08 Exige S 240 in Starlight Black

Having been a bit of a lurker for a while, I thought it’s time to get more involved and share my new (to me) car.

I have really enjoyed reading through the owners cars threads on here. It’s amazing how useful they have already been as reference points to help me tick off a few jobs in the short time I have owned the car.

Rewinding back the clock to 2014, after many years saving the pennies I bought my first Lotus, an S2 111S Elise. I would have loved an Exige, but couldn’t stretch that far. I also thought that I should start with the ‘softer’ Elise and possibly work up to an Exige at some point in the future.

It was a fantastic car and everything I had hoped it would be. It really got under my skin, with new friends made, many excellent runs around Kent and Sussex and more track days than I can remember. It also showed me that you shouldn’t be afraid to work on cars and just get stuck in.

Although it was (and still is) a lovely car to drive on the road, I eventually started to crave more power. I test drove a couple of Honda converted Elises and was very impressed. They definitely had the power box ticked and retained the lovely delicate, analogue feel of a light weight K series Elise. But knowing how much I have always loved the styling and philosophy of the S2 Exige, I knew that I had to try one.

In December 2021, I lined up a test drive at a very well known Lotus main dealer in the south east. It was a huge disappointment. The car looked amazing and the power was impressive, but the pedal feel compared my K series Elise was so binary and disconnected. I was gutted and started to wonder if assisted brakes and ABS on the Elise platform was really this crap. I asked some fellow Lotus owners what they thought and they assured me that it was not normal. Perhaps I just drove a car that needed some TLC.

With this in mind I set up another test drive with a different car later in the week. A 2008 S240. I loved it. The pedal feel was great. So different to my K series Elise and definitely not as delicate, but I knew that I could learn to adjust to it and the huge jump in braking power gave me massive confidence.

It drove beautifully, so I knew then that I was ready to let my Elise go. My Elise was sold and after a bit of negotiating over the course of a couple of weeks I picked this up:

I couldn’t leave it alone for too long. A friend was selling some RGB wheels, so the Y spokes were shod with ZZRs for track use and the RGB wheels snapped up for road duty.

I swapped the sump for an EP baffled number.

And then took it off and refitted it with sealant that worked (Loctite 5980) – thank you Kyle / Fonzey!

Checked over and cleaned up the brakes.

Sorted some stone chips…

And painted the engine cover plastic panels whilst fixing a dodgy spoiler fixing.

It’s a lovely car and I’m looking forward to getting to know it as well as I did with the Elise.

1 Like

I shall be following with interest! Great first post …

Fantastic start to the thread, looking forward to more.

I feel your pain on the pedal feel. I believe mine to feel “ok” and then I drive a k series car even just to reverse it out of the way or something and the feel of the pedals makes me feel miserable, they are so so much better than the Toyota cars.

Thanks for taking a look, hopefully as I post more over time there will be something useful to someone out there!

They are wonderful, definitely not as stiff as the Toyota cars and the solid, unassisted brake pedal with such instant feedback and short travel is great for heel and toe. I do feel like Im getting the hang of the Exige setup now and they feel light years better than the 2005 Exige I drove previously.

As mentioned before, I gave the engine cover plastics a few coats of paint to tidy them up. They were scratched and also quite faded which bugged me as it looked a bit drab against the shiny black paint.

It looked simple to remove the spoiler, but all four of the fixing bolts were corroded into their mounting points. Luckily I could unscrew three of them painfully slowly by locking onto and gripping the bolt heads with mole grips. The last one had welded itself into the rivnut inside the spoiler, so I cut the head off the bolt and drilled it out as carefully as I could.

Here’s the paint. Fantastic, hard wearing stuff with a matt finish. I also used it on the plastic grills of my old Elise and it looked great for as long as I owned the car.

And the painted finish + new stainless bolts.

I ran the car without the spoiler off for a few days and although it felt a bit odd, I actually quite liked it.

