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Spotted: a Lotus Exige S

May 10, 2024

Lotus is known for its pure driver’s cars. As nice as these are, it goes without saying that they don’t sell in large numbers. Certainly not in the Netherlands. If you come across a Lotus at all, it is usually an Elise, but during an evening walk through Amersfoort, our colleague Max came across its more extreme brother: the Lotus Exige.

The spotted specimen

To be precise, it is a 2014 Lotus Exige S, which has been in the Netherlands since 2021. He has also been with the current owner since later that year. The first Dutch owner, a private citizen, only had it for a few months, according to the RDW. According to the RDW, only 111 examples of the Exige are also registered in the Netherlands, and that is for all Exige models combined. Of these, 49 are of this third generation. So this is quite an exclusive spot.

A black Lotus Exige S with white stripes parked on the side of a road surrounded by trees and other parked cars.

A blue Lotus Exige S parked in a street next to a grassy field, with several other cars and vans nearby under a clear sky.

A dark blue Lotus Exige S sports car parked in a gravel lot next to green trees, with a white van and a red car in the background.

The Lotus Exige

The first Lotus Exige entered the market in 2000 and began as a coupe version of the Elise. However, the Exige quickly grew to be a more powerful model over the Elise, although the two models remained technically related. Later, the Exige also appeared as a convertible.

In 2012 it was already time for the third-generation Exige, based, of course, on the new Elise introduced a year earlier. First to appear was the Exige S, which unlike both the Elise and the previous Exige was equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 (instead of a four-cylinder), producing 257 kW (350 hp). The Exige first came with a fixed roof; a year later the Roadster also appeared. Apart from the roof, there were no differences between the two; even the performance was almost identical. Thus, 100 km/h is reached in 3.6 seconds and the top speed is 277 km/h.

A bright red Lotus Exige S sports car with an open driver's door parked on a wet surface as seen from a three-quarter angle at the rear.

Inside view of a Lotus Exige S with brown leather seats, a manual shifter and a minimalist dashboard design.

Lotus Exige could be even more extreme

For those for whom this still wasn’t sporty enough, Lotus came out with some even more extreme variants in 2013. For example, the track-oriented Lotus Exige V6 Cup or the even track-only Cup-R variant. By the way, the “regular” Cup is not even faster than the regular Exige S, but so it is more tuned for track use. The Cup-R, on the other hand, kicks up to 269 kW (366 hp), although that does not translate into even faster acceleration or top speed.

These Cup models were (indirectly) succeeded in 2015 and 2016 by the Lotus Exige 360 Cup, Sport 350, Sport 350 Roadster and Sport 380. The basic concept remained the same for these models: not necessarily faster than the base model in absolute numbers, but with different racing equipment but tuned for improved handling when used on a track. The 360 Cup was limited to 50 copies. More powerful models followed later in the form of the Cup 430 and Sport 410.

Bright yellow Lotus Exige S sports car parked in front of a rustic building with woven fencing.

A white Lotus Exige S sports car with red rims parked on a road with picturesque rolling hills in the background.

A blue Lotus Exige S sports car parked on an asphalt road, with black trim details and a large rear spoiler.

Orange Lotus Exige S sports car parked on a hill at sunset with picturesque mountain background.

Succession for the Lotus Exige

Production of the Lotus Exige came to an end in 2021. There was no direct successor, but along with the Elise and the Evora, the Exige was succeeded by the Lotus Emira.

A bright yellow Lotus Exige S sports car parked on a racetrack with cloudy skies in the background.