Top Gear drives the Lotus Exige S
The Clermont-Ferrand GP circuit was famous for its gut-wrenching corners. Can the new Lotus Exige S take the strain?
Posted: 20 Jun 2012
It even has launch control. Move the knob into Race mode, push the clutch and move it once more to the right. Then bury the throttle while it holds the revs steady at 3,500rpm, waiting for you to release the clutch. When you do, it sends a well-judged amount of power to the wheels, and off you go. It works fine, but it's just a bit unnecessary. There's so much raw grip anyway, and the throttle's so naturally reactive, there's really no need for a system to manage it for you. It might be a gimmick to show off in the paddock, but who will it impress? Besides, you really don't need to turn things up to 11 to have fun here. It's the interaction that's more important, from the throttle response to the beautifully weighted brake pedal, which pumps underfoot at exactly the right pressure. It's easy to find a rhythm in this thing, steering wheel moving around, suspension compressing like toned muscles, the whole car flowing with the road... but always in control, and never intimidating - even here at Clermont, over the spiky kerbs and nasty corners with nowhere to go if it all goes wrong. Except for the sharp end of a concrete wall.