Since its launch in 2012 the Exige S and its Roadster sibling has achieved critical acclaim for its agility and handling performance, receiving praise from the international media and high profile accolades. The Exige has been impressing customers too, particularly in Japan where the car has received most of its orders followed by the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong and Belgium.
Lotus continues to expand the appeal of the Exige S and the 1000th car is destined for Lotus’s Test and Development team where it will be used for the final sign-off of the new automatic gearbox, an optional extra that will be available in either coupé or Roadster variants in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.
Lotus Cars Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Gales commented, “Our customers want a pure driving experience and the Exige S epitomises the Lotus DNA of performance and handling excellence. It is thanks to the considerable talent and experience across our UK manufacturing facilities and at our Hethel headquarters that we are able, and proud to give this exceptional machine a Lotus badge.”
Gales continued, “We have just recorded our strongest October since 2009 for sales which demonstrates the demand for Lotus cars, but we also acknowledge the strong global demand in new markets. There is incredible potential for growth in the Middle East, China and ASEAN countries, where the automatic option for the Exige is anticipated to stimulate customer demand further.”
The Lotus Exige S
The Lotus Exige S is the ultimate combination of compact size, low weight and big engine, in the form of a supercharged 3.5 litre V6 engine that punches out 257.5 kW and 400 Nm of torque with a weight of less than 1200 kgs, which is lighter than some of the smallest hatchbacks.
The result is performance that can only described as shattering. The blast to 100 kmh is dispatched in four seconds and continues unabated, as shown by a zero to 160 kmh time of 8.5 seconds, to a top speed of 274 kmh.
Of course power is nothing without control and, as would be expected from a company that built its legend on chassis design, the Lotus Exige S is as equally masterful in the corners as it is in a straight light.
Using the light, responsive steering to fling the Exige S into a corner invites an instantaneous response that is both accurate and resolved in its ability to corner at speeds and with lateral loads that reveal its remarkable track performance. At the same time, recognising that not all roads and even some race tracks are smooth, the chassis offers remarkable levels of compliance to smooth out bumps and maintain the maximum tyre footprint contact with the road surface for the highest levels of adhesion.
Of course the Exige S stops as well as it goes with AP Racing four piston clippers clamping themselves to massive 350 mm ventilated and cross drilled disks at the front and 332 disks at the rear, all backed by the latest four channel ABS anti-lock system.
The interior is just as focussed as the chassis and drivetrain. Built around the driver, everything required to execute the performance falls naturally to hand and is perfectly positioned while the instruments are in the ideal line of sight. The seat grips in the right places and provides comfort where needed, all of which combines to allow the driver to extract with ease the maximum excitement from the Exige S under all conditions.
Despite all of this, the Exige S is not some temperamental beast that can monster a race track and be a pain on the road to and from the track. It is, when required, smooth, docile and easy to drive, allowing everyday driving while the driver knows that a flex of the right foot, a flick of the hand or a twist of a wrist will mean an instantaneous supercar response.
The Lotus Exige S Roadster
The Exige S Roadster which, like its coupe counterpart offers an unrivalled combination of race-track orientated performance and on-road ability derived from the legendary sports car maker’s unique motorsport experience, as well as the visceral experience of open top motoring with no price penalty – it is the same price as the Exige S coupe.
The Lotus Exige S Roadster demolishes the rush to 100 kmh in four seconds, continues to 160 kmh in 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 233 kmh
None of the exhilarating performance of the phenomenal Exige is compromised by the soft top, yet the driver is only ‘two clicks and a roll’ away from cruising in open-top style thanks to the lightweight, factory-fitted soft top. The Exige S Roadster is 10 kg lighter than the hardtop and modifications to the suspension – changes to the camber and a slightly thicker rear anti-roll bar, ensure that Exige Roadster maintains the benchmark standards set by the Exige S coupe.