Lotus revealed its sharp-edged Exige S coupe at last year’s Frankfurt Auto Show, and since then has occasionally teased the car in videos. Now the Hethel-based automaker is doing a full-court-press video release on the car, covering both its design and testing.
The recipe for the Exige S is well proven: start with a sports car near the end of its life, then add more power, a wider track, stickier tires, a rear roll bar, bigger brakes and a selector knob that allows the driver to choose between Normal, Sport, Race and Tour modes of suspension tuning and stability control.
More power comes from the Exige S’ 3.5-liter V-6, rated at 345 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque and repurposed from the Lotus Evora S. To ensure that the additional grunt gets to the ground, the Exige S gets wider rear wheels, a wider track and wider rubber, in the form of a proprietary Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires.
The combination is enough to give the Exige S a top speed of 170 miles per hour, and it’s capable of sprinting from 0-100 mph in less than nine seconds. Before Lotus pronounced the car ready for customer delivery, it spent plenty of time shaking it down on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife and on it’s own test track in Hethel, England.
The end result is the fastest road-going Exige that Lotus has ever built, although don’t get too excited if you live in the United States. The Exige is no longer offered for sale here, a victim of ever-more-stringent safety requirements for all automakers, which means the Exige S won’t be coming to this side of the pond (unless it comes in as a track-only model).
On the bright side, perhaps the Exige S is the inspiration you need to plan that long-delayed European vacation. If you have the money to buy one, we can think of worse ways to explore the unrestricted stretches of Germany’s Autobahn.