Motoring expert Chris Walsh test drives the new model…
I recently spent an amazing day at the Lotus factory in Norwich learning how to get their sublime Exige S around the test track in one piece. I came away totally convinced that this is the only way for mere mortals like myself to experience the intense levels of performance the car is capable of.
The Exige S Coupe and Roadster variant trace their origins back through an incredibly detailed and successful heritage of motorsport history that has helped to ensure their cars stick to the track like no other.
Alongside the obvious physical benefits of such a proportioned car, the driver can now harness every inch of agility via the new Dynamic Performance Management System (DPM for short). Like most sports cars, it can be set to deliver a choice of settings that increase the heat accordingly but, unlike many others, this one has a far superior brain.
The Touring setting kicks things off by giving you the full level of stability control and will serve its purpose for the majority of the time in the car. The Sport section takes things up a notch by sharpening the throttle response and permitting higher maximum rpm. Then there’s the ultimate setting, which is utterly brilliant: Race Mode. This carries over all of the above but adds a little sprinkle of Lotus magic for good measure. It takes around 10 or 12 seconds to learn the friction coefficient of the track surface, so it can deliver the optimum amount of torque and wheel slip for you.
Underneath the new Exige S’s body is the key to its potent performance, a midmounted, supercharged V6 that churns out 345 bhp and an impressive 400 Nm of torque. Coupling this powerplant with the Exige’s chassis provides the perfect foundation to an unbeatable sports car.
Even better, a compromise is on offer, as this super hyper-performance supercar has an equally capable open top Roadster variant to give you all the performance found in the Coupe for exactly the same price.
At A Glance
Model: Lotus Exige S (Coupe & Roadster)
Priced From: £52,900
Powerplant: 3.5-Litre V6
Drivetrain: Mid-Engined Rear Wheel Drive
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Power: 345 bhp @ 7,000 rpm
Torque: 400 Nm @ 4,500 rpm
Weight: 1,176 Kg (Coupe) 1,166 Kg (Roadster)
0-62 mph: 4.0 Seconds
Top Speed: 170 mph (Coupe) 145 mph (Roadster)
Combined MPG: 28.0 CO2 emission: 236 g/km