&cId=10615053&cId=10891865&cId=10517597&cId=9826212&cId=10189611&cId=10639163&cId=10720546&cId=10529307&cId=10790139

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Don’t worry about copying the ‘sports racer’  look - loads of cars have the roof/sills/mirror/splitter wrapped - it looks GREAT :) 

It’s not like there’s a badge to steal and stick on anyway 🤣

Youll not find many Evoras up for sale in Scotland - I’d jump on that one to be honest, especially with that service history. 

I edited my last post since you quoted it - which gearbox has it got?

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9 minutes ago, jerzybondov said:

Don’t worry about copying the ‘sports racer’  look - loads of cars have the roof/sills/mirror/splitter wrapped - it looks GREAT :) 

It’s not like there’s a badge to steal and stick on anyway 🤣

Youll not find many Evoras up for sale in Scotland - I’d jump on that one to be honest, especially with that service history. 

I edited my last post since you quoted it - which gearbox has it got?

It is the normal/ long ratio box. I was all set on finding a CR box after reading reviews but then I heard about early cars having failures of the CR box so decided the LR box would be fine! I always find with gear ratio's there are pro's and con's! I had a caterham 6 speed box which everybody raves about but i didn't like it. so short and close changing gear every 2 seconds buzzing like a madman in 6th!  

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Ive had both gearboxes, the main difference is on the motorway where its an advantage, the rest of the time, tbh you get used to it as you would any other car, so nothing to be concerned about. The colour is great, ive always found peoples reactions to lotus are pretty much always positive compared to other brands. With the spec , service history and it being local, i say its fate, go buy it! 

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