March 2008

I ordered my car at the beginning of November 2007.  I knew Lotus was going to announce the new 2008 cars at the Los Angles Auto Show and wanted to get my order in before the rush.  I communicated with Lotus Car Sales in the UK and hoped they might configure a car according to my specifications and send it early.  Unfortunately my specifications were not the usual and this did not happen.

I ordered an Exige S 240, Storm Titanium in color, with the track package.  I did not want Star Shield or the touring package. 

Lotus Exige Pricing
  list cost
Exige S 240 $64890 $59000
transportation $925 $925
color $590 $531
track package $1650 $1500
limited slip $1790 $1611
total $69845 $63567

Paul Gaudette at MidRivers Lotus provide a substantial discount.  I was also able to participate in the Lotus Owner Loyality Program and received an additional $4,000 discount.  Including California tax and licensing fees, I paid a little more than $64,000, a big increase from my $39,900 Lotus Elise.

backing exige

Waiting reminded me of the good ol' days in 2004 when we were ordering our first Elise and waiting forever for them to arrive.  The holiday season did not help matters.  My car was actually built on December 1, 2008 and did not ship until the end of January.  It finally arrived at MidRivers, near St. Louis, Missouri in February and was ready for shipment at the end of the month.  I arranged shipping, $1400, and the car arrived on March 1, 2008. 

I pulled it into the garage and did not drive it for several days.  Why, you might well ask?  When Lotus started producing the Elise in 1996, I immediately wanted one.  I wanted to know all about the car and it was frustrating that none of the new owners in England would stop driving long enough to take the pictures I wanted to see.  I was especially interested in the suspension. Later, when I finally obtained my own Elise, I was careful to take detailed pictues of the suspension and other parts of the car.  I used them to create this site and have been careful to continue taking pictures.  Unfortunately the suspension pictures were lost.  I did try and take more but this was long after the car was new.  I tried to shine up the pieces and replace the lost images but it was too late. I vowed not to make the same mistake with the Exige.  I took many pictures before driving the car.

front suspension

I wanted to attend a couple of track days and a couple of autocrosses.  Since I am very careful with my cars, I wanted to make sure the car was broken in correctly.  The owner manual suggests not using full throttle, keeping the revolutions per minute below 6,000 rpm, and driving the car carefully for the first 600 miles.  The AP Brakes also required special bedding in.  Including time to service, I had about ten days to get the car ready. 

I drove over 100 miles every day, driving down to the Pacific Coast, along Highway One, and back across the mountains to Silicon Valley.  What a wonderful route with lots of curves, the scenery along the Coast, and some straight sections for brake bedding. Towards the end I wanted to extend the distances and so I drove down to San Luis Obispo and back, again along Highway One.  This section, between Morrow Bay and Carmel, is a sportcar heaven with many turns along the cliffs that drop down into the Pacific Ocean.  My only regret was not having full throttle to play with.

I had my car serviced at Silicon Valley Auto Group and my thanks go to Andrew and Jordan for taking care of the car. 

I also promised my children and wife that I would not modify the car until after the first four events.  I desperately wanted to remove the wing and make all the same modifications to the Exige that I did to the Elise.  However I wanted to get to know the car first. 

Exige key