Lotus Exige S

From Lotus press: A small lightweight sportscar weighing just 935 kg (2057 lbs), powered by a 162.5 kW (218 hp, 221 PS) high revving supercharged engine, giving a zero to 100 km/h time of just 4.3 seconds (0 – 60 mph in 4.1 seconds). It comes straight off the production line and isn’t an “aftermarket special”.

Is this the quickest ever real-world production car? It is certainly the quickest Lotus production car - so far!

The Lotus Exige S is the latest addition to the Exige range and is a real sportscar that redefines the term “Extreme Performance”. With 90.5 kW / litre (121.4 hp / litre, 123 PS / litre), it is one of most powerful production cars in the world for its engine size but most importantly it has full type approval for all the markets in which it will be sold. The Lotus Exige S is not a limited edition, nor is it an aftermarket special – it is manufactured from start to finish in the world leading and award winning Lotus Manufacturing facility at Hethel, Norfolk.

Because the basic car is so immensely strong but lightweight (935 kg, 2057 lbs), giving a power to weight ratio of 173.8 kW/tonne (233.2 hp/tonne, 236.4 PS/tonne), performance is phenomenal, with 100 km/h being reached from a standing start in 4.3 seconds (0 – 60 mph in 4.1 seconds) and 160 km/h (100 mph) being reached in 9.98 seconds (estimate) before topping out at 238 km/h (148 mph). In spite of this phenomenal performance the fuel economy is impressive with an official combined figure of 9.1 litres / 100 km (31.0 mpg) - extra urban is an impressive 7.2 litres / 100 km (39.2 mpg). Lotus believes that there is no car on sale anywhere in the world that has such good performance combined with such good fuel economy! Not that many customers will be buying this car principally for its fuel economy!!

Being a Lotus, straight-line performance is not the most important factor, but every day driving on normal roads, or around a circuit is. There are very few cars on sale today that can match the speed, agility and safety of the Exige S in both day to day and track or circuit driving. However the Exige S is not just a track day warrior. It is a sportscar that would be at home on the back roads, freeways and autobahns, as well as on city streets. With an extremely "torquey" engine and the classic Lotus suspension set-up of soft compliant springs and firm controllable dampers, the driving experience is an uncanny combination of telepathic-like handling with a taught and comfortable ride. There is really no car that handles quite like a Lotus.

Clive Dopson, Managing Director of Lotus Cars says, “The Exige S represents the ultimate “extreme” production Lotus, with performance that trumps other supercars costing twice or even three times as much. That it does so with the fuel economy of a family hatchback, stands as a testament to the Lotus concept of performance through light weight. Its an unbeatable package and an unbeatable drive.

For what is probably the quickest "real world" production car, the driving experience has to be pretty special. The lightweight composite seats with ProBax technology hug the driver and passenger giving the right amount of support and security to cope with acceleration, braking and cornering forces of well over 1g. The steering wheel is a small off-centre leather clad unit (both the airbag wheel and the non-airbag wheel) and is set in just the right position for comfort, driver dexterity and feedback. The gear stick is located just 15 cm (6 inches) from the steering wheel for quick, accurate and safe gear changes and the lightweight steel and aluminium pedals are located in just the right position for heel and toeing. The Lotus Exige S doesn't have a multitude of user adjustment to the wheel or seat position - Lotus believes that the driving position is pretty close to perfect anyway!
What does acceleration feel like in a Lotus Exige S? First of all the feeling of acceleration is mildly addictive. Few vehicles, aside from racing cars, motorbikes and extreme theme-park rides, can pull this amount of g-force under acceleration, braking and cornering. This gives a safe, but fun (even exhilarating) experience that you can only get from such a finely honed sportscar.

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