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Are the 380/350's worth it over the original S for a new owner? - V6 Exige Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
MrP_

Are the 380/350's worth it over the original S for a new owner?

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I’m sure this has been done to death, but after having a lengthy read through on the fourm I couldn’t find the discussion – if it exists please point me to it and I’ll shut up!

In short, I’m looking at getting back into an Exige although this time a v6, I’ve had various in the past from the N/A S2 to a Honda’d S1, but life took over to I switched to more practical cars for a while but now I’m back.

I’ve been away from the brand for a while so It’s been interesting to see the options on offer, which isn’t too bewildering coming back into it despite what I am seeing around the forum!

My current thinking on getting a car is either:

  • Exige S, modify it, throw carbon at it and drive the damn thing.
  • Exige Sport 380 – spec exactly what I want, swallow the cost but it’s all done out of the box

Rather than saying is it best to buy used, and then mod which is just always personal preference and what you loose on depreciation of one you lose in mods of another  - my question boils down to: Has there been enough changes in the 380 or 350 over the original S to justify moving to a new or newer car. How much is marketing fluff v’s genuine changes that make a move to a newer car justifiable.

Currently using a dodgy seat runner and move to exposed gear shift to justify spending another £30k and start ticking the CF options list

Sorry for rambling

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

I'm thinking along similar lines: Do I get a new 350 exactly as I want, or compromise on spec (and colour) and get a second hand S. A fancy gear lever mechanism can't be worth that much money. Seat runners can presumably be fixed.

Decisions, decisions...

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New Sport 350 without carbon and spend money on driving it. Seat runners are fixed, gear change mechanism is gorgeous, new car is a new car. :)

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Why dont start with a low millage used 350?!? If you cant get one for a good price, go for a V6 S or CR. 

I have a V6 CR and neither gear change nor seat runners are an issue and with the modifications I did over time I now have a car that can give a 430 Cup a very hard time ?

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Doh, I just asked in your intro thread which Exige you were considering :lol:

We publish all the Lotus press releases on the homepage here so you can have a read through them for the detail changes between each Exige revision in detail.

It's a hard decision now with prices ranging from high 30's to £100k so quite a spread but I guess it's down to your attitude to the car and your plans for it. If you want something special out of the box which you'll keep stock then a Sport 350, 380 or Cup 380 are a good place to go. Otherwise, jump back to an older gearshift car and spend the change on some aftermarket mods, there's a good number of options available to pursue if you like to make the car yours. 

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Good problem to have!

i test drove a v6s, 350 and 380 (and an Evora 400) as they were the options available when I bought last April.

for me the 350 felt the best price vs package. It had the right set up and I upgraded to two piece brakes which were much better than the standard option. The reasons for not doing the 380 were for me - seats were horrible, preferred the f40 look of the back lights on the 350 and the extra power was so minimal I felt I was really paying for carbon. The 430 however is a totally different thing which had it been an option I would of man maths my way to that puppy 100%.

i have since had my steering wheel retrimmed to Alcantara/leather with a yellow 12 o’clock as per the 430. Am talking to alias about some bc forged mono block wheels and waiting on yvo tuk at Elise shop to unload his win ace carbon parts so I can upgrade to full 380 aero.

lastly i am looking into a digital dash as per the 311.

the rest of my money will be going to mr pittard to make me not be the weakest link.

Go and test drive them back to back as it will give you an immediate answer to which one you need to have. 

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I purchased a new V6 S in 2014 and began my journey into modifying it to my requirements. Looking back I should have probably gone for a V6 Cup but I still would have modified that, but it would have at least sorted out a few basics such as being lighter, nitrons, sump, A-Frame, harnesses, and extinguisher and cut off. For me (if you can find one) i'd go for an original well maintained V6 Cup over a 350.

Taking the V6 Cup out of the options list and back to your question. V6 vs 350 vs 380.

For me the 380 is just too expensive and the lower rev limit kills the car (all in my own personal opinion).

The 350 does present a good all round package with the two part brakes The newer gear mechanism is very nice.

Between the 350 and V6 the pricing difference seems to be around £10K. If you are one to 'modify' then even if you get a 350 you'll likely spend money on modifying it anyhow... So I guess it depends on what you ultimately want to do with the car and the total cost of getting it to that point as you may find starting with an original V6 gives you that extra £10K modifying pot to play with...

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I always look at it as "If I buy this and a faster/better/new model pulls up along side, would I think "I knew I should have got that"" Hence why I had the Supercharged S2 Exige (when it was the fastest) and now why I am saving up for an Evora when I could buy outright an N/A.

 

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Thanks all for the responses - whats clear is that there isn't an obvious answer!

The 350 seems stuck in a bit of no mans land for me (assuming new) - buy the time you add 2 piece brakes, Alcantara pack, and the forged wheels you have already closed half the gap, so why not close the gap. Then you are back to worrying about the rev limit on the 380 is too low, or the fact that you need another exhaust if you want the 380 on track...

