The 2006 Lotus Exige
After record-breaking first year sales of the Elise roadster, British sports car builder Lotus unveiled the production version of the Exige, a limited production, hand-built coupe aimed at dedicated driving and track day enthusiasts.
Based on the same 150-pound extruded and bonded aluminum chassis found in the featherweight Elise, the Exige takes the extraordinary roadster’s performance and handling characteristics one step further. Aerodynamic features generate substantial downforce at speed that provides the Exige additional handling confidence that allows the driver to extract additional performance from the car. Although the Elise and Exige look similar, only the door and rocker panels are shared.
Power comes from the mid-mounted 190hp engine and six-speed manual transmission. The highly-focused Exige also comes standard with forged aluminum wheels, ultra high performance Yokohama A048LTS tires, twin oil coolers and stiffer springs and dampers.
The Exige sprints from 0 to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 147 mph. However, with an EPA fuel rating of 24/29mpg the Exige is perhaps the most fuel efficient exotic car available.
“The Exige is for those that take their driving seriously.” said John English, president and CEO of Lotus Cars USA. “It is for drivers who seek the concentrated thrill of clipping the perfect apex and pushing the limits of adhesion. Those looking for automatic wipers need to look elsewhere.”
Since the Exige is intended for track day use, it is tuned and equipped accordingly. Front brake vents and cross drilled, 282mm rotors keep temperatures of the twin-piston Lotus/AP brake calipers down. An ABS system specially calibrated for late actuationallows drivers to hone their threshold braking skills without interference. Scoops and vents are shielded from track debris with black wire mesh. A shift light integrated into the 10,000RPM tachometer signals when the 8,000RPM redline is reached. The small, 320mm steering wheel allows for precise steering inputs and requires just 2.8 turns lock-to-lock. Because the quick-ratio system is unassisted, feedback is direct and precise.
The Exige’s incredible handling is derived from a fully independent suspension consisting of unequal length wishbones, Bilstien monotube shock absorbers, Eibach coaxial coil springs and a front anti-roll bar. Additional options include defeatable Lotus Traction Control (LTC) and a torque-sensing limited slip differential with LTC and a Track Package that includes adjustable dampers with threaded spring perches, an adjustable front anti-sway bar and a rear track link. Customers can also reduce the Exige’s weight an additional 22-pounds by choosing to delete the air-conditioning system. Contoured, composite sport seats are standard in black, though customers will be able to choose from 20 exterior colors. For those who do desire something slightly softer around the edges, the available Touring Package includes leather seats and door panels, full carpeting, additional sound insulation and an upgraded stereo system.
Approximately 300 examples of the hand-built Exige will be imported to the US this year. With a base MSRP of just $50,990, the Exige is hands down the most affordable exotic car in America.
Lotus is one of the world’s best-known British performance brands with a reputation for innovation through a steady stream of winning racing cars and memorable sports cars. The first Lotus car was built in 1948 by founder Colin Chapman (1928-1982). The Lotus Engineering Company has pioneered numerous automotive systems and components still in use today.
Lotus Cars and its sister company Lotus Engineering are owned by Group Lotus, PLC, headquartered in Norfolk, England. The location is home to design, manufacturing, research and development and sales facilities. While Lotus Cars continues to design and build sports cars revered for their performance, handling, style and innovation, Lotus Engineering develops advanced automotive systems and components for many of the world’s leading automakers.
Together, these two enterprises are a powerful team, committed to changing the rules that define automotive excellence. Lotus Cars USA is the North American distributor of Lotus sports cars based in Duluth, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.
Scottsdale Lotus 480.922.6242 lotusofscottsdale.com