Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Lotus Exige Convertible review (2000-2012)

Any version guarantees an intense, racecar-like driving experience in a way no other road car can. That's what makes it so brilliant.

Lotus Exige
Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

For those Lotus enthusiasts who can't wait for the replacement Esprit, or just want a harder, faster more focussed track-biased version of the Elise then Lotus has released the second generation Exige. A coupe version of the fantastic Elise handling is just as sharp as its open relative, but with additional wings and a front splitter helping push the Exige onto the road grip levels are astonishing. Part of that can be attributed to the unique, near slick tyres that the Exige wears, normally such extreme rubber making things impossible in the wet but somehow the Exige remains faithful rather than scary. That's part of the appeal of this car over its sometimes raw predecessor, although you know it'll deliver knockout performance on a track the road driving experience is slightly less extreme.

The standard car is powered by the same revvy Toyota 1.8-litre engine that's also fitted in the 111R Elise. It's a quick car. That's despite just 189bhp being on offer, underlining the Exige's light weight. To get the best of it you need to push that engine hard, it offering real shove in the upper reaches of the rev-range, making it an involving, if somewhat frenetic drive. And if you thought that was quick... Lotus also offers a supercharged version of the same engine, which punches out 240bhp. It's offered in Cup 240 trim, which comes in 'road' and 'track' formats, the latter with a full roll cage, fire extinguisher and 4-point harness. Pace is electrifying - 0-60mph in around four seconds is real Ferrari-beating pace. The 'track' Exige is the most extreme of a pretty extreme range. Any version guarantees an intense, racecar-like driving experience in a way no other road car can. That's what makes it so brilliant.

Engines, performance and drive

0

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

0

Interior, design and technology

0

Practicality, comfort and boot space

0

Reliability and Safety

0
Advertisement
Advertisement

More on Exige Convertible

Visit New Lotus Exige Sport 410 review
Lotus Exige Sport 410 - front
Lotus Exige Convertible
15 May 2018

New Lotus Exige Sport 410 review

The new Lotus Exige Sport 410 sits between the Sport 350 and Cup 430, but what's it like on the road?
Visit New Lotus Exige automatic 2015 review
Lotus Exige Convertible
6 Feb 2015

New Lotus Exige automatic 2015 review

Paddle shift box aims to boost sports car’s appeal
Visit Lotus Exige S
Lotus Exige S front tracking
Lotus Exige Convertible
25 Apr 2012

Lotus Exige S

We get behind the wheel of the new 345bhp supercharged Lotus Exige S
Advertisement
Visit Lotus Exige S RGB
Lotus Exige S RGB
Lotus Exige Convertible
12 Nov 2010

Lotus Exige S RGB

Special gives extreme Brit supercar final flourish
Visit Lotus Exige
Lotus Exige S Performance Pack
Lotus Exige Convertible
14 Nov 2007

Lotus Exige

Lotus makes its Exige S faster yet, with the addition of a Performance Pack. we try it out.
Visit Lotus Exige
Lotus Exige Convertible
13 Dec 2006

Lotus Exige

This is Lotus’s Exige 265E, an eco-rocket that runs on anything from pure ethyl alcohol – bioethanol – to conventional petrol
Visit Lotus Exige
image
Lotus Exige Convertible
13 Jul 2005

Lotus Exige

Let's face it: while the Exige is a sports car enthusiasts' dream, it is not above criticism. For example, the 1.8-litre Toyota engine has to be worke…