Light and Loud: This Exige is Lotus Incarnate
Photography by: Rosario Liberti
There are few companies as synonymous with light weight as Lotus is. What began as, essentially, hill climb “trials” cars, Colin Chapman and Lotus have morphed over the years from a pure race car manufacturer into one that’s known more for its road cars—all the while keeping weight at a minimum.
The most pure among them? The Elise. If you’re looking for something a bit more extreme, however, this Italian-owned Exige S1 is about as raw as Lotus gets these days. Photographed by Rosario Liberti, this New Aluminium-colored car is #73 of 604 built, and one of only 177 left-hand drive models.
Essentially a road-going version of the Motorsport Elise, this car weighs just 1,675 lbs (760 kg) and is motivated by a Lotus-tuned Rover K-Series 4-cylinder engine. With “only” 177 horsepower, you’d expect performance to be sluggish, but the car will still do a zero-to-60 time of about 4.5 seconds. The owner says it’ll rev right to its 8,000 rpm redline and sounds “amazing”.
Used sparingly since new, it’s covered little more than 10,000 miles—only a little bit by our standards, but the track-bred Exige is likely not the best road trip companion. The owner’s second Exige, he says that after he sold his first, he realized that it was tough to live without, writing, “…this hot and smelly little box gives emotions that are hard to find in the car world”.
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