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Exige Roadster Review


DAV1D

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Very disappointed David.

 

I was hoping to offer your site my services as a writer but it's now pretty clear that you don't need them!

 

:thumbup: 

 

If anything I thought it was a bit short.

 

Nice wheeze getting an Exige Roadster for 24hrs!

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This is strong statement:

 

"We tried the Boxster S earlier in the year and it doesn’t have half of the appeal of the Roadster. "

 

 

 

On picture, this is very hard to imagine the interior to be that different in quality from a simple Elise.

 

" ...improvements in quality make the Lotus feel worth its price tag. "

Edited by FredP

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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I would completely agree with both statements.

 

Regarding the interior, I much prefer the minimalist, exposed aluminium approach and have little or no interest in 'luxury' in a sports car. For anyone who is more interested in fiddling with buttons and gadgets I can see that the Boxster would be considered far superior. Many seem to think the latest Boxster interior is a particular strong point. Certainly the previous Boxster/Cayman seems quite cheap and spartan by comparison, but I happen to prefer it. 

 

However I've often wondered how anyone could find both cars very appealing. Either you like the compact, pared-back approach or you don't usually. For example, some love the F40's spartan interior, others don't relate to the motorsports aura and think Ferrari were having a laugh. I'd be in the former catagory and love that the Exige has 'just' enough room inside. It's compact and compromised for the sake of keeping the mass as low as possible. I like the fact that it has high sills because it makes it feel more like a race car and offers side impact protection. It's all part of what makes the car unique.

 

But equally, if I was interested in the all-round excellence of the Boxster, I can't imagine the Exige would appeal to me at all. It would be too small, too simple, too focused, too compromised.

 

Just as, for me, the Boxster is too heavy, too complicated, too numb, too ordinary, too conservative and too aloof.

 

I respect it hugely but have close to zero desire to own one.

 

All sports cars are inherently daft so it makes more sense to buy one that appeals on an emotional level. A sensible sports car is in danger of missing the point entirely.

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I see your points and I agree (high sills, minimalist...). My concern was about the statement re the improvements in quality I don't really follow. I mean I do think my Elise S1 1997 interior was 80% similar to the Exige S roadster 2013. 

 

The best example of minimalist and up to date interior is the Mac Laren 12C. And I do think the new Exige needed a Revamp of the interior. I'm from the Internet industry and a 15 years old interior of a product sold 52k£ seems crazy. Just my opinion though.

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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Sure a revamp along the same minimalist lines would be welcome, and I'd love to see some more instruments in the dash such as oil temp, oil pressure and a boost guage for supercharged models.

 

However given Lotus's limited resources I'm glad they prioritized other areas than blow the budget on new interior. Plus they pulled all the stops out for the Evora interior and all they get is criticism! It's not an area they can compete with Porsche on so it make more sense to me to compete in areas they can compete. 

 

Having traded in a 2006 Elise for a new Exige V6 I'm quite glad so much of the interior is the same as I happen to like it! I can also confirm that quality has improved. Just to take one example: the hardtop on the Elise used to sit 5mm proud at the rear edge. Its sits completely flush on the new cars, just as it should of course. When I asked at the factory about how they get the roof to fit now I was told with a wink that it was 'continuous improvement'. The advantage of building the same thing for a while is that it allows a company to get the hang of it. For Lotus it's the only sensible route to take at the present time.

 

Besides all that, isn't the Elise/Exige S1 interior still revered as a paragon of minimalist design?

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Very disappointed David.

 

I was hoping to offer your site my services as a writer but it's now pretty clear that you don't need them!

 

:thumbup:

 

If anything I thought it was a bit short.

 

Nice wheeze getting an Exige Roadster for 24hrs!

 

Thanks. I'm always looking for guest posts so if you have anything you want to write about then please send it my way.

 

I did keep it brief this time and I've found most blog readers don't want much over 700 words. I would have preferred to go more in-depth but I wonder if many people would read the whole thing.

 

This is strong statement:

 

"We tried the Boxster S earlier in the year and it doesn’t have half of the appeal of the Roadster. "

 

 

 

On picture, this is very hard to imagine the interior to be that different in quality from a simple Elise.

 

" ...improvements in quality make the Lotus feel worth its price tag. "

 

I'm sure most people would prefer the Boxster, it is more things to more people but for me the Exige provides an experience that is hard to match. 

