Lotus Exige RGB

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August 2017

So, in October 2015 after  3 ½ years of ownership of the Elise I decided to sell it to make way for an Exige. The Elise was a great car and never let me down as a daily driver and occasional trackday weapon and was a good introduction into Lotus ownership. Mechanically it was spot on, it pulled like a train and handled like a well set up go kart. The thing that let it down badly was the paintwork, despite being re-sprayed by an 'expert in painting fibreglass'.

Having made my mind up to look for an Exige I started casually browsing through adverts in the usual places. What I really wanted was an S2 facelift from 2010, just before the V6 was announced, but in reality this was unlikely as there weren't many produced and when they occasionally pop up for sale they're snapped up in fairly short order.

After only a few weeks I saw an advert for a stunning Solar Yellow 2010 car and within a day or so I had a message from John asking when we were going to see it, he'd seen the advert too! After a brief moment of indecision I decided to email rather than phone the seller, a well known trader on the SELOC forum, WillB. This turned out to be an exceptionally good call. It transpired that Will was on holiday in the US and wasn't answering his phone or picking up voicemail but he was answering emails!

This unwittingly put me to the front of the queue of potential purchasers. I arranged to view the car the day after Will got home from holiday, provided he could get hold of the car as it was still with the previous owner. John and I took a run to see Will in my Elise, hoping that if I liked the car Will would be interested in mine as a P/X.

We arrived and I was absolutely smitten, the car was STUNNING! After a short test drive and a brief negotiation with Will the deal was done. He was happy to take mine K-series Elise in P/X and put a fresh MoT on the Exige ready for me to collect the following week.

During the interim period a rapid re-shuffle of the garage took place to try and get all four cars in, the Exige was way too good to be left out in the elements. After a day of moving stuff around in the garage all four cars fit it, result!

So what did I buy? Well, it seems to be rather more special than I already thought. I bought a 2010 S2 facelift Exige RGB with just 9,800 miles and a full dealer service history. The car is a Supercharged 1.8L Toyota engined variant in Solar Yellow. The RGB indicates that the car is one of the limited edition Roger Becker special edition cars. The factory made 141 RGB Exiges, 55 of these were RHD for the home market, of these 10 were in Solar Yellow and mine is one of these 10 but has a custom black and yellow leather interior from new fabricated by the now defunct Lotus Trim Shop - now taken over by Allon White.

What is an RGB I hear you ask? The RGB is based on the supercharged Cup version of the car and is loaded with all the factory extras as standard, it has the Touring pack, Sports pack and Performance pack options as well as air con and electric windows. The car has ultralight forged wheels, a rear subframe shear panel (increasing stiffness by 30%),  adjustable traction control, adjustable launch control, a limited slip diff, an aftermarket 2bular exhaust, Roger Becker signature on NS rear quarter panel and a numbered plaque in the cabin. In this guise the car delivers 260Bhp, with an estimated additional 10Bhp for the exhaust. The car weighs in at 920Kg and a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds - no slouch! Despite all this and now matter how driven I still get around 40mpg. These figures give a power to weight ratio of almost 300Bhp per ton!

Since owning the car I've had it serviced twice including replacing the gearchange cables - paid for by Will, I noticed gearshift problems on the test drive - and having the engine mounts changed for poly to improve handling, power delivery and gear change, done two Goodwood trackdays in it with Dom and Alex ( for the first time) as additional drivers, taken it to Classic Le Mans, taken it to the Brands Hatch Lotus festival, won a competition run by Jez at Back on Track for a full body detail and ceramic coating and had it selected to have its photo in the 2017 SELOC calendar. Oh, and I've put just over 3000 miles on it too and a new set of Yokohama AD08R tyres.

 

 

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