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Coupe - Roadster thoughts


Fatsterjack

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Hi all

I'm currently considering purchasing my first Lotus after having been increasingly drawn to the Exige over the last few months.

I'm currently drawn between a roadster with a switchable hard top or a coupe with a soft top conversion.  Switching between the roof options definitely has its attractions!

So what's best a roadster with a hard top or coupe with soft top conversion????

If it helps, the car will have a few track excursions over a year but in the main will be for road use.

Thoughts and opinions welcome.

Cheers

FJ

 

 

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Welcome to TLF.

Sorry, I can't help on your exige questions, I'm more of an Evora man :lol:

Someone how can answer will be along shortly I'm certain.

@Arun_D @LF1 perhaps?

On Order: 2021 Lotus Elise Cup 250 FE in Isotope Green, Red Alcantara Interior, Carbon Aero Kit, AirCon, Carpets & Mats, NVH pack, Cruise Control, Stereo, Red Calipers.
Now Gone2018 Lotus Elise Sport 220 in Metallic Blue, Alcantara Pack, Forged Wheels, 2piece brakes, AirCon, Hard/Soft Tops, Red Calipers, Stereo, Interior Colour Pack, NVH Pack, Carpets, Mats.
Previously Owned: 2016 Lotus Evora 400, 2010 Lotus Evora NA, 2003 VX220 Supercharged, 2001 VX220 Lightning Yellow
Follow my Lotus journey here: http://www.FaceBook.com/HandmadeInHethel

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4 minutes ago, CocoPops said:

Welcome to TLF.

Sorry, I can't help on your exige questions, I'm more of an Evora man :lol:

Someone how can answer will be along shortly I'm certain.

@Arun_D @LF1 perhaps?

Cheers

seems a simple question but suspect I may get some differing views!

FJ

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My understanding...

Roadster is typically a little softer more forgiving on the road.

Sport is more attune to a few track days a year but still a good option for the road.

You can always by a Sport and get a soft top conversion later.

www.alias23.com

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You didn't mention if you are considering new or pre-loved...

New Exige Sport 350 Roadsters & Coupes share common suspension components - whereas the Exige S Roaster & Coupe differ.

The Exige S Roadster, with Sport suspension, has better road manners due to its suspension beimg more compliant over less-than-perfect roads.  The Coupe is a little stiffer, biased more towards the track.

Best advice is to consider how you'll be using the car for the majority of time - then, if the opportunity exists, try both variants in either "S" or "350" variants.

Cosmetically, you may prefer the cleaner/prettier lines of the Roadster "S" over the more aggressive lines of the Coupe "S".  Again, in "350" guise, the differences are smaller as the aero-components are fitted to both.  The "S" and "350" also significantly differ in the rear-hatch deparrment - glass for S vs. louvered for the 350.  You may prefer the look of one over the other.

Now, wait for the debate to begin :-)

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16 minutes ago, LotusPilot said:

Again, in "350" guise, the differences are smaller as the aero-components are fitted to both.

Err, Derek, which aero components are you thinking of?

The Sport 350 roadsters I've seen have no splitter and no rear wing. The show car that Lotus Cars have on their website seems to be a peculiar one-off, with a splitter, motorsports wing and the 360 Cup front access cover. None of these seem to figure one production Sport 350 roadsters.

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7 hours ago, LotusPilot said:

The Exige S Roadster, with Sport suspension, has better road manners due to its suspension beimg more compliant over less-than-perfect roads.  The Coupe is a little stiffer, biased more towards the track.

What makes you say that? Both suspension options were available on the Coupe or Roadster (Sport 350 standardising the Race suspension). The only difference being the Roadster using a 0.5mm bigger ARB which ironically would make it stiffer (probably not noticeable to us mere mortals though!).

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Former Exige Roadster owner here, before switching to an Evora 400.

Reality is there is little between Roadster & Coupe when it comes to the driving experience, so it largely depends on the look you prefer. Mine was a non-race pack Roadster which softens the ride a bit (it's still a firm riding car though), but even in this configuration it was as stiff as I'd want a road biased car to be. The Geo is also different on the Roadster to make it a bit more road oriented. Frankly I can't think of anything that would be much quicker A to B along your typical British A or B road. If you're heavily into you track days, then a Coupe would be the better bet, or you may just prefer the more aggressive look of the Coupe.

My former car (yellow Roadster) is currently for sale at Silverstone and comes with a hardtop as well as soft top.

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Get yourself a coupe. I had the same dilemma last November. My thinking:

Suspension - theres not a huge amount in it. Only if you use it to the nth degree on the track will you really justify it. I had a Roadster for a couple of weeks last year, and a Coupe for a day. I really didn't notice a difference...

