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MattyB

T350 or S1 Exige?

  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. T350 or S1 Exige?

    • T350
      8
    • S1 Exige
      18
    • Other?
      2


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All being well, the Alfa will go to its new owner on Saturday. 3.5years of Italian enjoyment and has given me the largest car bill I've ever had to pay, running into 5 figures. Don't regret owning at all though... for noise, looks and presence, its still the best modern-day hatchback. Just keep a credit card spare for it if you buy one.

So, I've just bought an Audi A3 1.8T for the grand sum of £1200 to get me to and from work, so I've now go the opportunity to buy something interesting as a second car. After ruling out Audi RS2s, Porsche 964s, SLK55s and a few other choices, its boiled down to two cars, the TVR T350 or the S1 Exige. Both are cars I've wanted to buy previously but were either too scared (TVR) or couldn't quite afford at the time (Exige).

Upsides of the TVR - performance (<10sec to the ton!), noise, looks, drama, perfectly usable day-to-day. Reasonable boot. Slightly cheaper than Exige.

Downsides of the TVR - running costs (4 figure bills are easily achievable per 6k service) and the potentiail for the S6 to go *pop* leaving me with a 6k rebuild bill. I also can't afford to track the TVR due to tyre/brakes prices on top of running costs.

Upsides of the Exige - Cheapish to run, looks absolutely awesome and cheap enough to track. Still one of the greatest drivers cars. Appreciating classic.

Downsides of the Exige - Gets boiling hot inside, useless aircon (if fitted) and not very comfortable/useable, no boot. More expensive than the T350.

So I'm struggling really. Ultimately it'll come down to a test drive, but I prefer the T350 for being more usable, so I could occasionally use it for work on some days, but the costs scare me. The Exige I love mainly for the "mini GT racer" look, and the potential for trackdays, but its usability is borderline and I'd struggle to use it for work resulting in it only being used on weekends.

I've put "Other?" in the list, but I've scoured PH classifieds many times and not found anything else to float my boat. I guess the middle ground is the S2 Exige, but I'd want a Supercharged one, and they're a little out of my budget....

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For me it would be the Lotus, but then im more into a track/handling type of car.

They look awesome, aint exactly slow and can be thrown straight on the track from pretty much day 1!

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how about a noble?

Good call , it has to be in he same bracket as the other two.

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A friend has a 350. It is catastrophically expensive to run, recently had to have a replacement engine fitted and generally empties his wallet every chance it gets.

So I would have a 350, as its worth every penny. B)

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Never been keen on the Noble.

£20k budget, yeah. Obviously willing to stretch for the right car.

Casper, I've been keeping an eye on the one you've linked - its slowly dropped from £23k to £19k, and has been for sale since early this year. Its a phenomenal spec, but I suspect people are put off by three things - the 72k on the clock, the fact its heavily modified, making insurance a nightmare (as the owner himself pointed out on a thread on PH) and lastly because it has no Aircon, which is considered essential.

I also looked at Tamora's, which are usefully cheaper than T350's, plus top-off motoring is always a boon, but I just can't get along with the rear end on them at all.

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T350 looks more of a man's car, rather than a boy's toy ;)

Big fan of moar cylinders :)

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I was going to suggest the tomora,

How about a 02 plate 911? My dad was looking at them not too long ago and you could pick a decent one up for 18k

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*Cough* Exige *Cough*

Yeah, they give me a cough too, thats why he should get the TVR

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An '02 911 would be the 996? Went in one once, don't like them.

TBH I'm more of a fan of classic Porsche's like the 964, although I could be pursuaded to get a 993Turbo (if they weren't massively expensive). 996's and 997's are a big no-no for me. Ditto Boxsters and Caymans.

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Exige would get my vote Matty. Not a biased opinion either (for those who don't know me I have had a 200bhp Lotus Elise for 3 years and am a Lotus lover of most models) but before buying the Elise I was looking for a Tamora which is basically a T350 underneith anyway.

S1 Exige are not losing any money, in fact the good ones are appreciating so if it doesn't cost too much in repairs during ownership it may become a sound investment. Just like me though, you don't buy your cars for an investment, you buy them to drive and for that reason I think the Lotus has to be the one. Not only would it reward you far more than the TVR, I know that I would feel more comfortable driving it hard than I would the TVR, feeling scared of breaking the sensational but fragile speed six every time I gave it a workout would sour the experience somewhat for me.

Exige might be hard to source, very few for sale and plenty leaving the country due to current exchange rate. Saying that, T350 are not exactly 10 a penny!

Not much more to tell you as having had the S160 you know all you need to know about the S1 chassis and sure you have already done your research.

As an aside (and this may not float your boat), what about getting a K20 powered S1 Elise and swapping to Exige clam shells? That way you get performance, reliability* and the Exige look with refreshed paint.

*Not that the K series is bad engine, in VHPD form yes it is more delicate than in lesser performance builds, but head gasket issues aside - which can be fixed once and for all anyway, they are great engines with superb power outputs for their weight and size.

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An '02 911 would be the 996? Went in one once, don't like them.

TBH I'm more of a fan of classic Porsche's like the 964, although I could be pursuaded to get a 993Turbo (if they weren't massively expensive). 996's and 997's are a big no-no for me. Ditto Boxsters and Caymans.

I reckon you should look at the basic 993's then.