Looking at nearly new, it gets even harder, and then you are waiting on the right colour/trim/extras (which will always come the day after you get the 'almost' car on your drive), in which case just get the S and have done.

Reading the press releases etc gets you so far, it leaves me with a bit of a 'so what' question for a lot of it. Saying things like 'lighter engine mounts' sound great, but if they saved 60g and the engine rocks around like a hammock in the wind I don't really care! Many of the modern press releases seem to be saying ' we sprinkled it with fairy dust to make it betterer' - all IMO of course

It would be much easier if I could find a dealer that had all 3 cars, but I'm struggling - Oakmere have a 380 (I think they have a demo) and an LF1, but no 350 - just hoped that I could get a clearer view in my head but suspect not.

 

 

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The only other variable you haven’t considered is what deals can be had.

at my time of shopping the 350 was the best haggling option and I got just under £10k off list price. 

With the 430 you might find the 380 is now a great option to haggle down.

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Very true, and that was partly driving my comment about the 350 feeling a bit left out in the cold, from very brief chats with dealers it seems the always seem to imply there are deals on the 380 more than anything else

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You simply can't compare a new car with a used car in terms of value for money - the used car is always the logical choice, so it boils down to whether you really want a new car or not and what your budget is.

V6S, 350, 380, 430 - all great cars in their own right which became incrementally better and more expensive. The decision is do you want to spend £40k and drip feed in another £20k over the next few years modifying and making it your own, or do you want a new car with three year warranty and manufacturer support and a significant price premium (cash flow possibly offset by a 50/50 finance deal).

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14 minutes ago, BatMobile said:

The only other variable you haven’t considered is what deals can be had.

at my time of shopping the 350 was the best haggling option and I got just under £10k off list price. 

With the 430 you might find the 380 is now a great option to haggle down.

£10k off list?

Blimey. Was that for a new car, or one that already existed? That's a nice discount.

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10 minutes ago, Neal H said:

You simply can't compare a new car with a used car in terms of value for money - the used car is always the logical choice, so it boils down to whether you really want a new car or not and what your budget is.

V6S, 350, 380, 430 - all great cars in their own right which became incrementally better and more expensive. The decision is do you want to spend £40k and drip feed in another £20k over the next few years modifying and making it your own, or do you want a new car with three year warranty and manufacturer support and a significant price premium (cash flow possibly offset by a 50/50 finance deal).

Completely agree with you on not trying to get a definitive answer on older+mod > new car. Whilst an older car will always appear to be better value, I know modded cars have a vastly reduced market - so paying to mod a car and make it near enough unsellable outside for a small handful of people. So for me it's not a home run value wise for older cars - depreciation costs, but so does an unsellable car that has 10k of mods sitting on it that is just wasted cash. So not trying to debate that as much as it's natural to

I suppose my question is more that did the 350/380 fix anything inherently wrong with the S - so far I am not hearing anything that backs that up, which brings it all back to personal preference.

Edited by MrP_

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I got my 350 for £56.4k and it’s now a year on worth around £52k - I didn’t buy it with depreciation in mind but it has subsequently proved to be a great deal. The list price was £64.5k as I had a lot of options on it. So £8k off and on a 50/50 so I could of got more had I parted with all the money at once.

i did get in just before lotus stopped big discounts as they were preparing for being sold.

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Don’t mind at all, anything to help someone join the fold.

it was dealer stock as lotus had delivered them a second demonstrator by mistake. 

However my order was actually slightly lower spec and the deal wasn’t that different, biggest factor for me was I could have it straight away rather than wait 12 weeks; it also meant I could register it before april avoiding the huge new car tax they implemented.

i also got a full detail with gtechniq ceramic coating (5 year version) included and subsequently a soft top conversion included as well due to a mistake that occurred.

if I were you I would work out which model you want and then call around those with stock that tick the right options. If the deal is right and the main options are included you can always add in the missing components.

as I alluded above win ace does all the carbon - splitter, front hatch, spoiler, full diffuser, side pods, rear louvred section etc for around £5-6k delivered.

i am sure if we grouped together we could get it for less...

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20 minutes ago, MrP_ said:

I suppose my question is more that did the 350/380 fix anything inherently wrong with the S - so far I am not hearing anything that backs that up, which brings it all back to personal preference.

I really don't think there was anything inherently wrong with the original V6S - I would view most improvements as tweaks. The exception is the gear change, which did without doubt take a major step forward with the open gate 350 mechanism. The quality of the V6S mechanism did appear to be variable, I always thought mine was fine - I had no issues with it, but the system used from the 350 onward is superior.

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3 hours ago, Neal H said:

I really don't think there was anything inherently wrong with the original V6S - I would view most improvements as tweaks. The exception is the gear change, which did without doubt take a major step forward with the open gate 350 mechanism. The quality of the V6S mechanism did appear to be variable, I always thought mine was fine - I had no issues with it, but the system used from the 350 onward is superior.

