Used Exige or new Elise 111R?

hi guys, this is my first post in this amazing forum

I’m selling my Elise mk2 120hp to get something with more power
I found a perfect used Exige, one of the last ones (July 01) in perfect contitions, that has never seen tracks and got the 192hp kit only from 4000 km (now it has 14k km)

but it will cost the same as the new Elise 111R, that got the wonderful VVTL-I toyota engine but weights 80kg more than the Exige, has not the same prestigious and will not keep value as the Exige.

The standard Exige also need a better gear-shift, that would mean more euros (about 1500) to spend.

I would like to know your opinion about this doubt that don’t let me sleep…

I also would know if the affidability of an Exige as that, with no elaborations, could be sufficiently good, even it won’t never be as the Toyota engine’s.

Hoping to read many answers, I greet you all

PS: how many kilos does a standard Exige with all fluids weight?

Now this is the Exiges forum so we may be slightly biased!

I think you’ve got a difficult choice there. The 111R is likely to be better made, easier to live with on the road and cheaper to run. It may not even be much slower on the track if you put slickier tyre on it BUT…

The Exige looks so special, is a ‘classic’, won’t depreciate as quick as the 111R and is likely to give a much bigger smile and sense of satisfaction.

Put simply, your head will say 111R, your heart Exige. It’s your choice!

I weighed my Exige at Donnington - 780kgs (with 1/2 a tank of fuel)


Hi & welcome

Where do you live - there may be Exige owners near you who will be happy to meet

Not quite sure what you mean about the “gear shift”. For mainly track use, you may prefer the “ultra close ratio gearbox”, but suggest you try the car with the standard “close ratio” gearbox first. However, both types of gearbox will benefit from fitting a “quick shift”, which makes the action of changing gear more precise. A quick shift kit will cost about 300 euros.

Yes, the Toyota engine/gearbox are definately more refined, & should last longer than the Rover items in the MK1 Exige. But, owning an Exige is a “total experience”, which is matched by very few other cars

At the end of the day, it’s down to your personal choice, but I don’t think many MK1 Exige owners will change them for an Elise 111R.

Good luck

IDG, you weighted your Exige at 780kgs, but which modifies does it have?
and does it have the air conditioning?

I live in Italy, where Exiges are pretty rare…
Today I talked with the 1st owner of the Exige that I would buy, but he talked me about 0.5kg of motor oil for each 1000km, about head beatss when water coiling is over 95�C (even with the Shell V-Power 99 octanes fuel!!!) and about bad vibrations over 7000rpm…

what can you tell me about these problems?

about the gear-shift, I stupidly mistakes… I meant gearbox!

No real modifications at would effect weight. I do have a/c, which adds quite a lot. If you want really low weight the Exige will be better than the 111R.

I have the quick shift fitted is makes the normal gearbox much nicer. If you’re going to drive to the track/on the road I think the Ultra Close Ratio is probably too much.

It is true it does drink oil, especially on track. About 1 litre per 1000 miles. I would say it is just a character of the highly tuned engine and not something to worry about.

I’m not so sure about the bad vibrations though. It does get very exciting at 7000+rpm but I wouldn’t call them ‘bad’.


bagarospo i live near italy, mybe we can meet once.
Just send me an e-mail and i can tell u everything about
exiges and maybe give u some tips about exiges on sale in italy…because there r some exiges there in “bad” conditions.



its a bit of a loaded deal coming over to and asking about choices between an exige and the new 111R, but i reckon Pesky & IDG have about covered it - at the end of the day you need to go spend a few hours with each (if you can) and decide from there. Like Pesky says above I doubt many existing exige owners will trade in for a 111R but if starting from fresh and the exige didn’t grab me by the balls and say ‘there is no substitute’ then the 111R might be worth a punt.

In my case tho’… it would be no competition esp if I had the choice of a low miles v.late exige with good history…

everything else you need to know is on this BBS somewhere.

happy hunting and hopefully we will welcome you to the clan…

so guys, do you agree that a good VHPD should eat only 0,5kg of motor oil each 1000km or less? (on road use)

talking with Nicolas, I understood that oil consumption could be a good data to see how the engine goes…

anyway, I saw that I don’t have many chances here i Italy, because just 3 Exiges are on sale right now.
and even if I have to wait about June (dad pretends good school votes), I think I need at least 2 months to decide very well about the choice and to check the car.