We have a 993 2S, so it's the turbo body but no turbo an rear wheel drive. Put some kw v3's on it nice tyres an your away.

Oh an servicing isnt that bad tbh £500 a year with a main porsche dealer. So far a set of brakes have last 3 trips to the nurburgring and tyres last around a year

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Hi Darren, still got the Elise then!

Did you test drive a Tamora? I've been trying to find either a Tam or T350 locally I can have a look at, but not much luck. Its not a bad idea, what you've mentioned regarding a Honda'd S1 Elise, then fitting motorsport shells. The only downside is that a Honda'd S1 still fetches 16-17k, adding on the cost of new clams/wheels and you're in "proper" Exige territory, although you'll have a better car for it.

Got me thinking now....!

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T350 all day long Matty!

Who cares if you'll get high from the glue fumes while you drive it, thats what TVR's are all about!!

:lol:

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S1 exige. As much as I'd love a t350 I couldn't live with the fact a huge bill may be around the corner. Its not like you're not used to large bills but I'd imagine these could be far more serious. You may be lucky though and find a good one, on the other hand....

You know the lotus inside and out, and in my opinion the s1 is far better looking than the s2, and more simple/ raw, easier to fix/ modify.

I bought a fcuking kitchen instead. Bitter? What me?

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After experiencing a well specced 147 GTA at full chat I can see where you are coming from with not finding much that interests you. It was probably one of the most "complete" cars I've ever been a passenger in, even though Bacon's driving is rather... interesting.

With a daily hack I'd be tempted to go a little more hardcore and get some sort of Caterham/Westfield?

Or something with more of an "investment" feel to it -

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1835157.htm

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/2020025.htm

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You know the lotus inside and out, and in my opinion the s1 is far better looking than the s2, and more simple/ raw, easier to fix/ modify.

I bought a fcuking kitchen instead. Bitter? What me?

That's the thing, from past experience I know I'll love the Exige, but it'll be fairly similar so I kinda feel the need to try something else?

And I've got the house (and the kitchen :P) now, so I don't need to worry about those things ;)

After experiencing a well specced 147 GTA at full chat I can see where you are coming from with not finding much that interests you. It was probably one of the most "complete" cars I've ever been a passenger in, even though Bacon's driving is rather... interesting.

With a daily hack I'd be tempted to go a little more hardcore and get some sort of Caterham/Westfield?

Or something with more of an "investment" feel to it -

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1835157.htm

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/2020025.htm

Problem with the GTA is that I've taken it as far as I'd ever want to (and much further than I would have orginally liked!) - Bacon's is slightly better specced than mine, but as awesome as the GTA's are, due to their spec, weight and nose-heavy handling, they're more of a GT car than anything.

I did look at Caterham/Westfields - but I don't get them? They're massively compromised in terms of usability - really is only summer/Sunday car, yet I find it hard to believe that they're SO much better than an Elise to make up for it?? It's not like they're cheap either! The "Roadsport" spec I wanted are £16-17k, thats top Elise money.

M3's? I don't "do" BMWs ;)

LOVE Integrale's, but my god they're fragile, and hard to source parts for. And LHD. Would love to drive one, but never own one.

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noble. or cerbera rip out the tvr stuff and put something good in like an audi v8 and drivetrain. or how about a project ultimaMy link

Edited by jonnykell1980

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I can see where the 993 suggestions are going, very nice cars and in my opinion more of a 'pure Porsche' that the newer stuff. I also like the the suggestion of a lesser model with 2wd, again more pure than the 4wd stuff. Having been in a 996 turbo I can say that despite being silly fast (it was near 600bhp) aside from the speed it was incredibly boring, no sense of occasion inside and very muted from what was happening outside.

Matty - still got Elise, did it's third trip to the Nurburgring this summer and also took in the Stelvio pass, well some of it as it was closed up near the top due to snow. Just shy of 30,000 miles now. Considered a change to something more family orientated such as a CSL of E92 M3 this year but decided to keep Elise and maybe supercharge it for 260bhp.

I never drove a Tamora, viewed a few and after a long discussion (4 hours) with a Lotus, TVR and Noble dealer I decided to go with the Elise (close call but the reliability aspect swayed me after having had the totally reliable Lupo for 5 years I did not want to go down the unreliable route again - been there with a full spec race Mini years before).

I suggested the K20 Elise option as it would look like the Exige but be faster and likely cheaper to own maintenance wise. I realise it will not be a real Exige but not sure if you would be concerned about that or not? I guess the price would be similar to that of a good Exige but if you were planning to do lots of miles you would likely not wipe value off as quickly as you would if you put high miles on a 'real' S1 Exige. I know I already said we dont buy cars as an investment but it is not worth ignoring costs completelly.

May I also throw in a comment on Caterhams and Westfields. Went to look at an R500 a year ago as the Midlands Caterham is not far from me. Not impressed at all, cannot see why they are so expensive, the Lotus is so much more complete for the cash. Also check out the reviews of Atom 'vs' 'R500' 'vs' 211, the Lotus is down on power but still the fastest around a track, backs up my theory of Caterhams just being in the German saloon car style bhp shouting game but in reality a well sorted Lotus is still a more complete car despite its more humble output.

Certainly drive both before deciding, even if ti just so you can say to yourself that you have driven a TVR and Exige S1 irrespective of shat you buy in the end. Keep posting too as I love discussions like this.

Edited by LINCOLNSHIRESLUPOGTI

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