Words by Mick Mills
Lotus has never really produced a subtle car, a car that fades into the background or is overshadowed by others. The Lotus Exige Series 2 is no exception. Despite following the Colin Chapman mantra of adding speed by adding lightness, the stripped down road car is full of character and grabs attention everywhere it goes.
I have owned a Lotus Exige S for four years, my car is a Black 2007 Touring Pack fitted with a Stage 2 exhaust. The output is 220bhp, which is ample to propel this lightweight road racer. My 2007 version was produced just before they introduced the starter button, so it’s just a case of turning the ignition key after the alarm is switched off to get it firing. The standard exhaust sounds like any normal car, which is very disappointing. However, with the Lotus Stage 2 exhaust fitted it makes a hell of noise when it springs into life, very satisfying indeed!
The Exige is always very special to walk up to and look at. It is just one of those head turning cars. Getting in is spoilt somewhat by the fact that it is a battle. After four years I still find it a bit of a kerfuffle to get into the driving seat. It is totally impossible unless you remember to slide the driver’s seat all the way back when you get out! Once you’re in though, the driving position is one of the best around. All you get is a steering wheel, big clear dials for revs/speed and a panoramic view of the road in front,
you realise nothing else is needed.
Sure there are some cars out there that are straight line faster than an Exige, but there are almost none that can take corners like it. It is a pure driving machine. The down force on the Exige is incredible, making it extremely stable at high speed. I was once doing silly speeds down a deserted B-road, I can still picture the oak trees whizzing past either side of me. In the blur of speed I suddenly saw right in front of me a huge dip in the road, at the speed I was going there was no point in braking. I braced
myself for mayhem to ensue, all that actually happened was the car twitched very slightly as if I had encountered a twig, but that was it!
As far as I can tell, the value on my car hasn’t changed much in the last 4 years. With the new V6 Exige being a different ball game and a lot more money to boot, it seems people are still looking at the Series 2 Exige as the best value supercar out there. Full owners experience can be found in the magazine.
Why buy one?
★Unrivaled performance both on the road and track, it will easily out-corner most sportscars.
★Raw nature of the car will ensure it always has a following amongst driving enthusiasts.
★Residuals have been very strong for the Exige and are likely to strengthen even further over time.
Full list of reasons to buy can be found in the magazine.
Full production history of the car can be found in the magazine.
Full analysis and advice of the ideal specification can be found in the magazine.
The current availability of cars span between £18,000 to £35,000 depending on age, mileage and condition. Full valuation details and examples on the market found in the magazine.
The Lotus principle of adding speed by adding lightness is truly borne out when looking through the parts prices of the Exige compared to other cars with the same performance characteristics. Full breakdown of prices can be found in the magazine.
The 1.8 litre Toyota four cylinder engine is robust and has no reported issues. The 2ZZ-GE engine is equipped with twin cam VVTL-i and is also found in the Toyota Celica from the same period. Superchargers and coolers are also reliable if maintained according to the service schedule. Checking the oil level and consistency, can highlight any lack of maintenance. Full breakdown of buyers checkpoints for engine, clutch, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and servicing schedule can be found in the magazine.
To view an example full feature article click here.