 

I'm not saying the quality is on-par with the Germans but it is an improvement none-the-less.

 

I see your points and I agree (high sills, minimalist...). My concern was about the statement re the improvements in quality I don't really follow. I mean I do think my Elise S1 1997 interior was 80% similar to the Exige S roadster 2013. 

 

The best example of minimalist and up to date interior is the Mac Laren 12C. And I do think the new Exige needed a Revamp of the interior. I'm from the Internet industry and a 15 years old interior of a product sold 52k£ seems crazy. Just my opinion though.

 

I see what you are saying and the overall design is not great. The S1 Elise interior is prettier and the 340r shows beautiful simplicity at its best. 

 

That being said the Exige just feels better screwed together than any other Lotus I've been in apart from the latest Evoras. There are fewer rattles and the switchgear feels more solid. True the indicator stalks are poor and the air vents look cheap but for a semi-hardcore roadcar it is pretty good.

Edited by DAV1D
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Happy to hear this :-)

 

Re-Evora interior: from the latest improvements in 2013, I read only good things about it, even compared to Porsche, where the Evora seems a place more special and different than the Audi/Porsche kind of quality.

 

Have you noticed Porsche offers virtually the same interior across all the range. Started from the Panamera to other models. I guess Lotus will refine the Evora interior and implement it in the next Elise/exige generation.

 

[Note: the 2 last pictures attached to your article are excellent I must say]

Edited by FredP

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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I'm sure most people would prefer the Boxster, it is more things to more people but for me the Exige provides an experience that is hard to match. 

 

I'm not saying the quality is on-par with the Germans but it is an improvement none-the-less.

 

 

 

Totally Agree mate. I went on a Porsche course recently, in a professional capacity, and drove every car they make bar the £300k one. The closest I could get to a Lotus for excitement and charisma was the Caymen R and even that felt just a little too sterile TBH. The Boxster I drove was just.....well, to say I preferred the Peugeot RCZ tells you what I thought! and that's for looks and drive....and I would have saved £20k over the Boxter.

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I don't get why Lotus is always compared to Porsche. To me Porsche is nothing more than a performance brand under the VW umbreller the same as Skoda is the budget brand, the Seat the fashion brand, Audi the upmarket brand and VW the quality car for the masses. Porsche build 4x4 & sedans. Kimbers perhaps you can confirm, Porsche aren't hand built like Lotus either?

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Yes mate, mass produced by unpassionate robots.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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I love this forum!

 

:thumbup: 

 

I hired a Boxster for my Dad's 65th a few years ago. We drove it to Le Mans, lapped the Bugatti circuit and drove it on every type of road imaginable.

 

It took everything we threw at it with a shrug and came back for more. It's easy to see why many come to the conclusion that it's brilliant. But I can remember driving it back to the rental company afterwards on my own. It was one of more dangerous drives I've ever done. It was so aloof and inert I kept pushing harder and harder just to get some feedback from it. Just to feel alive. Needless to say, the feedback never came because it wasn't there in the first place.

 

The Elise is twice as fun at half the speed. On back to back swaps with my Elise in the Alps the Boxster felt like a bus. I was amazed at the difference, it was a crushing demonstration of the benefits of lightweight. The Elise was not as comfortable on the motorway but it more than made up for it when the roads got interesting.  

 

But I agree, enough of the pointless comparisons, Porsche don't even come close! I honestly have no idea why so many British people are so passionate about them. There seems to be little or no passion in the cars to begin with.

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Porsche o n c e was a little charming company that build their cars with a lot of handbuild work - but that ended end of the eighties , esp in the nineties with the boxster and the 996. Porsche has a great heritage and on this heritage most of the marketing is based - as said several times on several forums: good cars but exciting and special? - hmmm...........depends on your taste.

 

If porsche would only build sport cars and would have had no help from vw in the past (when p was not part of vw) porsche would have problems to exist.

 

little ot but "funny":

in Bratislava VW builds Q7, Touareg and Cayenne on the same line but engine and other parts of the cayenne are added in Germany despite the workers in Bratislava could also add this parts - so ridiculous "extra-work" in order to say ...whatever the marketing make of this.... 

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Don't start me on the Cayenne! It's a total disgrace that should have sunk the company and left their brand in tatters.

