Since it's launch in 2000 the Exige has continued to exceed your expectations as the perfect embodiment of performance through lightweight. It's in a class of it's own.
As you get ready for the Exige S to hit the road join us on a trip down memory lane as we look at some of the key milestones in the Exige's history...
Lotus Sport Elise unveiled as a one make series racing car.
First round of the first season of the Autobytel Lotus Championship featuring the Lotus Sport Elise was held at Brands Hatch.
Here Lotus also unveiled the Lotus Exige. The road car was not called an Elise in any way as it was deemed too different to be part of the Elise range.
The first Exige was a raw race car for the road, with a wider track and a highly tuned 1.8 litre VHPD normally aspirated engine producing 177 hp tuneable to 190 hp.
583 cars were built by early 2001. In typical Lotus fashion, Lotus had introduced a very special genre of car – a useable track car that would outperform almost anything else on drivers' roads.
Plans for an all-new Lotus Exige begin with developing taking place for a 2004 launch.
An all-new Lotus Exige was announced and unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow in 2004. With a 190hp high revving, naturally-aspirated engine, the car was much more drivable than the earlier series.
Back in 2004, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond introduced the new Lotus Exige, specifically engineered for America. See Jeremy's test drive and review of it here, pitted against the Apache helicopter gunship.
One-off Lotus Sport Exige introduced with 470 hp per tonne and weighing just 850kg, with longitudinal mounted V6.
This car was developed for an Asian customer and in the autumn of 2005, won the Merdeka Millenium 12 hours and recorded a 2nd place in the G2 category of the Zhuhai round of the FIA GT Championships.
Lotus unveils the Lotus Sport Exige 240R, with a pioneering high revving 1.8 litre supercharged 4-cylinder engine producing 240 hp. The engine was the result of extensive research by Lotus Engineering Powertrain concepts group and was the cornerstone of all the supercharged Elise and Exige variants for the next 6 year. Only 50 cars were built worldwide (25 in Sport Yellow and 25 in Sport Black).
The New Exige S was launched to press at the Silverstone race circuit. With a 220 hp engine, the Exige S was at the time, the quickest real world car that Lotus had ever built - capable of 0-60 (0-100 km/h) in 4.1 seconds.
Lotus enters and with a race in hand, win the British GT3 championship with the Exige S, which caused a celebratory special edition at the end of the year.
The end of 2006 also saw the start of a range of Exige Cup cars developed with the Lotus Cup Europe in mind. With up to another 20 hp on top, the performance packed Exige S, resulted in a formidable road legal track car.
Lotus Engineering announces the Lotus Exige 265E Bio-fuel, a flex-fuel technical demonstrator powered by both ethanol and gasoline – producing up to 265 HP when running on (sustainably sourced) bio-ethanol fuel. Going green has never been so much fun.
At Geneva Motorshow in 2007, Lotus showcases the Exige GT3 road car, from which the 2007 Exige GT3 race car would be developed.
The Exige Club Racer, a stripped down track focused but road legal version, is launched.
East Sussex police take delivery of a Lotus Exige as part if enforcing a road safety campaign.
Methanol fuel along with bio ethanol and gasoline are the chosen future fuels for research by Lotus Engineering with the Exige 270E Tri-fuel technical demonstrator. Running on methanol, the car finds another 5 HP over the Lotus Exige 265E Bio-fuel to take it to 270 HP.
September 2009 sees teh Exige given a revised rear wing and front, to aid cooling and improve efficiency.
The Exige Scura, as special edition model (also known as the Exige Stealth in Japan) based on an Exige S is unveiled at the Tokyo Motorshow. Its defining feature is its bespoke, rubberised matt black paint scheme.
The Exige RGB Special Edition, based on the Exige Cup 260, is produced to celebrate the contribution of Roger Becker, Lotus’ Director of Vehicle Engineering and his 44 year long career at Hethel.
Rumours of a new V6 Exige start to circulate. These are confirmed at the Frankfurt Motorshow 2011 along with a new Exige R-GT Rally car which are unveiled by members of the Lotus Advisory Council Bob Lutz and Tom Purves.