S2 Open Air

I recently wandered in to a Lotus main dealer to buy a few bits for my M100 Elan and found myself drawn to the Exige S2. Having owned a few Elises (moded and unmoded) I was keen to talk to the sales guy as to how it drove etc.

We had a good chat and I have agreed to go back to a test drive (think there may be an expensive purchase about to happen). The thing that really got me interested is that as well as being very fast (obviously) it seems that they can adapt the car to take an elise soft top for those who can’t live with a hard top all year round.

To me this makes it seem like the ultimate car; a moded elise that’s not an elise and is faster and better through the corners will be better on track etc etc

Does anybody know if this works or have they had it done or was it all just coming from the mouth of a car salesman!

Hope someone can confirm, as I may well be joining you if I can take the roof off over the summer!



Welcome PJB, just do it!

I take my roof off at every opportunity, as the Exige was always meant to be a convertible. I have no idea why more S1 owners don’t do it???

In fact, my dad now wishes he had an S2 so that he could get more sun on his shiny pate.

pjb, if you do a little search of the site you will indeed discover that it is possible.

HOWEVER! (as Russ well knows, the little scamp) The very idea upsets a few Exige purists, as the Exige is a racing car with refined aerodynamics. Removing its roof merely makes it an Elise Coupe with no roof and a silly spoiler.

In all seriousness though, Lotus say it voids the warranty (presumably just on the roof) and I really wouldn’t recommend running with no roof on track.

Other than that, buy the damn thing and have a great time!


ps. Pesky tell us it’s not true what the little oik says!

Thanks for the responses, been doing a bit more digging on the site and can see there is a mixture of sensible and opinionated views on this one! …

Well I reckon its good news it can be done, especially if you fancy a sub 100mph cruise with the roof off every now and again and you live on the south coast like me.

I fully appreciate the car is designed for having the roof on, but I hate sticking to rules anyway… …you should always have some options, and anyway I don’t buy into this structural rigidity loss thing, thats all in the chassis on these Lotuses. I do however accept the aerodynamics argument.

Hope I won’t cause too much of a stir with this one, but if you have the roof off, and are leaving the car anywhere, being able to put a softop on may be usefel…anyone tried this?

Welcome PJB, just do it!

I take my roof off at every opportunity…

Of course, it must be getting hot in there!..

(you cheeky sod)

Anyone got any pics then of car with roof off or with soft top on it…would be good to check out what it looks like, as it does look fantastic with the roof on

here it is:

Thanks for that, it looks really good from the front as on both the pics…now wondering what it looks like from the side and back!!

I think there’s a pic (from a LeMan posting?) of a red(?) one with the roof off (from the side?) somewhere on here.


I’ve done a few searches and can’t seem to find the pics, ideas please anyone?!

I have run mine with the roof off a couple of times and it is great. bell and colvill are putting a soft top on for me as soon as the parts are available (early Sept, just in time for winter) Lotus said it will void the warrenty for anything roof related but nothing else.

Thanks for the info Ryder…Bell & Colvill was the dealer who mentioned it to me, so I would be interested in seeing your car when its done if you live somewhere near there and don’t mind.

I probably won’t order mine yet anyway, as I’ll aim to have it ready for next spring, so it would be great to see one in the flesh which has the soft top on. It’s my understanding that it’s relatvely easy to switch between hard and soft tops although not something you want to do everytime you take the car out. I’m also not very familiar with the S2 roof having only owned S1 Elises…but I’m sure it can’t be as much hassle as the S1 roof!

Mine is being done Thursday at B&C. I live in brighton, but youo are welcome to come and see it if you wish. I will try and get pics

Hi Ryder

Bad timing!! I’m in Hove on the wednesday!! I actually work in Chichester though, so Brighton is not too far…might pop down to have a look in my Elan sometime or meet somewhere in between in you fancy taking your car for an outing?


Outing sounds good

Just let me know when.

How did the work go Ryder, you pleased with the result…any pics?

How about meeting up this thurs evening somewhere between Brighton and Chi? Somewhere inland away from traffic etc, Storrington maybe, thinking about 6.30-7.00 before light goes? Hopefully roads will be nice and dry if weather holds


Work went very well, they put the back sockets a little high on the roll bar casing cf my elise so the roof looks a little proud when on. Don’t know if it leaks yet as it has not rained since. Lovely to drive sans roof in this weather tho. I am house hunting on thursday, looking at a place in Midhurst at 5.30. how about 6.30 to 7 ish in the Bridge Pub at Amberley on the B2139? Times may be a bit approx as I don’t know how long we will be at the house.



Sounds good, see you there, I’ll have my Black Elan SE Turbo, and be sitting on my own like a billy no mates!