Exige S 240 - price justification?

feloniousfelonious Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Lotus
Given the $65k price tag of the 2008 Exige S 240 (near $70k with a few options packages), how can someone justify buying this vehicle over a similarly-priced Nissan GT-R?


  • mikeebearmikeebear Member Posts: 13
    Are you kidding? You are comparing apples and bricks, and the Nissan is the brick.

    They are not even REMOTELY similar. One is a 3800-lb GT that makes for a pretty good all-around sports car and the other is the purest sports car on the market.

    You can't look at cars like Pokemon cards, where each car has its own set of "stats" and "numbers" attached to it. They are to be driven and your analysis should come from how they drive. Since you probably won't drive either, just listen to what our friends here at Edmunds have to say.

    I own a Lotus so I can tell you first hand it's ruined pretty much any other car for me.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    "You can't look at cars like Pokemon cards."

    Hilarious - I'll have to remember that one!

    Great analogy for a recurring theme here and elsewhere on other auto enthusiast forums. Some people just don't get it, and never will.
  • unidriverunidriver Member Posts: 2
    I am an independent contractor leased to the company who has the sole contract to deliver every new Lotus in the U.S., so I have a little experience with the cars. I drive 6 to 20 different Lotuses in an average week. I have driven all models made in the last three years including the 211, and the only ethanol powered model (coined the 265 in reference to its horse power) in the country (one of two made, the original is in the UK). As much as I hate getting into and out of these cars, I have to admit that I do love them. You must understand, though that it is impossible to compare the Exige and Elise to any other car because they are so unique. These cars are designed with only two considerations: acceleration and handling (although that has begun to change with the ’08 “California” models, which add a few more creature comforts and color options). Allow me to indulge in a quick story that may put things into perspective.
    I delivered a 1997 McLaren F1 to a guy in the Portland area a few months ago. We met at a local supermarket as he didn’t think I could get my truck into and out of his drive. He asked me to follow him to his house in the F1, which I reluctantly did. When we got there, he had me back the car into a steel building that was approximately 150’ x 50’. As I backed the car to the back of the building to the spot he had set aside for his new car, I noticed that the building was completely full of exotic cars. I also noticed that he had 6 Lotuses lined up together. On our ride back to my truck (in an Enzo no less) we talked cars. This guy is one of the very rare collectors that actually drives all of his cars (and drives them like he stole them, I might add). In the course of our conversation, I asked him about having so many Lotuses, as they were clearly outclassed by the likes of his Enzo and F1, and other exotics. I mentioned that Lotus claims that they are the best handling car ever made and asked him for his opinion. His answer was that they are by far the most fun to drive of all his cars.
    That to me is the best endorsement Lotus could ever hope to get. Here’s a guy who has what must be a $100 million car collection. He drives these cars all time. He just paid $1.7 million for an F1 and is out cruising in an Enzo, and he says that his Lotuses are his favorite. Think about that for a few minutes and then continue contemplating if Lotus can justify its prices.
  • al_b_bachal_b_bach Member Posts: 1
    How do you justify? Do I really need too?
    Really can't... it's personal. This, the 240S, is my second Exige. I bought the first release to the US in 06 and it was a N/A engine. Love it, still drive it, and it performs like no other car I've owned. I passed on the 07 S because I knew this was coming stateside in 08. I've had my share of BMWs, Mercs and Porches, great cars, but they don't hold a candle to the thrill factor that the Lotus gives me. Granted, it's apples and oranges as a comparison.... but really, a Japanese car of this style against this fine little Heathle spawn? At least use an Accura NSX, even if it is a bit piggish. The 240S rules! Sweet candy doesn't even come close!
    Now I'm not knocking the GT-R, it's a nice car... but not as good as a performer as the Lotus. You'd have to drive one to really understand the draw and mind set for this type of vehicle, it's not fancy, utilitarian or luxy.... if fact it's down right spartan but it drives like no other car out there and no other can. It not about horsepower, as others can out perform it... in a straight line, but put this honey on a twisty track or back canyon road and it is almost (if not) better than sex. There I said it, and I dare any other Lotus owner to disclaim that! The biggest draw back I can think of is having a passenger in the car. This is a personal car built in F1 roots and that's what it meant for. So like the person above said, it's something to think about.
    Thumbs up on the Pokeman card comparison ;)
  • lesodgerslesodgers Member Posts: 1
    If they can get it, it's by definition justifiable. I came very close to getting an Elise a few years back and couldn't justify it over a Z06, mainly because of my size...240lbs, yes I could ingress and egress, but man, talk about Origami ! I eventually backed away from a Z06 as well, no frigging Camel interior could be had w/o tons of extra $ and after market seats covers at that. So here I sit hoping to be able to squeeze enough $ from my three 1st gen Camaro's to go get a F430 Scuderia... Ah as usual talent but no $ :-) or lots a cash and no Talent... I also am still drawn to the NSX, still luv that car and it's comfort and layout and visibility, just needs some more go juice and updated cornering.
  • moogleiimoogleii Member Posts: 1
    As bluntly (and amusing) as Mikeebear put it, I'd have to agree. It depends what you're looking for.

