The Lotus Exige S

Lotus have combined their 218 hp supercharged four-cylinder motor with a lightened (935 kg all in) Exige chassis to produce a car that will accelerate from 0 - 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds - and be one of the world's fastest cars from A to B. The Lotus Exige S is the latest addition to the Exige range and with its 121.4 hp/litre engine it is one of most powerful production cars in the world for its engine size.

It has full type approval for all the markets in which it will be sold; so is not a limited edition, nor is it an aftermarket special - it is manufactured from start to finish in the Lotus Manufacturing facility at Hethel, Norfolk.

160 km/h (100 mph) from standstill is reached in 9.98 seconds (estimate) before the car tops out at 238 km/h (148 mph). As with all Lotuses over the years, maximum speed is not paramount - it's cross-country (and track) handling that's the most importasnt and true to its traditions the softly-sprung (but firmly-damped) car will shame cars costing two or three times as much.

The heart of the Exige S is a Roots-type supercharger and air to air intercooler attached to the tried and tested 4-cylinder, 1.8 litre 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine. Using a development of the supercharger and intercooler package developed first for the Lotus Sport Exige 240R, the Exige S has peak power of 162.5 kW (221 PS, 218 hp) at 7800 rpm, 215 Nm (158.6 lb ft) of torque at 5500 rpm (but 80% is produced at just over 2000 rpm). Maximum engine speed is 8000 rpm (8500 rpm transient for up to 2 seconds). 162.5 kW (218 hp, 221 PS) is the figure that has been achieved by Lotus Engineers whilst retaining full vehicle type approval for the markets in which it is sold.

A slightly redesigned air intake and roof scoop has been added to the Exige S to ensure that the air to air intercooler works as efficiently and effectively as possible in all climates and environments. A single oval exhaust exits from the centre of the undertray.

The body and chassis of the Lotus Exige S remains unchanged from the Exige, however, the key body components of the rear wing, front splitter and side air intakes are body colour coded to differentiate it from its naturally aspirated cousin.

Various option packs are available that will specify individual cars for touring, trackdays or club racing. Colours include black, shades of silver, shades of blue, a vivid Aspen White, non metallic British Racing Green, a hot Chilli Red, a high metallic Solar Yellow and a harmonious Autumn Gold. The total number of colours available is 20, excluding the bespoke custom colours.

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Lotus


ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!