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
So if the old Exige was a track car for the road, maybe this one's a road car for the track. The 700-mile drive from Norfolk to Clermont should help to figure that one out. Our car is factory-fresh, the very first car off the line, so we'll also be bedding it in. The first job is to cram cameras and clothes in the tiny boot, under the rear hatch beside the mid-mounted V6. We squeeze in a soft bag about the size of a toddler, but the rest is coming in the cabin. So with fleeces stuffed behind the seats and tripods between our legs, we head for the motorway. And immediately develop a headache. This car is on the optional Pirelli Trofeo tyres, part of the Race options (a softer Sport set-up is available). They're slicker and stickier, but on rustic surfaces they really make themselves heard. The noise is far less stressful when we hit glossier French autoroutes, but in the UK, it'd be more pleasant being run over by a floor stripper.