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Lotus Exige
Lotus Engineering, Hethel, Norwich, Norfolk, NRI4 8EZ. Telephone (0953) 608000 Telefax (0953) 606884

Inspired by the track, to be enjoyed on the road

Ever wondered what it would be like to drive a race car on the road? Then get behind the wheel of the Exige, the road going racer based on the Sport Elise competition car. The link between Lotus road cars and race cars has always been strong, but the Exige merges the two disciplines in spectacular style.

This stunning race replica offers the full track car experience and purity of purpose, yet has more than enough refinement to make it practical for regular road use. A gutsy 180PS 1.8-litre engine married to a lightweight bodyshell and a superlative chassis, ensure that the Exige makes rival sports coupes seem tame by comparison. Extreme driver satisfaction is guaranteed.

We realise that the lure of the track is irresistible when you own a car which looks and drives like this one, not only can you upgrade your Exige from the Lotus accessory range, but you can also choose certain items from the Lotus Motorsport parts inventory. Today a track day, tomorrow...

What the papers say...

'As you've probably guessed by now, I really rather like the Exige. It combines truly head-scrambling dynamics with head-turning looks, has the composure and compliance to tackle the toughest country road and yet there's enough racing pedigree left intact for it to feel perfectly at home on the track. If you like your cars to have an equal quotient of power and poise, a harmony of grunt and grip that enables you to exploit every ounce of forward motion and wring every last drop of mechanical grip from the chassis (not to mention a little bit extra from thin air), then the Exige has your name written all over it.' evo, September 2000

Exige Road Test

Exige - Take the Chequered Flag!

There has always been a strong link between Lotus racecars and road cars, but seldom has that relationship been so direct as with the launch of the new Exige. Stick on some race numbers and a set of slick tyres, and the Exige would be virtually indistinguishable from the Lotus Sport Elise.

That's hardly surprising, as the Exige is a road-going replica of the Sport Elise racer, albeit with a few concessions to type approval regulations and the rigours of everyday road use. But in most respects the Exige is very much what it looks like — a racecar turned road legal.

Designed to give customers the chance to share in the experience of the cars in the Autobytel Lotus Championship, the Exige is a pure driver's machine, and in true motorsport style provides for only those essentials that add to the driving experience. In other words it's a car which won't suit everyone, just those who place high value on exhilaration, all-round performance and driver satisfaction.

The Exige uses the same sleek and aerodynamic bodyshell as the Sport Elise, although some changes have had to be made to make the car road-friendly. The front apron/splitter assembly has been raised and modified to improve the ramp approach angles — the Sport Elise set-up is so low you'd never be able to drive it into a petrol station, or even up your own driveway. To balance the changes of the front-end aerodynamics and to comply with European homologation regulations the rear wing design has been resized and styled to match the rear of the car. The result is an aerodynamic package that remains faithful to that of the racer and Lotus philosophy, a highly stable combination of downforce and low drag. In fact, in wind tunnel tests the car generates 80 kilos of downforce at 100 miles per hour.

Another modification is to the panel above the engine bay, changed from a solid panel to a neatly styled transparent polycarbonate tailgate glass and composite moulding to improve rear visibility. The Sport Elise's roof forced air intake is retained to work in combination with new cooling vents in the tailgate, recognising the fact that unlike racecars, road cars are sometimes stuck in traffic.

Inside the Exige has two seats, rather than the single centrally located item in the Sport Elise racer; the central driving position was considered, but Lotus engineers decided that if you own a car as thrilling as the Exige, you'll want to share the experience with friends and family. Both seats feature optional race-style four-point harnesses.

Mechanically the Exige has the same broad track as the Sport Elise and the same wide wheels and tyres, although slicks being a tad impractical for road use, it's fitted with a set of specially developed Yokohama A039s. It has the excellent Lotus sports suspension with retuned spring and damper rates to exploit the exceptional level of aerodynamic performance and high levels of downforce. Slowing the Exige down shouldn't be a problem either with the top class AP Racing front brake calipers and 282mm diameter cross-drilled and ventilated discs all round.

Nestled beneath the Exige's engine cover is a 179PS (132.5kW) derivative of the 1.8-litre K series motor. Although hardly lacking in power in standard form, this engine can easily be upgraded to 195PS (143.2kW) using products from the Lotus performance accessories range.