Spoiler is back on now and hasn’t fallen off yet :wink:

Looking awesome!! Good to have you here! :slight_smile:

Great stuff! I like starlight black :thumbup:

congrats, not usually a starlight black fan, but that looks well :thumbup:

I had a Starlight Black Exige back in 2007/8 and it was a lovely colour - although it certainly showed up any paint imperfections :laughing: Yours looks very tidy indeed - nice car :slight_smile:

It’s certainly a very divisive colour, but I love certain cars in black – especially 964 generation 911s and older Ferraris like the 355.

I think it works brilliantly on all the Exige variants, but I also completely understand why others don’t like it. I must admit that when I starting looking, I didn’t see myself getting a black car, but actually seeing a few in the flesh made me a bit giddy as it looks very purposeful. I’m not sure that the ‘softer’ Elise manages to pull off the look in quite the same way.

It’s going to be a learning curve to keep it in good condition, so I’ve upped my game a bit when it comes to cleaning by investing in ways to keep contact cleaning to a minimum. My Magnetic Blue Elise was definitely a lot easier to look after!

matt this thread needs some grey exiges on it … :laughing:

Black (shiny, no scura love here) is absolutely the best car colour.

For 6 mins after you’ve washed it :mrgreen:

Not really an update as I’ve not done a huge amount to the car lately. I have mainly just enjoyed driving it as much as possible.

I’m enjoying having the RGB wheels on the car. It will be interesting to see if I can feel the weight difference when I swap back to the OEM wheels I have relegated aside for track use.

I have also swapped out the original seats with my Corbeau Le Pros – I find these a lot more comfortable and supportive. An added bonus is that the yellow of the carbon/kevlar material matches the yellow stitching of the interior :sunglasses: .

I’m not sure why, but the car came fitted with Pagid RS14s on the front and CL RC5 on the rear? The braking force is impressive, perhaps too much for my mainly road use.

I’d love to hear if anyone can shed some light on why the previous owner would choose to mix the pad compounds?

Perhaps the last owner had different wear rates. Not a lot of point in swapping out a good pair of rears if the fronts are kyboshed.

Also its not mega uncommon to have two different compounds. I have run DS1.11 front and DS2500 in the rear for instance. Only my OCD has kicked in and now I have matching …

Yeah, I expect it may just be simply down to wear rates, I just wasn’t sure if it was a deliberate move to shift greater oomph to the rear.

So it’s been six months since I ‘upgraded’ from my K series 111S Elise to the Exige.

After the initial flurry of small mods and general tidying up, I have just been enjoying driving it on organised runs, attending car events and pub meets.

I was very lucky to hear about a set of Cup 260 wheels that were up for sale. These have to be my favourite S2 wheels around, so although I already had two sets of wheels (RGB and the standard Y spokes), I greedily hoovered them up. In almost a year of looking, this was the only set that came up for sale so I couldn’t miss the opportunity.

A trip around the M25 to Essex and these were collected:

I got the very old Yokos replaced with my ZZRs in prep for a couple of track days that would be the first in the Exige. They could do with a refurb at some point. I’m thinking of going silver as I always liked the look of this car previously sold on Collecting Cars. Let me know what you think:

:

Due to various mishaps I wasn’t able to make the first trackday I had planned at Bedford. I had hoped to take the car to Bedford to kickoff my Exige trackday experience as it’s so wide with loads of helpful runoff. It’s a great place to safely explore a car with enough space to have a bit of fun. Instead the track debut was at Brands Hatch for a Lotus on Track evening session.

I’m not sure if it’s due to the sticky tyres, the aero or the extra weight compared to my old (780ish kg) Elise, but the Exige felt incredibly stable around Brands. There is so much more grip that I wasn’t brave enough to exploit on the small, twisty circuit. Hopefully this will come with more track time.

The braking performance was another level to what I had been used to before. It’s running rs14 pads and has the 4 pot BBK compared to my Elise setup of Mintex 1144 and standard calipers, so I was fully expecting to be impressed!

My lasting impression is just how at home the Exige feels on track. It immediately clicked and just felt like it was being used as intended. Whilst the Elise felt great on road and track, for me the Exige feels slightly more compromised on the road.

Great update, car looks great and silver absolutely gets my vote for the wheels :thumbup:

I’d vote for silver too! That’d look awesome on a black Exige!

Unusual for me I like the black in that style of wheel