Hi! just joined and looking for some help

Im thinking of buying an Exige in the next few weeks and looking for some advice on what to look for/at to ensure I dont end up with big bills shortly after - any tips appreciated.

Some of the questions I have at the moment are;

  1. Is there any difference between a 2000 and 2001 Exige - did Lotus modify in any way?

  2. There seems some debate over AC to have or not to have that is the question - it looks like most 2001 cars on the market come with it? How much would it cost to fit to an Exige with out?

  3. What tend to be the common upgrades most go for?

Thanks !


As far as I know there is no real difference between different year Exiges - the year only pretty much tells you how long it was sat around at the factory or at the dealers before it was registered.

My car had aircon, and for me it was a waste of time - mostly because it didn’t work - although I gather on some cars it does (a bit). To retrofit just is’t worth it - it means shifting the alternator, different exhaust manifold (might even have to have one made up), all the pipework, not to mention controls. If you are desperate to have aircon then look for a car that already has it.


  1. What tend to be the common upgrades most go for?
  • Brake pads & braid lines, the std ones leave a lot to be desired
  • Quickshift, makes the box feel much nicer
  • Lotus 190 engine upgrade (or similar, eg. Emerald), it’s how the car was originally designed (before Euro regs)
  • A048 tyres, a more track oriented development on the original (better in the cold and wet) A039s


Thanks MarkD and IDG !!

On the question of what to look out for any obvious tell tale signs to look for that indicates the car has been given a good thrashing and is feeling a bit sore ? How can you tell if its had one too many track days ?

The residuals look fairly good but I noticed on those for sale that there is almost �4k difference between a 2000 reg and a 2001 ie avg 2000 reg goes for approx �21k and last reg 2001 for �24.5 - if the difference really worth while if you come across a low mileage 2000 model?

Sounds like aircon is no big deal so not worth a premium when buying - I guess its windows down in the summer

Any one able to sum up the pros and cons of a cat bypass?



Sorry, forgot about that, Cat by-pass is a must! (obivously only on track, it’d be legal otherwise) A a silenced cat by-pass will help get you through trackday noise limits.

I’m not sure there’s enough Exiges around to make a true distinction between 2000 & 2001 cars on price. I think spec and mileage are more important. A low mileage 2000 would tempt me more, especially if the miles were road miles. That said, don’t think a car is bad because it’s been on track! It’s the care and servicing that’s FAR more important. For such a good track ‘tool’ I doubt the prices are going to tumble too much now they’ve settled (but I don’t care, I’m not selling mine!).

It was too late to strip a/c off mine but knowing what I know now I wouldn’t have bothered, it just adds weight and has rarely made a big difference. Low weight really does make for good handling.


I’m aiming to use the car 90% for road and probably take her out for a few track days so with that in mind - where does the cat removal start causing MOT type issues (sorry for ignorance), plus how much noiserer does it really get - I suspect the performance is much better with that free flow!!! .

Apart from usual car checks is there anything in particular I should take a look at when buying eg gasket etc…



Gasket would be a good idea, but others would be better at saying how.

Check the tyre wear as well. The proper tyres are Yokohama A039s (the orginials) or A048s (new, more track oriented ones). These only come with 5mm of tread and cost �600+ for a set. The rears tend to wear out quickest but you should budget for new set every 5000 miles. If you’re only using it on the road there are other tyres but just don’t even consider them for the track, they just drop it down several leagues.

It’ll also drink more oil than a highly engined german/japanese car. Cars that aren’t at least covered may be asking for trouble too.

The MOT emission issues seem to depend where you take it. For some reason, some places seem to have no problem re-fitting and removing the Cat very quickly. Which reminds me, I found out the fine for failing a road side emissions test. �30 quid, rising to a max of �60 if you don’t pay quick enough, no points.



take the cat off = MOT fail

but… you can always put it back on for the test


Thks all - I guess now I need to find a good example

Out of interest does the 190 upgrade make a significant difference to road driving? The trade off is substantial insurance penalty as its classified as modified.

If any one knows of a nice near mint car (FSH) with light use, low mileage that hasnt been thrown around tracks, i’d be interested to hear from them.

Any one got any insurance recomendations, having come brack from USofA recently ive lost my 5 years no claims (2 year abscence limit) and some quotes are out of this world (even with no points or accidents!) - Cheapest ive seen is 1.2K from Tesco with Adrian S Flux wanting 2.5k -

My recommendation would be to put an Exige on track! Using Esteem for the insurance.


Escaper…I’ve recently been ringing around for insurance and although the best price I got was from ‘Elephant’,I ended up going with ‘AON’ (after the inevitable haggling!) as they seemed to know the car and were sympathtic to upgrades.Ultimately,I hope the service will be good in the event of a claim.

that hasnt been thrown around tracks

I think I know what you mean, ie, hasn’t been abused…but trackdays are what this car was meant for so don’t dismiss a car that has been tracked…as long as it is looked after as well.

I might even go to the opposite extreme and say I wouldn’t buy one that hadn’t been tracked on the basis that it must have been owned by someone who just pootled about town in it and probably never really understood how to drive it properly anyway.

I have the same opinion of people with 4x4s who never use then offroad - that’s real abuse!

I have the same opinion of people with 4x4s who never use then offroad - that’s real abuse!

Which would cover the entire female population of Chelsea! Unless you count kerbs.


Fortunately our Disco does venture into a field every now and then - Judith confirms the low range does engage

Know exactly what you mean - and the ‘Track’ point was more related to loving care rather than abuse.

Re insurance Elephant seem the most reasonable but will try Esteem as well.

Now its time to find the right car - if anyone has a low mileage well looked after example that they are looking to sell (sensible price paid) please let me know (not yellow - sorry and not quite sure of Orange either - nice colours but a bit too lairy for me - Gun metal, black or silver ideally).

PS any one off to Le Mans this June? Given the Exige has less space for storage than a motorbike any ideas ? cant imagine the tent fitting in somewhere



PS any one off to Le Mans this June? Given the Exige has less space for storage than a motorbike any ideas ? cant imagine the tent fitting in somewhere

No problem with the camping gear - provided you’ve not got a passenger (even then it is possible, as proved by the Edwards Boyz & 83man ). Tent, sleeping bag, camp bed, litre of oil & small tool kit will all fit in the engine bay. Passenger footwell is ideal for sports bag for lugging clean T shirts etc around.

Russ, Edwards Boyz, R4SLE & myself are off to the Le Mans “Classic” in July this year for a change - can’t wait

You can also take a ‘blow-up’ partner to save space can’t you?!



Good tip is to get a large sheet of thick polythene, Put it into the “boot” first, then add your luggage and wrap the excess polythene over the top of your luggage. Lots of good reasons for this, It stops luggage getting wet from roof vents, It stops luggage from getting dirty from road dirt coming up through the engine bay, It stops your luggage from moving around and faling down behind the engine and either getting lost or worse, wrapping around the driveshaft and causing dammage.

However you do it it IS possible to go in an Exige with 2 people camping to Le Mans.

Enjoy, Steve.

Yeah, 2 up for a week in an Exige to Le Mans- no problem . Just pack carefully and make sure that you have a modern small tent and tiny squishy sleeping bags. Dress in t-shirts and ‘zip off at the knee’ trousers - but don’t forget the swimming trunks.

As for the tool kit, if you go with Martin, Steve and Co you can leave that at home as well!

Seriously, it’s s doodle if you pack carefully.