In fact, owners wanting to personalise their Exige can upgrade many aspects of the car using accessories not just from the standard Lotus range, but from the Lotus Motorsport range, too.

The Exige, in the great tradition of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, is quite literally a racecar which has been converted for road use. In fact, some of the very first Lotus cars, such as the Lotus 8 and the legendary Lotus 11, were track cars made road legal.

The Exige is available throughout the Lotus dealer network, priced at 29,995 across Europe.


Unique fixed head, lightweight glass fibre reinforced composite bodywork, based on the Lotus Sport Elise.

Deeper front air splitter and high level fixed rear wing facilitates balanced aerodynamic downforce characteristics of 35 kg (front) and 45 kg (rear) at 100 mph, increasing cornering grip and high speed stability whilst retaining the same drag coefficient as the standard Elise.

Cold air intake integrated in the roof for engine bay forced cooling, combines with tailgate central exit duct for hot air extraction. New opening polycarbonate tailgate glass for baggage stowage access and increased rear vision.

Lotus designed lightweight structure of epoxy bonded aluminium alloy extrusions with integral steel rollover structure.

Fully independent front and rear double wishbone systems with co-axial coil springs mounted on adjustable platforms to Koni monotube racing dampers, adjustable link front stabiliser bar, extruded Aluminium front and forged steel rear uprights.

Rack and pinion steering.
Ratio: 15.8:1
2.8 handwheel turns lock to lock.

Front and rear 282mm diameter cast iron cross-drilled ventilated discs. Non servo assisted pedal actuation, with front to rear hydraulic system split.
AP Racing opposed piston front calipers, Brembo single piston sliding rear calipers with mechanical cable operated parking brake system.

Rimstock, Aluminium Alloy Lotus Sport wheels.
Front - 7J x 16 inch
Rear - 8,5J x 17 inch

New unique Yokohama A039 tyres developed in conjunction with Lotus to maximise grip and achieve Lotus ride and handling performance criteria.
Front - 195/50ZR16
Rear - 225/45ZR17

Electronic Stack Instruments unit with analogue display comprising re-calibrated Speedometer and Tachometer with multifunction LCD incorporating fuel and temperature read out and seat belt warning.

2 Seats. Fore / aft adjustable drivers seat (passengers seat fixed in rearmost position.) Electrical service components and Engine Management Controller are assembled to the rear bulkhead for accessibility but with theft/tamper protection cover.

6 inch dipped beam lamps, with aerodynamic clear perspex covers, and low mounted main beam lamps fitted as standard equipment.

4 cylinder in-line 1.8 litre, transverse mid mounted, water cooled with front mounted oil cooler. Double overhead camshafts with mechanical tappets and electronic multi-point fuel injection system. Lotus developed engine management controller.

Maximum Power
177 bhp / 179PS / 132.5kW @ 7800rpm
Torque 171 Nm @ 5000rpm

5 speed transaxle driving rear wheels.
Close ratio gears fitted as standard equipment.
Ratios :
First 2.923
Second 1.750
Third 1.307
Fourth 1.033
Fifth 0.848
Reverse 3.000
Final drive 4.200

Maximum speed 136 mph (219 km/h)
0 — 60 mph 4.7 Sec
0 — 100 km/h 4.9 Sec
0 — 100 mph 12.3 Sec

Wheel base 2300 mm
Front track 1454 mm
Rear track 1489 mm
Overall length 3780 mm
Overall width 1720 mm (excluding mirrors)
Overall height 1175 mm (including integrated air intake scoop)
Ground clearance 112/122 mm (front/rear when mid laden)

Tank capacity 40 litres
Fuel grade 95 RON minimum

Dry weight 724 Kg
Unladen weight 780 Kg
Weight distribution 41/59 (% front/rear)

Standard Equipment:
META alarm system controller with immobiliser and key fob operation. In Car Entertainment (ICE) fitting kit including all wiring, roof mounted aerial and coaxial lead with ground plane tin foil, integral bulkhead and speaker mounting panel. Battery trickle charger wiring and socket.

META microwave alarm and siren with bonnet and boot switches. Alpine speakers and grills. 4-point competition style safety belt harness and cross car beam mounting structure. Competition style seats with unique trim inserts and colours matched to door trim panels and steering wheel.

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