Steering - much the same

Packs - Roadsters normally aren't as well spec'd as a Coupe. You rarely will find a Roadster with a race pack, but will always find a Coupe with one. In my view, even for road use only, a race pack is essential. You get a range of options, the two most important being the race mode (throttle is far more sharp than sport mode, idles higher making pullaways that much smoother and impressive, etc) and a valved exhaust override button - i.e. noisy when you want it to be. Obviously theres also the traction control magical wizardry - but you wouldn't (and shouldn't) make use of that on public roads. In essence, it learns the traction of that particular bit of road only ONCE you've lost and caught the backend, so it learns where the limit is. As public roads aren't as linear in quality as public roads, it makes it dangerous on public roads. I always knock it back to Sport if i'm wanting to have 'real' fun. 

Appearance - Rear wing, front splitter, and hard top all come with the Coupe. Repainted, fitted, and ready to go. If you don't like them, they're quick to remove. I've switched between my hardtop and soft top numerous times this year. Thats a good 5k worth of goodies probably - I think the hardtop would set you back 1.5k or there about. The roadster however is more expensive, less tuned suspension, no wing, no splitter, no hardtop. In comparison, the soft top is £700. If you wanted the soft top and hard top, you've save £700-800 by going for a Coupe. 

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Personally went Coupe as loved the aggressive look of splitter and rear spoiler,

Also went race pack, as although a little stiffer I actually found the damping to be better controlled  and thus overall more comfortable.

2 weeks ago did the Swiss Alps in mine with soft top fitted (well off 90% the time with sun ).  Best of both worlds 

All down to personal choice TBH.  

Have fun choosing 

Dave 

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Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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3 hours ago, Kalli said:

Packs - Roadsters normally aren't as well spec'd as a Coupe. You rarely will find a Roadster with a race pack, but will always find a Coupe with one. In my view, even for road use only, a race pack is essential

 

Oooh, not much biased opinion here then... :-)

 

[Tin Hat - On][Engage "Contentious Mode"]

To say that Roadsters aren't as well spec'd as a Coupe is a very strange, if not slanted, viewpoint.  

"Generally" - Roadster and Coupe are spec'd differently, typically relfecting its differing niche in the marketplace.

Many (disclosure - an opinion that I share) would reasonably argue that the Roadster is intended to be the more "civilised" variant of the Exige S.

Unlike the majority of Coupe's, often fitted with the optional track-focused race pack (as correctly indicated anove) most Roadsters typically forego this option.  This doesn't make the car any less capable or brutal on the road; unless you want/need to be quickest on the track - by letting the car replace your skill with electonic cleverness - it's an unnecessary and expensive option.  

Choose the race pack only if you really do want the harder suspension and more aggressive geo-setup - and not because of the [admittedly] clever electronics that can only safely be used on track.  However, it is worth pointing-out that whilst you can change the suspension and geo, Lotus won't allow you to retrospectively add the race mode electronics (technically, the feature is simply "enabled" in the ECU).  If you want the trick electronics, it has to be specified from the factory.  Choose wisely.

More usually than not, Roadsters also tend to be fitted with options that some Coupe owners don't fit, such as the more luxurious (more expensive) "premium" interior (more carpet, additional NVH, the "Anne Summers" riveted leather thong), comfort pack, seat heaters (feeble) and Cruise Control.

Consider also that  Roadster variants were priced higher from the factory than the Coupe, but perversely appear to be slightly cheaper as a pre-owned car.

[Tin Hat - Off]

 

Again, to the OP, the best advise is to look at and drive both variants - then choose what best fits your likes.

Either way, you'll be buying one of the very best handling Lotuses ever to leave to Norfolk.  Nothing handles or covers ground so effortlessly!

Have fun!

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Thanks for all the replies, all helpful.

As I will be using the car on the track the race pack is pretty desirable for me but I've seen a few roadster's with it spec'd so if I went down that route I'm sure I'd find one..... I do like the coupe styling though (read wing and splitter).

What has everyone experienced with the coupe soft top conversion?  Any issues or is the coupe roof effectively a roadster hardtop roof anyway?  

 

 

 

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Same body, so roof is same.  For a coupe you just need 2 plastic inserts fitted in rear bullhead above seats, for roof stays 

Worked fine for me.   Go with which car works for you.   If you are after a coupe though,  with new toy arriving soon, this car will be with Lotus Silverstone in the next week or two.

