The Lotus Exige is a two-door, two-seat sports car made by Lotus Cars. It is essentially a coupé version of the Lotus Elise, which is a roadster that is mid-engined and has been in production since 1996. The original Exige (NA or naturally aspirated Exige) was launched in 2000 and had a 1.8 L Rover K Series engine in VHPD (Very High Performance Derivative) tune. It produced 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS) in standard form and 192 bhp (143 kW; 195 PS) in the "track spec" version. In 2004, the Series 2 Exige was introduced. It features a 1.8 L 16-valve DOHC Toyota/Yamaha engine that produces 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) with the Toyota engine designation of 2ZZ-GE. Compared to the Series 2 Elise, it has a front splitter, fibreglass hardtop roof with roof scoop, rear engine cover, and rear spoiler. The sole purpose of these aerodynamic additions to the base Elise is to create more downforce (almost 100 lb (45 kg) of downforce at 100 mph (160 km/h) in the Exige versus 13 lb (5.9 kg) at 100 mph (160 km/h) in the Elise). In February 2005, Lotus announced a limited production run of 50 Exiges, using the Toyota engine with a supercharger, that increases the power output to 243 bhp (181 kW; 246 PS). These vehicles were only available in yellow or black, representing the colours of Lotus Sport, and are badged 240R. They have a projected 0-60 mph (0–100 km/h) time of 3.9 seconds and 0-100 mph (0–160 km/h) of 9.9 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) at a cost of £44,000.00 (approximately $72,500.00 or €51,000.00). The North American Exige was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006. In February 2006, Lotus announced the Exige S model which used a supercharged Toyota engine producing 220 bhp (164 kW; 223 PS). The S was also made available in North American markets as a 2007 model.
According to Lotus, the Exige S model, weighing 2,057 lb (933 kg), has the following specifications:
Toyota supplied, 1796 cc I4, DOHC with VVTL-i (variable valve timing and lift - intelligent), supercharged and intercooled
Bore/Stroke 82 mm/85 mm
218 hp (162.5 kW) @ 7800 rpm
158.6 ft·lbf (215 N·m) @ 5500 rpm
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
6-speed, close ratio with single-plate dry clutch
0-62 (0-100 km/h): 4.1 seconds
0-100 mph (0-161 km/h): 9.98 seconds
Top speed: 148 mph (238 km/h)
Fuel consumption: 24 miles per imperial gallon (12 L/100 km; 20 mpg-US) city / 29 miles per imperial gallon (9.7 L/100 km; 24 mpg-US) highway.
In 2008, the Exige S had a 240 bhp (179 kW; 243 PS) option that was sold alongside the regular Exige S (220 hp). The package includes upgraded AP racing brakes from the Exige Cup 240 and a larger roof scoop from the Exige Cup 255. 0-60 mph (0–97 km/h) is trimmed to under 4 seconds with this option.In the 2009 model year, the Exige is offered in the United States in two configurations: S240 and S260. S240 is the continuation of the 2008 model, it weighs 2,077 lb (942 kg) and comes with a 240 hp (180 kW) supercharged engine. New for 2009, S260 weighs 2,020 lb (920 kg) with a full tank of fuel; its engine has been improved to produce 257 hp (192 kW) and 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) acceleration in 4.0 seconds. Base manufacturer suggested retail prices for S240 and S260 are $65,690 and $74,995, respectively.The Exige 265E is a factory-built Exige S optimized to run on E85 fuel, which is 85% ethanol. The higher octane of this biofuel allows for a higher compression ratio and/or more supercharger boost. In this model, which saw the ECU re-mapped as well as upgraded injectors and fuel pump to cope with the new fuel type, the brakes have also been upgraded to four-piston AP Racing calipers with increased diameter 310 mm (12.2 in) sport brake pads mated with drilled and vented discs at the front. Brembo single-piston sliding rear calipers with 282 mm (11.1 in) diameter discs are fitted at the rear. Lotus says it has no intention to build the 265E (265 indicates the approximate horsepower and the E indicates the "environmentally favourable bio-ethanol E85 fuel" powering the engine) as a production car, and that it is simply a biofuels demonstrator.