Difference between exige and a motorpsort elise?

What is the difference in detailed spec. between the motorsport elise (the race spec car) and the S1 Exige?
Is the elise a lighter car? Some sites suggest 670KG versus 780kg but others say there’s nothin in it! Is the GRP body itself lighter on the elise?

I was thinking of race prep’ing my exige for the ‘midengined series’ but there are a couple of motorsport elises for sale. Which is the best route to take? Does 28k for a Motorsport elise with dog box and recent rebuild sound a better deal than converting an exige that stands me at 21k? + the several thousand required to convert it to race.

Steve T

I would sooner buy a motorsport elise than race prep a standard car. Will end up costing you alot less

If you buy the Motorsport one it’s going to be harder to drive on the road.

One of the big differences is that (some if not all of) the Motorsport Elises have a central driving position. I’ve always rather fancied that.


If you buy the Motorsport one it’s going to be harder to drive on the road.

In fact, impossible, unless you fit a handbrake, fog light etc etc & get the thing MOT’d (!!!)

My pre converted Exige is for sale on the Plans Motorsport website. Its up for �26k but that is negotiable.

Drop me a mail on [email protected] if you want any more details on it. Believe me, converting your Exige is NOT the way to go, particularly if you can’t do much of the work yourself.


What are your goals in racing?? Are you there just to compete or do you want to go for wins?? Obviously this makes a big difference to what you spend on the car and how you go about prepping it.


Shame you’re selling - your car has performed extremely well in the races I’ve seen this year

Can we expect to see you racing a GayLardy next season, then?

It would perform even better with me at the wheel

Would love to be racing a Gay Lardy next year, but I am still waiting to be ‘noticed’! New house means there is money to be spent elsewhere, and I quite fancy racing something else, Sports1000 perhaps.

Are you coming down to Silverstone on Saturday? There is a good chance we will be coming to watch…



Yep, will be there with Pesky minor, Russ & SteveE. I expect Mike Lane, Bernard & Maggsy to be around too - Russ is using Matt’s car for the race coz his is not ready after it’s last “hotlap”.

Should be a good turnout from the Aston, Healey, Intermarque etc. competitors too

Then it’s up to Donington on Sunday to watch some Italian racecars


Yep, will be there with Pesky minor, Russ & SteveE. I expect Mike Lane, Bernard & Maggsy to be around too

What about me and Rus’s miniture co-driver???
We will be there!!!

We will be there!!!


Hi Kinetic,

Go for the motorsport, i have had a standard motor box etc and now have the motorsport setup in it, it’s worth it just for the running gear alone, the suspension alone is gonna cost you a fortune and the standard box cannot come close to the ucr on the track. The small items that the motorsport car has compared to the road car make it an awsome race car.

I have been upgrading my car to compliment the engine and box and have spent +/- 5000 pounds already and have not even got the stack data logger etc that the m/sport car has as standard. The differences on the track are enormous so far.

However it is not the kind of setup you want on the road, so if it’s for racing, the motorsport without question.

Thanks Jason

Sounds to me as if buying the motorsport car is the way forward.
Whats the biggest difference between the UCR box of the motorsport car and the standard exige box in operation? I assumed a straight cut ‘dog’ box implied it was’nt a standard ‘H’ pattern shift but the motorsport elise I looked at yesterday had the standard shift. Is this right?

Is the UCR box easy to use? I know the shift on my exige is a little vague especially when used in anger changing down from 4th to third, in fact I can regularly miss the gear when using it on track.

AFAIK, the straight cut dog box only refers to the gears, which are erm… straight cut instead of helical (for less frictional losses)
But they are noisier, so not usable on the road, like a high-pitched whining noise.

The biggest difference are the gear ratios, much shorter on the UCR, to the point that they’re unlivable on the road, but great on track.

Feel should only be dependant on the linkage, cables and bushes shape, a great box can have a terrible feel because of this.


If you’re thinking about a motorsport car, Barrie’s car is well worth a very close look. He finished 2nd (behind Lee Noble in an M400) at Silverstone on Saturday, in this car, which was having its first outing since the rebuild.


Also dont forget a “dog” box has no syncromesh… which depending on the nature of change can be fun - double de-clutch down for smooth changes but no clutch on the way up … at least my KAD mini box ws like that

I take it the gearbox on the Motorsport Elise is different from the UCR set that I’ve got on my Exige?
I find the UCR perfect for road use. It’s semi-helical, so not too noisy, and the gearing is perfect: The rev limited would cut in just above the maximum speed in fifth.
Not really ideal for motorway driving, but that’s not what the Exige is about.

I also have an UCR in my exige, straight cut…and i love it.

UCR only refers to the ratios - ie Ultra Close Ratio.

You can get a complete UCR gearbox from Lotus with helical cut teeth (or possibly semi helical) for iirc �3k.

You can alternatively buy the ratios and final drive direct from Quaife, although these are straight cut. This just means it is noisier in operation - you get the gearbox whine associated with racing cars, old minis, or any other car in reverse. You only notice this at low throttle openings though - when you are pushing the car and revving it out you can only hear the engine. This is what I have in my car, and what I think Nicolas has. You have a choice of final drive also, mine hits 138mph at 8000 revs in 5th which is fine for Snet which has the longest straight and will go up to almost 60mph in 1st. I have had some cracking starts because the ratios are high enough that I get no wheelspin. I think this comes to �1300 and then the gearbox needs to come out and then apart.

With all that you still need to sort out the gear linkage. Various people will do it, Geary does a kit or any specialist can put something together. This is probably �200 or so, will make the gearchange more positive and missed gears are less likely. A car that has been racing a bit will have this done already as the gear linkage is a weak point and gets upgraded very quickly - mine was done by Pat Thomas at Kelsport.

The dog part relates to only the method of gear selection, and is as Andy says. It is my understanding that it is far easier to trash a dog box by missed gears, poor downchanges, inability to heel and toe as it has no synchromesh to help blend the gears in.

I had the opportunity to stick a dog box in my car when they sold off all the motorsport cars and spares a couple of years ago but went with the set up I have mentioned above in preference, on the basis that I cannot afford to replace gearboxes! As far as I know all the Autobytel cars had dog boxes, but when they were sold off to customers, some of them were swapped for synchro versions. The ratios are the same, but gearchanges should be marginally quicker.


Talking of which, I have my old Exige gearbox for sale still…