Great thanks - I thought that would be the answer! It was much easier when you just had to pick a supercharger or not in the S2 days!

3 hours ago, BatMobile said:

Don’t mind at all, anything to help someone join the fold.

it was dealer stock as lotus had delivered them a second demonstrator by mistake. 

However my order was actually slightly lower spec and the deal wasn’t that different, biggest factor for me was I could have it straight away rather than wait 12 weeks; it also meant I could register it before april avoiding the huge new car tax they implemented.

i also got a full detail with gtechniq ceramic coating (5 year version) included and subsequently a soft top conversion included as well due to a mistake that occurred.

if I were you I would work out which model you want and then call around those with stock that tick the right options. If the deal is right and the main options are included you can always add in the missing components.

as I alluded above win ace does all the carbon - splitter, front hatch, spoiler, full diffuser, side pods, rear louvred section etc for around £5-6k delivered.

i am sure if we grouped together we could get it for less...

 

Great thanks - absolutely right everything can be changed if needed. There are some nice spec cars out there, I just need to make a call on which model - pretty much got the spec for each sorted if I was to look, or order now. It's more the justification bit in my head!

 

Will also be qtechniqing - do it to all my cars now and a 100% convert to using it! The effort up front more than pays off in time saved each week, not to mention the greater ability to resist swirls 

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i recently went to view a second hand 350 (at  a dealer ) and almost immediately decided to buy a new 350s which came with 2 part brakes and the AP callipers which were a must for me as i intend to track a lot it and it came at the right price too, i had a hard time deciding on a 350,380 & 311its a decision on what you want the car for I'm already into mine for £10k (and only got 350 miles on clock) as i know what i want and also wanted to create a car personally with what at the time i believe to be the best mods to suit me, i even looked at buying a older 350 and putting a sequential box into it but it just got to expensive but would have been a right weapon on track,  i still keep looking at the 430 cup but IMO you will need to be exceptionally good behind the wheel to get the best out of it and would i really want to drive it on track on the limit knowing it owes me £110k .....

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If i had my time again now then id be looking for a year old 350 for sure. When i bought mine such things didn't exist but having been looking for a V6S or Club Racer Ideally i made the mistake of testing a 350 and the improvements to the car (particularly the gear change) and a healthy discount were enough to convince me to buy new, something which id never done before.

Should be able to pick up a 350 with a couple of years warranty on it with a nice spec for high 40s. I actually had my own car (5k miles, 2pc discs) up for 47 in November due to the potential availability of a particularly special car and its now with Targa Florio on SOR whilst i move house. As soon as I'm into the new place ill go and pick it up and either try again private in spring or just enjoy it for another year - if you want to have a roll out in a 350 when I've got it home (should be later this month all being well with the move) your more than welcome and don't appear to be a million miles away. 

 

Edited by LukeH

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I think what I’d like from the 350 is the gear linkage, but combine that with loads of other little bits and I think it would be worth the premium.  For example new air conditioning controls which are clear if on or off, and the same with the headlight controls. Then you have the louvred rear deck and poly engine window, both of which would cost a lot to retrofit to an Exige S. There are loads more little points like this, the suspension setup is better on a 350, which is good if you don’t intend to change things. 

On the point above of mods not adding value and making the car hard to sell, I guess I have to keep my car forever ?

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Had the V6S , Sprt 350 and now Sport 380, all bought second hand from 6-12months old .

Biggest bang for buck for s/h purchase price is the 350 , although I would argue ownership costs of a well bought 380 is no more expensive than someone trying to upgrade to same spec come resale time. 

See my dodgy man maths at end of first post here  :-   

 

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10 hours ago, Kimbers said:

I always look at it as "If I buy this and a faster/better/new model pulls up along side, would I think "I knew I should have got that"" Hence why I had the Supercharged S2 Exige (when it was the fastest) and now why I am saving up for an Evora when I could buy outright an N/A.

 

I have a fully paid for 2010 Evora NA and would not consider a 2 year old 400 a good upgrade.

Now a 410, that is different.

We're all different I guess.

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1 hour ago, GFWilliams said:

I think what I’d like from the 350 is the gear linkage, but combine that with loads of other little bits and I think it would be worth the premium.  For example new air conditioning controls which are clear if on or off, and the same with the headlight controls. Then you have the louvred rear deck and poly engine window, both of which would cost a lot to retrofit to an Exige S. There are loads more little points like this, the suspension setup is better on a 350, which is good if you don’t intend to change things. 

On the point above of mods not adding value and making the car hard to sell, I guess I have to keep my car forever ?

The heater controls light up too which is useful!

I think that's what swung things for me, a lot of little upgrades that individually aren't a big deal but  all combined do make it a nicer overall package.

One annoying backwards step IMO though is the DPM control - the alu dial on the original cars is lovely - the plastic buttons on the 350 are pretty nasty in comparison :angry:

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