 

Instead it's a raging global success story! Astonishing.

 

It has single handedly undone everything I believed about building a brand.

 

You sure can fool some of the people some of the time!

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They're sub-£10k now, hasn't held its money like a GT3!!

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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@@@the Pits

 

But Cayennes help to fill parking garages ............

 

 

http://p76202.ipscdn.com/uploads/post-14744-0-31189700-1358182946.jpg

 

(I know I have posted that already but a cayenne from a small town in Bavaria (license plate Rosenheim) in the "big" city munich using that parking space is typical for a typical cayenne driver (in my eyes)

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I think Lotus future success would be to stay faithful to their values but innovate with a model that wide their audience. (See Ferrari California). Ferrari is a good example of innovation and exclusivity in the sport car business.

Having an Asian shareholder in a car business nowadays is a fantastic asset as the volume is there. 

 

Also, the Elise is a fundamental product for Lotus. Most car makers are chasing the first time buyers that will enter and love the brand, and will grow with it. I start with an Elise in my late 20's, then an Evora in my 30's, etc...

 

This is where Porsche have a very strong business case: they don't lose the 911 second hand buyers once they need more space for a family: they will get a Panamera or a Cayenne. depending the wife preference. 

 

I hope Lotus still have this model in mind for middle term plan:

 

2010_Lotus_Elite_Concept_car_03.jpg

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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The new Elite was my personal favourite of the new era designs. Looks very good from that angle.

 

But I'm sure the whole lot have been canned forever.

 

Besides that, the Evora was specifically intended to be the car an Elise owner could move up to when his circumstances and or income level changed. It didn't work out because many aspired to own a Porsche, the Lotus was merely what they drove while they were saving up for it. I bet you they had more fun in their Elises than they ever did in the 911s though! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

I felt Lotus should've put some effort and/or cash into the Exige interior. The S is a stunning car, roadster or coupe but sitting in the cockpit you're basically in an Elise with an Evora ass strapped to it! 

 

Now... I don't object to that as a concept but for close to £60k I wouldn't want to be reminded of it! 

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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I watch these 'price/value' debates with interest. Much of it focuses on the perceived value of things like interiors, equipment levels, ICE and so on when comparing say, the Exige S, with cars of a similar price - a specced up Cayman for example. At the same time we all rave about the engineering prowess, chassis control, suspension, steering etc.of the Lotus equivalent but rarely does the argument try to put a value on such qualities, which is after all why the vast majority of us buy a Lotus in the first place.

 

So my question is this - can you put a price on those qualities? And if you could would that level the playing field in terms of price and perceived value. Personally I think it does. I've no idea how it would translate to pounds and pence but if I was in the market for an Elise/Exige/Evora I would rather Lotus spent the money, as they do, on the engineering and oily bits and I would happily take the subsequent compromise on cabin/interior/ICE etc. (I drive an Esprit after all). At the end of the day, you pays your money and takes your choice.

 

So, referring to the post above, would you rather have £60k worth of superb engineering under your bum, or £60k worth of upmarket interior and toys that simply cannot compete with the Exige when you point it down the road? But then again, the new Cayman does get uncomfortably close to the Exige S  ;)

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The problem is we are in 2013 and it seems that asking 60k for a car that is sold with an interior that has been designed in 1996 is very ambitious.

 

Of course, we can't challenge how technically a Lotus is finely tuned and conceived, we are mostly owners/ex-owners so we enjoyed it. But, in 2013, a successful company will not have only fantastic engineers but also fantastic designers that make the product likeable. 

Try to sell an ugly iPhone with the same features: it won't sell!

 

I don't think it is utterly expensive to change how the interior looks. Furthermore, it is feasible to offer an android based multimedia touch screen if it is properly considered & budgeted by the management team.

 

On another point, but that shows there is little influence from the designers against the engineers at Lotus, to conceive a rear engine car with no front boot does make little sense in term of design & usability. 

Edited by FredP

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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I may miss your point as I don't understand your view. The best rear engine sport cars have a front boot for many many years and their engines are properly cooled.

Edited by FredP

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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Although the airflow being directed up through the rad Ihas a very minor effect on front end downforce at high speeds, I doubt it's of any real significance as all the air passes through the radiator so is hugely turbulent.

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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