Lotus Test Day at Donington

Dealer just invited me to Donington next Thurs (22nd) Apparently Lotus have booked the circuit and their test drivers will be there in force (inc I understand Sir Gavan Kershaw) to give some demo laps in the Elise and S2 Exige - if anyone is in the area could perhaps blag a few laps?? Am trying to rearrange my diary…

B****x, that would be good but I am working in bloody Ireland, think I also may try to re-arrange my Diary!! Hope to see you there.

Yep hope to see you there Rich, looking good at the mo’ - if not enjoy the Guinness

sounds well cool, which dealer was it? I’ll try and blag the day off

I’m going as well. I was invited by Nick Whale’s.
I have the option of AM or PM. Which are you doing, Simon?

Peter was Chris Neils…

Brendan looking like AM…

I’m going as well. I was invited by Nick Whale’s.
I have the option of AM or PM. Which are you doing, Simon?

I think I need a serious conversation with someone over there, as I guess my invite got lost, or was it just the fact I keep slagging the car off everytime I’m over there

Hmm got no invite so can’t go…perhaps JCT are not part of the deal or maybe they’re just [censored] can’t decide have a good day Simon. As it happens I’m really up to my neck in work (got next week off tho!) so maybe it’s better I try and sort that lot out instead…CU next Tuesday at the NYLOC meet.

Peter shame you can’t make it… Last week’s inbetweenie NYLOC meet - 2 new Exiges - reckon that Yorkshire cornerin’ market (always had good taste) - Nyloc now has, by my reckonin’, 7 Exige (S1 that is!) members see you Tuesday and don’t be late…

I have all day to get there so will be reet on time tha nos’ look forward to hearing all about the S2 thingy…

…CU next Tuesday…

Isn’t that a bit rude

I’m at Donny tomorrow afternoon. Anybody else?

You’ve been watching too many episodes of sex & the city Brendan

You’re dead right there
The wife’s a real fan.

Never, ever will I see anybody next Tuesday (or Thursday) again cu 2morro Brendan, cu day before Weds next week Peter


I had a great day at Donington today. Nice to see you again, Simon. Sorry we didn’t get more time to chat.

Was very impressed with the new Exige. Performance felt very similar to the MK1. Overall refinement was impressive. Overall, I prefer the raw feel of my car.
What really did impress me was the handling, once I started to push it a bit I found it gave me loads more confidence than the MK1. After about 7 or 8 laps, I was losing concentration a bit, and getting a bit frustrated with the other traffic. At this point, I started making more mistakes, missing my braking and turn-in points, and generally throwing the car into corners and then sorting out the mess afterwards. This is where the car really excelled. It was so adjustable and forgiving, I felt like I could really take all kinds of liberties and get away with it.
If I wanted to change my car, there’s no doubt I’d go for an S2. For the moment though, I’ll hang on to my car. I’ll definately be keeping a close eye on any upgrades as they come along as it needs something extra to really sway me.

Good news on the sports exhaust front: I heard a sports exhaust on an S2 a couple of weeks ago, and it was waay to quiet. Apparently that was the stage 1 exhaust. It’s much lighter than standard, but not much louder.
A stage 2 version has been developed which will be available sometime soon. It has a single oval exit pipe, and is said to be much louder.

Brendan good to see you too and JohnO as well, nice to see Exiges.com well represented

Brendan couldn’t have summed it up better. The handling was so forgiving (maybe its all the new parts on it ) It didn’t seem as quick as mine but that could be due to the quietness of the engine (spooky). The finish of the car was superb and the gearchange is a revelation.

All in all a super day and big thanks to Simon at Chris Neils for the invitation. Enjoyed it immensely but won’t be swapping yet, If didn’t have the Exige I would def be in the market for one…

ps - you don’t realise the potential of these cars until a Lotus test engineer pedals one round with you passengering

At last we have some track feedback on the S2.

Sounds promising, I have to say.

Hopefully other dealers will arrange similar events and invite Exige S1 owners along.

It’s interesting to read both your comments as you both appear reticent to buy at this time, no doubt mindful of the 250bhp rumours.

All in all though it does sound encouraging. My widely acknowledged criticisms of the aesthetics remain, but at least the S1 doesn’t appear to be a dead end and it will hopefully be possible to be happy with a newer Lotus one day.

Like you guys, I’ll certainly wait until more power comes along before getting too excited about it all.

Still not sure whether to test drive at this point or to wait until something beefier in the engine dept. comes out.

But if someone invites me to a track demo, then I guess I could be pursuaded

Theres just to much weight on the car, Lotus will have to produce a lighter, more powerful version, bet Lotus Motorsport workin on this at the mo’ .

Also the S2 seems to generate little downforce and handles v similarly to an S1 Elise…v nice tho’ - rear end breakaway is very progressive and controllable…

I am still totally of the opinion that very, very few existing owners will swap for the Mk2 - even if there is a Motorsport 250bhp version around in the next 6 months or so. Said car is unlikely to be priced under �35K, bearing in mind it’s going to cost at least �33k to spec a “basic” Mk2 for track use (as most Mk1s are now).

Yesterday mine was parked next to LRVs bright yellow Mk2, & even the LRV folks said they preferred the looks of the Mk1.

But let’s ignore looks, as that is subjective anyway, & think about performance. From what I’ve read, & heard (from those who’ve driven both)overall there’s not a great deal of difference. So, why the hell spend in the order of �15K “trading up” to a new one? In my opinion it’s going to be far more effective & enjoyable spending �9K to �12K on a Honda/Audi/Duratec transplant, along with some Nitron springs & dampers.

Whilst on the subject of performance, let’s also be honest here - very few (& I exclude myself here) owners are able to drive their cars on track to match the car’s potential. As Simon says, it’s only when you pax with one of the factory guys (or someone with racing experience), that you really appreciate the car’s true capabilities. If I’m totally truthful with myself, I would be better off spending �5k on instruction, rather than the same or more on “performance enhanchments” such as an engine/gearbox transplant - but life’s not like that is it?

I’m not saying the Mk2 is no good, far from it cos I’m 100%sure it’s a damn fine sportscar - but then, so is the 111r, which leads me to ask “why wasn’t there a 111r to test alongside the Mk2 Exige at Donington today?” To me, the answer is obvious