    Do you want a car that is fast, and does everything for you? That's the GTR. To me, as an enthusiast, I appreciate it, but it's totally cheating =). It's like a Playstation on wheels.

    Or do you want a driver's car? With the lotus, you'll be doing the grunt work, *you* will be doing the racing, not the car. If you never ever plan to take your car to the track, I'd just go with the GTR.
  • nitrousxlnitrousxl Member Posts: 12
    Yeah, I know this is a year old thread... But this guy brings up a valid point. Why exactly are these cars so expensive? Most exotics are pricey because they have large, powerful, complex engines (right?), but the Exige S240 engine is little more than a supercharged version of the Toyota Celica's. You can get more horsepower for less than $30K with, say, a 350Z (but of course this doesn't equate to speed, much less handling, simply due to the weight). If anything you would think Lotuses would cost less to make simply because they are smaller cars that require less material (the interior isn't exactly luxurious either). Is Lotus charging so much just because no one else bothers to build a tiny, lightweight sports car to compete with them or what? Like the OP said you get more car for the money with the GT-R (maybe not a better driving experience, but I don't see why it should cost $60K+ to make a car with a tiny body and a decent engine).
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    Try building a car in your garage from scratch that's better than the Exige and see how much it costs you... ;)
  • nitrousxlnitrousxl Member Posts: 12
    Building a car from scratch is one thing, building it in a factory is another. Or are Lotuses not mass-produced on assembly lines? I am just trying to figure out why they are so much more expensive than cars with similar engines (Celica, Cobalt SS, etc). I don't see why having a mid-mounted engine would justify the price either (MR2). And you would think the other materials would not cost a ton, since Lotuses aren't exactly made of alot of material (the whole thing weighs 2000lbs compared to 3000lbs for your typical sports car). So where are the extra $40,000 going? I really think they are just charging whatever they want for the car (pointing to the performance) since they don't have any competition. I mean, sport bikes have small engines and little material, but amazing performance, yet you don't see Kawasaki and Honda charging $60K for something so small, despite the fact that some of them can run the quarter mile faster than a Veyron.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    Well, a Pontiac G8 weighs 1000 lbs more than a Ferrari F430, yet the Ferrari costs $160,000 more. Both have powerful V8 engines, 6-speed manual transmissions, leather interior, and power everything. What gives?

    Seriously though, it takes a week to build an Exige - much of it by hand. Low volume, exotic materials, and hand craftmanship costs money. Worth every penny if you ask me...
  • nitrousxlnitrousxl Member Posts: 12
    Well that makes sense :) . Now if only some company would take a similar-sized high-revving turbo/supercharged engine and stuff it into a tiny body and mass-produce it for the rest of us... Could make a great alternative to all the heavy, gas-guzzling sports cars out there.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    The Miata and S2000 are both excellent FI candidates.
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