My Exige: Ownership Through the Years
(The dates are links to pages with explanation and pictures. Please let me know if this was not clear and you needed this pointer to read more. I use the blue without the underline to indicate links and wonder if this is confusing.)
June 2008I remove the aero devices and mount the fire extinguisher.
May 2008I compare the 2005 Elise with the 2008 Exige S 240.
March 2008The Exige is ordered, I wait, and it finally arrives.
September 2007I sell my Elise and order a replacement.
Where I started:
Then I got this:
Where I am now:
What I like about the car
I wrote some thoughts about the Elise when I first got it, about why the Elise was different from most other cars. Many of those same thoughts, listed below, apply to the Exige since it is very similar to the Elise. I also found some distinct differences.
- It corners! It communicates with you and tells you exactly what is happening.
- It brakes!
- It accelerates!
- It is small.
- You sit close to the center of the car so that all corners are visible. It helps integrate you into the car, making it an extension of your own self.
- The controls fall readily to hand. The steering wheel, various ancillary controls, and the shift lever are all close and required little extra motion to manipulate. The 111R steering wheel is even better than the Federal wheel with the air bag.
- The seats provide exceptional support and have very little padding. I use my body and my derierre to help sense what the car is doing. Exceptional support, both side-to-side and front-to-back, help move my body the same direction the car is moving. The minmial padding provides a direct link from the car to my body and helps give me a direction impression of where the car is going and its response to my commands.
- (more to come)
What I would change
- No styling comments are included. It is what it is and I generally like it. Steve Crijns and I had a discussion about the apparance of a car and he softly corrected me. The car catches the attention of a very diverse audience, even people that previously never noticed my NSX or Super Seven.
- Put a logo on the key. Put the immobilizer in the key. I prefer to carry only the bare necessities in my pocket. Right now I am carrying the key, the immobilizer and a logo plate in my pocket.
- Gauges need a lot of work. The temperature is too small and there is not enough contrast. I cannot read it under normal lighting conditions. The tach and speedometer lighting at night is poor. Rather than lighting the background as is the current fad, the numerals should be lit. Adjusting the eye from the light of the road to the gauges should be minimal. I want oil temperature and pressure. I like the lack of color and do not like the red and now blue fads.
- The start button is an after thought by marketing. Make it a real button by having the car recognize your arrival, unlock and arm the engine. The car can sense the key fob and unlock and disarm the car. Then just enter the car and press start. Or let the third ignition key position start the car like normal. Why do I have to use two hands to start the car? The edges of the start button bezel are sharp.
- Head lights are poorly aimed upon delivery. Not a big problem as they can be carefully aimed and once pointed down the road, do an excellent job of lighting. There are many who claim the lights do not work well but I suggest this is an aiming problem.
- The sun visors are poorly implemented. I removed them.
- The seat was too low for my body type. I raised it.
Trivia: The thumbnail in the index is a picture of my very pregnant wife leaning on the hood of our NSX, along the meca of all drivers, Highway One in California. At the time, we suddenly realized we would soon be three and could not fit in the car!