Agility and sheer grip; astonishing straight-line acceleration; race-ready yet street-legal
For 2010, the Exige S models get a new rear wing design, along with new front-end styling. The lineup remains two models--the S 240 and the race-focused S 260.
The Exige S comes in two variants--the 240, which makes 240 horsepower, while the Exige S 260 makes almost that--257 hp. Both models use a 1.8-liter supercharged Toyota-sourced 4-cylinder engine, mounted in back, with a 6-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive.
Of the two, the Exige S 260 is the pick for pure track use, as it has 17 more horsepower and an improved power-to-weight ratio, thanks to the use of carbon fiber panels that replace the normal roof, engine cover, intake ducts and other components, altogether reducing the vehicle weight by 50 pounds.
Both Exige models use a special Lotus structure made of epoxy-bonded aluminum extrusions, with an integral steel structure and lightweight steel subframe. The outer body is made of composite fiberglass, while some other components, like the fuel door are made of aluminum. The very swoopy exterior is accented front and back with projector-beam headlamps and LED taillights.
Altogether, the mid-engine Exige is very light, weighing just over 2,000 pounds, and the combination of a stiff, unequal-length wishbone suspension and adjustable anti-sway bars combines with grippy tires that are rather wide for the weight give the Exige tenacious grip. They're good on the straight line, too; the S 260 can get to 60 mph in just four seconds or reach 150 mph, and the models include Launch Control, which helps release the clutch at the best possible point for acceleration from a standing start. Otherwise, all the heavy-duty components for track use are included.
Standard features on the Exige models include a leather-trimmed Momo steering wheel, air conditioning, push-button start, tinted glass and a 4-speaker (two speakers in the 260) Alpine stereo.
The Exige S 240 can be made slightly more civil with the addition of the Touring Pack, which brings leather upholstery, additional sound insulation, full carpet and an iPod connector. Other options include the Track Pack which includes Bilstein dampers and a limited-slip differential among other upgrades.
Closely related to the Elise roadster, the Lotus Exige S is a solid-roof racing-oriented sports car that shines on the track, with excellent grip, handling, braking and overall athletic ability--along with straight-line acceleration that's on par with much more expensive exotics. It's very much a street legal race car, with few compromises that mean all but a small group of enthusiasts will be deterred from everyday driving. Considering that--and the Exige's very cramped interior quarters--very few will end up in driveways but more than a few will do plenty of weekend track time.
Vehicle Price: 66,815.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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