Launching in 1996, the Lotus Elise was the most popular car Lotus has ever produced. And its iconic design and chassis technology inspired a new generation of performance-oriented Lotus racecars. As the millennium approached, Lotus had not been competing in motorsport for a number of years. With the British Touring Car Championship growing in popularity, there was the perfect opportunity for Lotus to return to the track and debut the latest advancements in racing technology.
Initial concepts for the car that would become the Lotus Exige iterated upon the Elise chassis, with a more powerfully tuned engine and hardtop roof. As the idea developed, the Lotus Design team sketched a radically new concept, and the Lotus Exige was truly born.