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Lotus Exige Review

The Lotus Exige was made for the serious sports car enthusiast and track-day racer. The model achieves the right balance between excitement and pace—an accomplishment very few sport cars manage to get away with. Out of all the models released by Lotus, the Exige S is the first to hit the top mark set out by the manufacturer. You’ll have no problems going fast and enjoying the ride while you’re at it. The current engine is at 260bhp and can readily achieve the zero to 62mph sprint after just 4.1 seconds. Read on to know how else the Exige excels in what it does best.


The Lotus Exige’s powerful engine is a 1.8-litre VVTi unit. The standard models are at 190bhp, but the Exige S variation offers an impressive 220bhp. Whatever power output you prefer, both are still light and able to keep going as they fly off the line. The Exige’s standard model is fast and the S much quicker with its 4.5 seconds 62mph sprint arrival time. The S also claims to achieve a 100mph speed in just 10 seconds and also boasts of a top speed at 148bhp. If this is the type of thrill you’re after, look no further: the Exige S also revs up to 8,500 rpm right after its kick of 6,000 rpm. You’ll have no problems maintaining the low revs on backroads and then shifting into a stronger acceleration once the roads are clear for a fast drive. Power is delivered smoothly whatever pace you require. But if you’re serious about getting that on the road high, then the Exige Cup 260 is your top choice. This top range model’s lightweight components and carbon fibre are able to reduce the weight structure, yet it’s still able to deliver 260bhp worth of power. Its 4.1 seconds 62mph sprint mark is just as quick as the Porsche 911 GT3. All models’ engines come with a Toyota sourced yet Lotus revised six-speed gearbox.

Excellent handling complements the Exige’s fast driving and powerful engine. Steering is not just sharp, but also responsive. Body control is maintained all throughout and also enables flat cornering. There’s also no under steering as you feel the wheel; plus grip is generous even along slippery roads. Despite the incredible speed capability, the Exige is able to keep the ride’s harshness at a minimum. You won’t have any problems enjoying the acceleration and transitions demanded of an open road.


Unfortunately the Exige cannot excel as much on everyday road conditions. There’s a lack in power steering. Everyday tasks such as parking in tight spaces like supermarkets and three-point turns can be a challenge. Parking problems can also occur from the lack of visibility.

The interior is surprisingly comfortable, but to get inside poses yet another daily challenge. The door opening is far too narrow and the entrance is too low on the ground, making it difficult to move in and get out. The engine’s location behind the driver  is both a hit and a miss: on one hand it allows for responsive action, but on the other it emits a drony sound during long trips.

What do you think?

(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 2 )

A History of the Lotus Exige

The Lotus Exige was released in 2000, marketing itself as a two-seat sports car tand as the coupe variation of the Lotus Elise. The first series or original Exige featured a 1.8L Rover K Series Engine, with the ability to produce 177 BHP at 7,800 RPM. The first Lotus Exige featured round headlights, a five-speed manual gearbox, and a speed that reached up to 219 kilometers per hour.


The second series was introduced in 2004, with the inclusion of a 1.8L 16-valve DOHC Toyota/Yamaha engine, a fiberglass hardtop roof, a rear spoiler and rear engine cover, and a front splitter. The aerodynamic oriented features were included to provide the vehicle more downforce at 100 mph. Two years later, the Exige S was released and was introduced to North America in 2007. This version was upgraded to the Exige S 240 in 2008 and was manufactured until 2011; this new variation had more power output at 240 BHP. The 2008 release also introduced a larger roof scope and improved AP racing brakes. A greater power output was once again featured in 2009 via the Exige S 260, with its 257 HP engine. The third series came in the form of the Exige S V6, introduced in the Frankfurt 2011 autoshow. Its engine boasted of 345 BHP and a lighter weight at 1,080 kg.

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