No sound deadening, no carpets, no central locking, no sun visors, no mudflaps - everything in the Exige Cup 260 is absolutely functional. There isn't a better example of Colin Chapman's ‘light is right' philosophy, the whole package designed to let the driver get on with the driving, free of distractions.
On this latest edition of the Cup 260, Lotus has stiffened the rear chassis by 30 per cent and included two-way adjustable dampers as standard. From the GT3 race car it's inherited the front air splitter, rear wing and rear diffuser.
As a result of these mods, you're so intimate with the car it feels like you're driving it naked; the signals the Exige sends back to you are hard-wired straight to your backside. Drive over a white line, and not only do you hear the difference because the tyre roar changes, you can also feel it through your arse and hands. The steering gets lighter, the tyre grip levels change. But the problem is, with that stiffened rear chassis, the ride is so hard you end up steering round potholes - if you hit one it feels like a kidney punch from Mike Tyson. You do wonder if it's taking things a bit too far.
Lotus argues otherwise, pointing out the racing focus, as it reckons 90 per cent of buyers will take the Exige on a circuit - and the 10 per cent who don't should be sectioned. We're in second-car territory here, unlike the softer, ever-so-slightly more practical Elise, which shows you can have an awesome track car that also works on the road. If nothing else, you end up driving slower over a bumpy B-road in the Exige than you would in the Elise, simply because your eyes are vibrating in their sockets making it difficult to focus on the road ahead. Driving this thing is a sensory overload.
The added bonus with the bare-bones 890kg kerbweight is that emissions and fuel economy are impressive for a sports car. Lotus has re-mapped the Exige's ECU, so it now slips under 200g/km of CO2 and averages 33.2mpg. An environmentally friendly, hardcore track special then - talk about Jekyll and Hyde.
Ultimately, of course, this doesn't really matter. Exige buyers aren't fussed about green credentials. The Exige is a toy, albeit an expensive one at £45,950. And there is no better way of experiencing driving at its purest. Just pick some of Britain's smoother B-roads.