2010 Lotus Exige 260 S

I'm a firm believer this car is safer on a racetrack than on a public road. As others have mentioned, visibility is terrible no matter which direction you look and cars that seem so miniscule before now feel huge when stopped next to one. I had to look up at a driver in a Mini Cooper -- when's the last time you had to do that? It's kind of like a motorcycle in that you have to pay more attention to the people around you rather than yourself.

The Exige is essentially a street legal race car. It's got raw power, bare bones interior, and makes for an awesome driving experience. I love the subtle features that make it a track car at heart. As small as the cabin is, it has a ton of headroom to make room for the driver's helmet; the turn signal and wiper switches are farther from the wheel than most cars to make room for white knuckling with gloves on; and the support cross bar behind the seats is in perfect position to tie up a five-point harness.

The steering wheel is so small it feels like it was pulled off an arcade game, and the gauges look like they belong on Xbox. But neither perform like a video game. The lack of power steering allows you to feel every inch of the road. Although tiny, the gauges offer clear readouts of engine vitals. I'm real surprised it had a radio, which is optional.

The Exige 260 S is a fantastic enthusiast car, but personally I'd have to live next door to a racetrack to take full advantage of what it offers. A public road doesn't do it justice.

Mike Ofiara, Road Test Coordinator

I'm a fan of Lotus but I've never owned one. As nice as they are from an enthusiast point of view they are pretty pricy and are more like toys than transportation. Hopefully the Evora will change that. Still you have to think if only the Evora was $45K instead of $65K. All that said you have to love what they make and I think Colin Chapman would approve of their poduct line.

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