THE HISTORY

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...

Exige March 1999

MARCH 1999

Lotus Sport Elise unveiled as a one make series racing car.

Exige April 2000

APRIL 2000

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.

Exige 2000-2001

2000 - 2001

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.

Exige 2002-2004

2002 - 2004

Plans for an all-new Lotus Exige begin with developing taking place for a 2004 launch.

Exige 2004

2004

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.

BBC TOP GEAR EXIGE REVIEW WITH APACHE HELICOPTER GUNSHIP

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.

WATCH VIDEO >

Exige January 2005

JANUARY 2005

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.

Exige March 2005

MARCH 2005

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).

Exige February 2006

FEBRUARY 2006

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.

Exige August 2006

AUGUST 2006

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.

Exige November 2006

NOVEMBER 2006

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.

FEBRUARY 2007

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.

WATCH VIDEO >

Exige March 2007

MARCH 2007

At Geneva Motorshow in 2007, Lotus showcases the Exige GT3 road car, from which the 2007 Exige GT3 race car would be developed.

Exige September 2007

SEPTEMBER 2007

The Exige Club Racer, a stripped down track focused but road legal version, is launched.

Exige October 2007

OCTOBER 2007

East Sussex police take delivery of a Lotus Exige as part if enforcing a road safety campaign.

Exige March 2008

MARCH 2008

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.

Exige September 2009

SEPTEMBER 2009

September 2009 sees teh Exige given a revised rear wing and front, to aid cooling and improve efficiency.

Exige October 2009

OCTOBER 2009

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.

Exige July 2010

JULY 2010

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.

Exige 2011

2011

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.

SEE ALSO: 
THE CAR
   |   THE DEVELOPMENT   |   THE DECISION MAKERS   |   THE FILM
THE EXIGE R-GT   |   THE COVERAGE   |   THE EXIGES YOU DRIVE   |   THE WALLPAPERS