Throughout the mid-2000s, the Lotus Elise and Exige were sold alongside each other in the US. The used the same fascia, and many of the same body shapes. But they are two very different cars. While most used Elises hover around the $30,000 range, Exiges usually go for more. This 2008 special edition model for more than double what your average Elise costs.
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Why does the Exige demand higher prices? There's the performance aspect, obviously. The panel over the engine bay is lighter, and shaped to slope down from the roof into the back of the car, blocking any rearward visibility. Thanks to a bigger fixed wing and splitter, there's more downforce. Things found only as options on the Elise are standard on the Exige: wider front tires, a stiffer suspension, lightweight forged alloy wheels, and twin oil coolers. You could even get a manually adjustable suspension setup on the Exige. Another aspect is the rarity: For every four Elises sold in the US, Lotus only sold about one Exige.
This particular car is an ultra-rare Club Racer model, of which the seller claims only 25 examples were built. The supercharged Toyota inline-four mounted behind the cabin makes just 218 horsepower, but don't let that number fool you—it's the weight you should be paying attention to. It comes in at just 2057 pounds—lighter than a first-generation Mazda Miata. That power-to-weight ratio allows it to reach 100 mph in just under 10 seconds. If you look closely on the rear bumper and door cards, you can see a decal of Lotus's own Hethel test track, which is a cool touch. The car's odometer reads just 7987 miles and . For those thinking a $30,000 Elise would provide the same experience, just take all of the differences listed above into consideration first.