Looking at buying an Exige

Hello, have been reading the forum for a few weeks - so thanks for all the information. Having read the various forums and if I buy an Exige it will be an S1 (couple of other cars on my list). Although I have searched I cannot find a definitive answer to an ‘obvious’ question. In performance terms what is the difference between a standard 1.8 and the Lotus upgraded 190 model? Most on the market seem to be 190, but a couple are without it.

In reality, not a lot.
The 190 will have a bit more midrange and rev about 400 rpm higher. Basically a bit more power, but that’s it.

And then there’s the 190 upgrade via the Emerald ECU, which will open the door for future upgrades.

They tell me the 190 runs sweeter, and you get a very marginal performance increase. Mine is a standard 177 and in 2 1/2 years of ownership I have been tempted to upgrade - but have never got round to it.
But I feel I must talk you out of your purchase. You do realise scoolboys are going to fall to their knees in front of you, you are going to be pestered by hero worshippers that want to know all about your car, garage attendants will want to know what kind of a lamborghini it is, people will stare at you every time you take it out, you will no longer be able to pick your nose whilst driving, you will get addicted to driving it, you’ll be spending money on upgades, you’ll want to do track days, you’ll keep visiting this site…etc etc
But it really is worth it!!!

Excellent and good to know, I have seen a brilliant example of a 177, but given the distance was going to drive a 190 locally first. Obviously from the other comments - sounds like I will have to drive it in the dark mostly…

Might as well start before its sitting outside - what basic upgrades would you recommend from day 1 that are not on the standard Lotus spec? Have looked at track days, but imagine it will be only a few times a year, although have a Jonathan Palmer day in a couple of weeks

Again appreciate the advise.

Jasper…just like you I am tempted by an S1 Egige (see s2 to s1) Just do it mate. I’m sure we will not be dissapointed.

The first upgrades are:
-brake pads, fresh fluid (super DOT4) and braided lines, then disks if needed
-proper tyres (if other than Yokos)
-check the throttle linkage below the dash (it tends to work loose) and at the throttle bodies (it tends to be slack) there may be some lost horses there due to the throttle not opening enough
-some spare Mobil 1 oil (you’ll need it)

And now the fun:

-driver training

Forgot to tell you - you’ll get aching jaw muscles from the smiles the car gives you!!! (Honest!! We’ve all had it!)
Main upgrade most people go for is brakes, better pads or disks as well - look for green stuff pads or padgids and ali belled disks - eliseparts.co or Pollack Eng/ Muts Nuts!
Some of us have put diffusers and splitters on.
It’s your car, part of the fun is choosing the upgrade that suits your driving!

Tone, thanks � just looking at eliseparts, web site, excellent � tempted to start buying now…

AndyK � looks like a nice car in Bristol, don�t worry I�m looking at a different one !!! Please let me know how the test drive went.

Uldis, I think the brakes and disks are a must, might have to go for a new steering wheel. Given recently when driving an elise 111S it was too close to the legs. Unless the Exige has a different as standard?

Na, it’s the same - 320mm (if I remember correctly).

A removable hub and a MOMO 300mm will move it up and away from your legs slightly. People of 6’4" have driven Exiges relatively happily.


Is Exige wheel the same as S1 one steering wheel which is 300mm in dia However, the S2 wheel is 320mm so i’m lead to believe

AFAIK, they’re all 320mm

I agree, I think they’ve always been 320mm.


Yep, 320mm definately.

thanks, the one I’m looking at has a removeable Momo steering wheel. I suspect it will not be a problem, just used to a different car and will adjust my driving position over time…

Be interested if anyone knows the history of any on the market at the moment and would recommend.

Thanks again.

yep no difference