Published on April 2nd, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Which Used Supercar Did We Buy With Our EPF Savings
When its time to withdraw your EPF savings, you might want to buy a used supercar like us.
Malaysians, most of them, actually some of them, work very hard until retirement and then most will continue to work even after they past their retirement age due to family or just personal reasons.
For us, we love our job and in many ways want to continue to be in this ever evolving and exciting industry until we are ‘forced out’.
Meanwhile, over the years we have bought and sold more than 2 dozen used cars and in the last 2 decades this has slowed a lot. It was only during Covid-19 that we were forced to part with a couple of valuable classics that we had lovingly restored and treasured.
Well, that is life.
So, now with the economy returning on the right path and with our age allowing us to visit the EPF (KWSP) office, we went in last December to check and update our account.
Surprised at the amount of savings still in our KWSP account, we decided it was time to get a proper supercar before we were too old to drive one or even get in and out of one.
The candidates were plenty as selling prices of many supercars (more than 10 to 15 years old) had depreciated by more than 60 percent and there were many with low mileage from owners who had too many cars in their garage.
So, we started our search and the usual suspects turned up. Porsche Cayman, too common and starting to look dated. Porsche 997, nice, reliable and lacking any excitement. Nissan Skyline, looking awesome but is it really a drivers’ car?
Nissan 350Z, this lady was just too fair. A reconditioned modern Toyota Supra, too much of a BMW and less of a Toyota. Then we looked at the BR-Z and its sibling the GT-86 which provided great handling, but lacked excitement from its normal aspirated commuter car powertrain.
Then we turned our attention to aged Italians. What about a Lamborghini, well difficult to drive in traffic and lacks any real driver’s excitement. A Maserati, well it costs too much to run and maintain over the next few years just like any Lamborghini.
Then there are McLarens which are starting to drop in value but cost an ‘arm and a leg’ to maintain.
Liking something more seductive looking with less electronics, the Ferrari 360. Many to choose from, but when speaking to the after sales professionals who handle Italian supercars, they all shook their heads at me and asked me to look anywhere but at Italian made cars.
Then we thought, what about a Honda NSX. Great looks, drive dynamics and easy maintenance when compared to a German or Italian supercar. Sigh, asking price beyond the budget and the good ones are being kept by their owners.
Suddenly when we were about to give up, we saw a true driver’s car whizz past us on our journey to Kuala Selangor. It was a Lotus Exige. A car that was completely forgotten.
We did some quick research and found a well maintained, hardly used unit at Lotus Cars Malaysia. A trade-in unit. Had just arrived. No track days and it was accident free. Had been thoroughly looked over by the professionals at Lotus Cars Malaysia and the asking price was within our budget.
Best, part was this. It was a ‘balls out’ driver car. Simple, straightforward engineering with ‘bags’ of fun. We had driven a brand new unit when it was first launched and was completely taken by its dynamics and power delivery. But after more than a decade we had forgotten about the Exige, partially because you do not see them on our roads.
A test drive, some negotiations and the Year 2008 Lotus Exige S240 was delivered to us. It has been four months now and the ownership has been just a joy.
No regrets at all and have already given Italian and British supercar owners (friends) thinking about buying their own Exige, if they can find a unit as good as ours.
From ignition, the simple ‘Toyota’ sourced 1.8L supercharged 240 horsepower engine roars to life sending shivers to our neighbours.
A proper ‘manual 6-speed gearbox’ and NOT some fancy automotive gearbox with paddle shifters. A steering and handling so direct that we are saving lot of money as we do not need to go and rent a go-kart anymore.
Acceleration is just 4.3 seconds (with 230Nm of torque) in this lightweight (just under 950kg) car which is almost on par with with all the high value big engine supercar we mentioned in the early paragraphs but with lower running costs. Even with RON97 fuel being used.
This is supercar that has forced us to cut down or rice, bread and drink intake as it requires a rather slim built to get in and out and the need to stay healthy to work the 6-speed manual gearbox.
Smiles at every drive and please note that this is probably the finest Lotus ever built and with ONLY all electric Lotus vehicles coming into showrooms from 2023, it will definitely be a collector’s car in a few years as Lotus Cars UK announced in early 2021 the retirement of the Elise, Evora and this Exige.