What to buy

Hi Folks
Im new here, Im just about to buy a lotus, (after several years of owning and tunning turbo road/track cars), as I believe them to be the utimate driving machines.

Problem is I have in the region of �17,000 to spend,
I want to buy the right car, (for some road use and track use),
but do I go for

  • a nice, (light weight), 99 model S1, (my friend owns a nice example and will sell for around �10.000), then spend around 7K on tunning, or engine swap??

  • try to find an Exige near the �17-18K mark

  • Other option, (any informed opinions here most welcome)

Ive been searching on here and on the net, phoning round etc…, but no definitive answers as yet,
Please help guys,


Well given you’ve come to Exiges.com guess what I’m going to say?!

In addition to it’s looks, the Exige does have lots of love extras over the Elise - sports suspension (with wider track), VHPD engine, bigger stickier tyres, etc. They’re significantly faster than an Elise on track.

For �17k you’re going to find it hard to get an engine moded Elise to lap as fast, and I very much doubt it’ll feel as special as an Exige.

Although if you desperately want an open top, or you’re doing more road miles, then the perhaps the Elise.


Ah, OK, so the Exige, (early model were talking here I presume?), has other performance advantages over the Elise.
-How does an older Exige stack up against the new model (toyota engined) elise? (I am thinking perhaps a year or so of patience and some saving might see me affording one of these), does the Exige still come out top in terms of performance overall?
-What kind of money would be required to pick up a decent early Exige?

also any good links to detailed specs etc for the Exige models, past and present.

The S1 Exige is lighter and I believe quicker on track. The S2 would be quicker on the road, better suspension for it. But neither will be able to sensibly reach it’s limit on the road.

All S1 are the same basic spec, although they were slightly upgraded over time (eg. mine, a late one, has the modded front wheel arch liners). The main differnces to look out for are harnesses and Air Con. The A/c is crap but it does give you better air vents.

It depends on the time of year. More during the run up to trackday season. I suspect you’ll just about find one for your budget this year, especially if you’re not fussy over colour (orange seems like it would have been a good investment!). You probably want to have it checked over for �17k, �3k more would probably get you a safer bet (but remember they all Lotus’! ).