Lo­tus magni icence for MX 5 money

Looks like a Si­amese ight­ing ish. Sim­i­larly feisty

CAR (UK) - - Used Car Stars 2018 -

THE ORIG­I­NAL Ex­ige S1 was a rowdy cafe racer, the cur­rent S3 a V6 border­line su­per­car. For many, the mid­dle one was the sweet spot: an Elise after a pro­tein shake and a high-def­i­ni­tion driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The S2 launched in 2004, with the orig­i­nal K-se­ries en­gine re­placed with Toy­ota’s un­burstable 1.8. Ini­tially it was in nat­u­rally as­pi­rated form with 190bhp, then jumped to 240bhp in 2005 when the rare 240R brought su­per­charg­ing to the party. In 2006 su­per­charg­ing be­came the norm and the 218bhp Ex­ige S re­placed the old nat­u­rally as­pi­rated base model, also gain­ing up­graded seats and a fly-by-wire throt­tle.

The car pic­tured here has be­longed to Phil Wing for six years, in which time he’s cov­ered 15,000 miles. ‘I’ve been lucky to drive quite a few things – Cay­mans, 991s, BMW M2 – but I re­ally wanted an S2 Ex­ige. It took a while to find a good one. A lot of them are trashy, with scuffed sills, or they’re mod­i­fied.’

Ser­vice in­ter­vals are 12 months/9000 miles. ‘They’re pretty bul­let­proof,’ says Jamie Matthews, sales man­ager at Bell & Colvill. ‘The big­gest prob­lems are caused by lack of use. A lot of cars have had prangs, but don’t be put off if they’ve been re­paired by au­tho­rised body shops.

‘Val­ues haven’t re­ally moved in the last cou­ple of years,’ he con­tin­ues. ‘Trou­ble is get­ting hold of them. Pre-2006 non-su­per­charged cars are worth £20k-£25k. Post-2006 su­per­charged cars com­mand mid-to-high 20s for 218bhp ver­sions, and high 20s into the 30s for 240bhp-up.’4

Thanks to Jamie Matthews at Bell & Colvill (bel­land­colvill.co.uk),

Phil Wing and th­elo­tus­fo­rums.com

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