Released in 2006, the Exige is basically a hard top version of the Elise. With an aluminum frame chemically bonded together and weighing only 150 lbs combined with a composite body and lack of occupant amenities, Lotus is able to keep the weight down to nearly that of the Elise, at around 2100 lbs. The Exige maintains the Elise’s lack of daily driver civility, both in its sparse, loud interior and it’s sometimes unnerving difficulty to get in and out of.
However, this compact, superlight coupe is not meant to haul the kids to soccer. It is meant to carve the back roads like a knife through butter. At this, it performs magnificently. It’s Toyota sourced 1.8 liter four cylinder makes 240 HP and shifted through a conventional six speed manual transmission. More than enough to pull this cars scant mass forward at supercar rates. In fact, Lotus claims that the Exige can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds all the while registering a 22 miles per gallon fuel economy.
There are some options to be had, which are placed into several packages.
Engines: 1.8L supercharged I-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Models: Exige S240
The Exige wears a new composite rear wing a la the GT3 concept that was shown at the 2007 Geneva auto show. The 2010 wing is over seven inches wider and nearly two inches taller than the 2009 version. A restyled front fascia includes a larger central air intake flanked by two additional intakes. A new track package boasts adjustable Ohlins dampers.
From the low-slung stubby nose and downforce-inducing rear wing to the center-mounted exhaust and roof-mounted air inlet, the Exige wears striking styling that commands attention both on the road and at the racetrack.
Standard fare includes air conditioning, an Alpine four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, an anti-theft alarm system, a leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel, and black-cloth sport seats. Black leather trim, iPod connectivity, and additional sound insulation are optional for the Exige.
Exige’s supercharged 1.8-liter I-4 delivers 240 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 170 pound-feet of torque at 5500. An estimated 0-to-60 time of 4.0 seconds puts the Exige in the same realm as the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette. The Exige’s chassis features AP Racing brakes and a control-arm suspension with Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs.
Driver and passenger front airbags are standard for the Exige, as are seatbelt pretensioners and an immobilizer alarm. Standard dynamic safety technologies include traction control, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes.
20 mpg city/26 mpg highway
- Go-kart handling
- Supercar acceleration
- High exclusivity
- Lack of cargo
- Engine and road noise
- Rear visibility
Visceral, hardcore motoring
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