After a summer of fun with the Lotus, I decided to organise an autumn event for local Lotus owners. An early Sunday morning with some breakfast at the fabulous 57 Bridgestreet in USK.
Top 5 Lotus Exige Sport 410 optional extras
When I explain all the optional extras on the car I am often asked why?
I have always had a second car, sports car, for weekend fun, and a sensible and economical daily drive. My second cars are always second-hand, partly to keep the costs sensible and partly the fact you have great choices of interesting cars. After two TVRs, a Porsche, and Aston Martin, it was time for something different and I was looking for something that could make the senses tingle.
I wanted something really special and unique. Buying new and creating something different myself does ring ‘really special and unique”!
I was happy to buy new this time as I knew I was unlikely to get such an opportunity again. Partly because the timing was right with the recently launch new model, price reduction and support of Lotus Exclusive, but mostly because I’m so frugal (my friends would say tight). There were enough justifications (not excuses!) in my mind, to indulge myself by adding anything I thought would improve my enjoyment of the car or increase its visual impact and presence. Effectively, I was giving myself permission to get something “really special and unique”, just as I wanted.
Apart from the obvious extras to create a homage to the Lotus Esprit James Bond car in “For your eyes only”, such as special paint and accents, I added several additional extras:
Full tan leather interior and contrast stitching; seats, sills, doors, air vents, binnacle, gear level, hand brake.
The original Bond car had a full tan leather and carpet interior, so extended the tan everywhere even to the door sills.
Carbon fibre barge boards & carbon fibre rear diffuser surround.
The Exige is a heavily sculpted form which bows inward between the front and rear wheel arches. The addition of side barge boards not only fills out this area, making the car look more planted, but they marginally improve the ground effect.
Interior Colour Pack including HVAC console, gearshift top trim, bucket seat eyelets, window lift switch bezels.
The interior colour pack is great aesthetic option for any Lotus. The ‘Copper Fire’ colour, which already extended into the car on the doors and rear bulk head was carried though to additional cockpit items.
Soft top conversion: purchased with Newtown Motors.
Although the Exige is a coupe the factory actually partly installs the fixings for a roadster. Removing the roof, which is a non-structure item, reveals the necessary lugs at the top of the front windscreen to fix the soft top batons. The conversion simply requires the additional lugs to be added to the rear bulk head and the soft top canvas ordered from Lotus Car directly.
I intended to drive the car regularly to meetings locally and nationally, which inevitably meant a lot of motorway miles. Cruise control is essential for hours of motorway drive, it’s a necessary upgrade.
Additional optional extras
This adds little weight but make the interior feel more luxurious as the carpet is thick and the black hides any marks or dirt from your feet.
Not essential, particularly as this does add weight, but can be useful when I have the hard top in hot weather.
Stereo plus two front mounted speakers
The engine sounds amazing, but at motorway speeds in the UK the car is quiet enough to hear the radio. I enjoy listening to podcasts too, so it made sense to add the stereo, which is a great quality unit and sound.
I honestly don’t think this makes any difference. But hey, I had ticked just about everything else on the list!
Colour coding: Roof and air intakes
This accentuates the colour of the car, complimenting the visual effect of from the carbon fibre panels and extensions. I didn’t colour code the rear lights cluster and which was just personal preference, as I think completely colour coding the rear end makes the car look in some way ‘standard’. The black panel also gives a hint of JPS livery with the gold lettered LOTUS in the middle.
Brake calipers: Black
This was a minor point, but the black looks so much nicer than the grey or yellow.