Lotus Cars has been building cars for the road and track since 1948. They’ve won races and leant their skills to help others do the same. For over 70 years their name has been synonymous with balance and handling superiority. Despite being a small manufacturer, they consistently punch above their weight class.
The Exige is a perfect example of this. The first Exige–launched in 2000–had a mere 177HP but it only weighed 1,720lbs so 60MPH was just 4.7 seconds away. That’s half a second slower than a 2020 Mustang GT despite the Lotus having 40% the power of the Ford.
The people loved the little Lotus but like with all cars, they wanted more. More grip, more power, more aero. In 2005, Lotus sold a special version of the Exige that had a supercharged Toyota engine. They only made 50 of them, leaving a lot of potential buyers hungry for a boosted featherweight. Lotus read the room. In 2006, the Lotus Exige S (Series 2) went on sale. Under the hood was a supercharged Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine making 220HP. At 2,057lbs it was heavier than the original Exige but it had a better power-to-weight ratio. It was quicker, faster, and stickier.
Things have only gotten better since. With the 3rd generation of Exige, Lotus replaced the inline-four with a supercharged 3.5-liter Toyota V6. Horsepower jumped. Torque nearly doubled. Weight increased as well but at 2,593lbs it was still one of the lightest cars on sale. Imagine a Miata with two engines and you start to get the idea.
Click here to watch the APEX:60 about the 258MPH all-electric Rimac hypercar.