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The Top Gear car review:Lotus Exige S
For:Joyous handling, performance, character
Against:The traditionalists won't understand
What is it?
It’s a sign of the strained times at Lotus when its famous adage ‘just add lightness’ becomes ‘just add 170kg and double the size of the engine’. But that’s what’s been done to turn the Exige into the Exige S – and, so well does this new approach work, we think they may just be onto something. Yes, some people will feel uneasy at how the raw road racer appears to have become a softer, sleeker and much more expensive GT car, but they can rest easy. The latest new Lotus, despite the strife it’s been developed under, is a cracker.
So, yes, it’s heavier, but it’s still lighter than any rival. It has the same power to weight ratio as a 911 Turbo. The supercharged 3.5-litre V6 is as charismatic as the old four-pot was anodyne. And it’s been developed by the masters of ride and handling, so you don’t have to dig deep before the appeal becomes clear.