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Edited by DJW

Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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Anyone fitting a soft top to an Exige should be publicly flogged! That's the main issue I have with them. ;)

Just to clarify something about RACE mode on the DPM, you don't need to slide the car to get it to work, that is simply the FASTEST way to get it to adjust to the grip available. It would in theory work on the road but you lose some of the very impressive safety systems like understeer control.

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1 minute ago, The Pits said:

Anyone fitting a soft top to an Exige should be publicly flogged! That's the main issue I have with them. ;)

LOL. Hopefully excused,as borrowed soft top for Swiss trip to take in the views and sun, but solid roof now back in place ??

Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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Sorry Dave, I had actually written that before you posted your pic! Yes I think perhaps I can make allowances for the views in the Alps, wow must have been magic out there, what a great choice of car for the job!

:thumbup:

 

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5 minutes ago, The Pits said:

Anyone fitting a soft top to an Exige should be publicly flogged! That's the main issue I have with them. ;)

Just to clarify something about RACE mode on the DPM, you don't need to slide the car to get it to work, that is simply the FASTEST way to get it to adjust to the grip available. It would in theory work on the road but you lose some of the very impressive safety systems like understeer control.

I've been warned then! 

I guess I just want the best of both worlds!  Last two toys have been a Boxster GTS and a Cayman GT4.  Coupe's and soft top both have their attractions and the ability to switch between both depending on time of year has its attraction.

 

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2 minutes ago, The Pits said:

Sorry Dave, I had actually written that before you posted your pic! Yes I think perhaps I can make allowances for the views in the Alps, wow must have been magic out there, what a great choice of car for the job!

:thumbup:

 

Can't think of a better car to get you there in comfort and then pin sharp handling and exhaust note from heaven for the Alp runs.   If Carling made a car for the Alps ....,,,

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Previously owned :Exige 380,  Exige 350,  Evora 400,  Exige V6S,  Esprit GT3,  2-11 SC,  Evora S,  Elite 501

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22 minutes ago, The Pits said:

Anyone fitting a soft top to an Exige should be publicly flogged! That's the main issue I have with them. ;)

Awkward...:lol:28438051365_80dc975383_k.jpgDJI_0003-1-2 by Tom Scott, on Flickr

I hadn't realised the DPM mode comes on without losing the back end. I was under the impression you needed to teach it where the limit was. Thanks for the correction Jonny!

Derek - not biased at all. It's a fact that the roadsters generally aren't as well-spec'd - varying requirements of the owners, more than anything. You're right that the majority of coupes don't have heated seats, but many do have cruise control, carpet and sound insulation. Not all, for sure. But the race pack is one of the most if not the most sought after pack. To have a car without it is fine, but you lose out on a lot of the perks, and it really as you say can't be fitted aftermarket. It's like an Evora without the sport button. It's still an Evora, but you lose a lot. I didn't get mine for the clever electronics, nor the geo setup. I'm not a track guy, and use mine purely for road use. The main perk for having the race pack was the ability to 1. hold more value over the other models, and 2. have the ability to choose when I want to be loud and boisterous, vs when I want to be quiet and subtle - perfect for the 5 am starts! 

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You can be loud and boisterous on demand by turning the DPM switch to 'off'. Turning all the electronics off (apart from abs) demonstrates what a great chassis the Exige has, as you can drive it pretty hard on the road and it doesn't try to kill you - it has naturally high limits before it needs electronic intervention. At the first sign of drizzle though, I would turn everything back on!

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21 hours ago, MartynB said:

Err, Derek, which aero components are you thinking of?

The Sport 350 roadsters I've seen have no splitter and no rear wing. The show car that Lotus Cars have on their website seems to be a peculiar one-off, with a splitter, motorsports wing and the 360 Cup front access cover. None of these seem to figure one production Sport 350 roadsters.

are you sure? It'd be great info... as I love the roadster but not the 350 rear wing and engine cover at all... so was disappointed by the 350 roadster updates really

(ex) Elise S1 (VIN 357) LHD

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"At the first sign of drizzle though, I would turn everything back on!"

Wise words I don't doubt!  Talking of precipitation....  What are the Trofeo tyres fitted to some cars like in the wet?  Just for normal (sensible) road use?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kalli said:

It's a fact that the roadsters generally aren't as well-spec'd - 

Okay.  Being factual, you'll be able to produce definitive evidence to support your statement...

Anyhow, individual choices are what matters - be it Coupe or Roadster, S or 350 - or something else entirely.  It's comforting to know that ticking all the boxes apparently makes a Roadster a thing of even greater rarity - amongst the finest cars built in Norfolk.

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