Nicolas also told me that I could buy “her” in Germany… does anyone here come from Germany and could he help me to find the car?

thanks for all,

No i dont agree on those oil consumption figures, half a litre every 600 miles (or 1000km) is way to high

Mine eats about a litre every 3000 miles or 5000 km and that is mainly spirited road driving I can’t do many track days now due to a bad neck

I put this down to not being gentle on bedding in the new rings and sealing them quickly, that is within a couple of hundred miles of fitting

that’s what i’ve said, mine .5l every 3000 km if hard used.


well, I’ll contact the titanium exige owner… hoping it could be a good car

about the third one, a black exige converted to lamborghini orange, Nicolas know that car and say I could trash it

Phil, I saw your well-done web site… how can your elaborated car drink only a litre every 5k km?


PS: I looked at the price of used Exiges in UK… damn, they are so low!!! Here in Italy everyone sells it at least at 29500 pounds!

Thanks to the wonderful effects of the ever-rising property market here in the UK I have the same choice as the original poster, i.e. whether to buy a new Elise or a good Exige. I have decided on the Exige but first I want some stats - production figures and dates - so I know if the ones I look at are early or late run cars etc…

Anyone know where this info can be found?


User D

The Exige was produced/available between Oct 2000 & Dec 2001. Approx 600 were made. The last 3 digits of the VIN number specify the car’s order in the production run e.g my car is 409 & was registered in January 2001, although I believe it was actually built a couple of months beforehand.

A recent post on this bbs revealed that only about 270 of the cars produced were road registered in the UK.

To be honest, it doesn’t make any difference whether you buy an “early” or a “late” one - it’s the actual car & its spec that matter. Things to look out for preference are sports seats/harnesses, Lotus 190 (or Emerald) ECU upgrades, sports exhaust, braided brake hoses & either Pagid RS14 or Mintex 1144 pads. Other things are down to your personal taste e.g aircon, Edwards rear diffuser, Edwards front splitter. You will not find many with “decent” ICE - waste of time anyway IMHO.

No doubt others will chip in, but you’d be well advised spending a few hours (not all at once!) researching the archives of this bbs.

Good luck.

I second everything Pesky says… is well worth reiterating that the actual age of an exige isn’t as important as the condition and spec as they are all within a year or so of each other anyway.

As has been said before - the exige is more hardcore than a 111R and most of us knew we needed an exige when we saw it and only confirmed this by driving it - however, the ToyElise wasn’t around but i don’t know how much different the outcome would have been anyway… … have a read around this BBS

Another point is that the Exige was just about made for the track, so just because a car has done track days does not mean you should avoid it - often this can signify a car that has been very well looked after, and lovingly serviced, as it were…

mike, you have to know that Italians are absolutely not like Englishes about cars…

most of all the Exige italian owners bought it to use it about a year and didn’t cure “her” as they had to do!
English sport car spirit is much stronger than here…
In UK there are over 20 track day agencies, and how many tracks?
Here in Italy track days developed and increased just in these 2 last years and still aren’t over 10-15 a year

so you have to think that the cure that an italian exiger could have for his car won’t never be as the english one

and here in Italy there are about 20-25 Exiges in all…


a question, are all of the Exiges in Italy LHD?
I mean, in order to put Italian plates on it, does the car need to be LHD? or can a RHD car like ours be registered there?
If so, you could buy it here and take it there (if you can adapt to the steering wheel position)

Bagarospo recently tested the 111R - a very fine motor but wasn’t tempted in the slightest to trade the Exige in. S1 Exiges are totally unique to own and to drive. For the price there is nothing comparable

Uldis: it’s possible but I would never do it!
even by the complete difference between the two driving styles, the real problem is using it on road… it would be really dangerous when you want to pass someone and must look to the other side

SimonE: thanx a lot for this news; I would very thanks you if you could send my by email your test thoughts (expecially about brakes, handling and engine)

see ya,

The only question to ask is track or road ?
If the car is for track use then NOTHING offers better value than a used Exige.
However as an everyday car or tourer the Exige leaves a lot to be desired.
One final point to consider is that once you have taken an Exige onto a track you will want to develop the performance of the car, unfortunately as it gets better and better on the track it gets less and less suitable for the road >

I have driven the new Elise and I must say it is very, very good but for me the Exige will always be something special.

Either way have fun