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Lotus Exige S: Buying guide and review (2012-2015)

Lotus Exige S: Buying guide and review (2012-2015) Classic and Performance Car
Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S
Remember Dany Bahar? Back in the late 2000s the ex-Ferrari marketing man promised to transform Lotus with an entire new range of cars – no fewer than five of them, topped by a new Esprit. It never happened, and Bahar quickly fell from grace. But the Bahar years did give us some cracking cars – not least the V6-engined Exige.
 
Previous Exiges were pocket road-racers: tiny Elise-based coupes with fizzing four-pot engines. When the Series 3 arrived in March 2012, priced at a smidge over £50,000, it was immediately clear this was a different sort of Exige. It used the 3.5-litre supercharged Toyota V6 from the Evora S, with increases in track and wheelbase to make space and add some extra composure.
 
At 1176kg, it was around 240kg heavier than its four-cylinder forebear but still 200kg less than the Evora, and the extra power and torque of the bigger engine – with peaks of 345bhp and 295lb ft – meant a power-to-weight ratio on a par with a contemporary 911 Turbo. A properly quick car, then: 0-60mph in 3.8sec, 0-100 in 8.5, and this with a six-speed manual gearbox. 
 
Underneath was the familiar, bonded-aluminium tub, and suspension was largely carried over from the Evora. Changes included a quicker steering ratio and the addition of a rear anti-roll bar. It also had Dynamic Performance Management – Lotus’s switchable ESP (no limited-slip diff on the Exige) with Touring and Sport modes. If you specified the Race pack (a £2000 option), you also got a Race mode that optimised the handling for track driving, as well as firmer suspension and track-biased P Zero Trofeos in place of the standard Corsa tyres. Even in standard guise, the combination of power and poise was breathtaking – so much so that the Exige shared 2012 evo Car of the Year honours with the Pagani Huayra.
 
The following year the £52,900 Roadster appeared, and from 2014 hardcore drivers could choose the Exige V6 Cup for an extra £10,000. Earlier this year the S was revamped as the Sport 350.
 

Performance and specs

 
Engine V6, 3456cc, supercharged
Power 345bhp @ 7000rpm 
Torque 295lb ft @ 4500rpm 
Gearbox Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
0-60mph 3.8sec (claimed)
Top speed 170mph (claimed)
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2370mm
Length 4052mm
Width 1802mm
Height 1153mm
Weight 1176kg
 

Common problems

 
• The good news – and no real surprise here – is that the Series 3 Exige’s Toyota-sourced V6 is proving pretty much bomb-proof. Jamie Matthews, Lotus sales manager at specialist Bell & Colvill, has seen no major recurring issues with the engine or its Eaton supercharger, either in the Exige or the Evora S. 
 
• That said, Exiges are often driven hard – it’s what they were designed for – and if you can find a car with some of the three-year manufacturer’s warranty left, even if it’s just a few months, that’s a big plus.’
• The next to look for would be signs of meticulous servicing – every 9000 miles or annually, whichever comes sooner. The V6 has a timing chain, so there’s no belt to worry about.
 
• The cooling fan bearings sometimes go, causing a racket when the fans cut in, but most have been replaced with upgraded ones under warranty.
 
• The transmission is strong, it’s the same gearbox as in the Evora (there was a slightly lighter flywheel for faster pick-up), and so far there are no common major issues. 
 
• The quality of the cable-operated gearshift is one of the few aspects of the car that attracts mild criticism, as it does on other mid-engined Lotuses. The Exige S is better than some in this respect, but it can vary from car to car. Adjustments can be made to cable alignment to improve the shift.
 
• Do check the clutch operation carefully for any slippage or juddering (or smell) that could indicate it’s on the way out: it’s a major job to replace it (reckon on around £2k for parts and labour). There’s no diagnostics for clutch life, but an engine download can tell how many launches a car has been subjected to.
 
• Suspension, steering, brakes? ‘No problems here as yet,’ says Jamie. ‘I wouldn’t worry at all if a car has done a few trackdays – two or three times a year is exactly what it was designed for.’ The Trofeo tyres originally fitted to some cars are no longer road-legal; the P Zero Corsa is fine though for road and occasional track use. Check the inside edges of the tyres, as they tend to wear faster.
 
The standard brakes (with AP four-pot calipers) are more than adequate for most owners; there was a brake upgrade with drilled discs for more frequent track use. Because of the Exige’s relatively low weight, they last well, as do suspension components.
 
• The overall condition of the car is as good a guide as anything to the sort of life it’s led and whether it’s suffered any abuse, says Jamie, so check the plastic body panels carefully – particularly the nose of the car for chips and grazes, also the front splitter and the underside of the sills for any sign of kerbing damage.
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• thelotusforums.com
• seloc.org
• lotustalk.com
• bellandcolvill.co.uk
• lotussilverstone.co.uk
• jct600.co.uk
• murraylotus.co.uk
• lotusapprovedusedcars.co.uk
 

Summary and prices

 
Early cars are now edging below £40k. £42k-46k gives you an excellent choice of 2014/15 cars, while the very last cars with delivery miles are around £50k. Many have the Race pack and practically all either the £2000 Premium pack (leather, carpets, better trim) or £1500 Premium Sport pack (no carpets, but leather/Alcantara). Nearly all also had air con, which is essential on the coupe and still desirable on the Roadster.
 
Words: Peter Tomalin
Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S Lotus Exige S
Last updated: 14th Sep 2016
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Lotus Exige
25995 72990 GBP
  • Lot 825

    Lotus Exige

    £47,000 - £54,000 est. £47,000 - £54,000 est.
    Auction Date: 21 Jul 2018
    RESERVE PRICE
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    • Engine size: 1796
    Auction Date: 21 Jul 2018
    £47,000 - £54,000 est. £47,000 - £54,000 est.
    Auction Date: 21 Jul 2018
    RESERVE PRICE
    Silverstone Auctions
    +44 (0) 1926 691 141 View contact number
  • Lotus Exige

    £32,950 £32,950

    Variant name:S PERFORMANCE ,Derivative:MK2 ,Variant: S PERFORMANCE In February 2006, Lotus announced the Exige S model which used a supercharged Toyota engine producing 220 bhp (164 kW; 223 PS) The Lotus Exige S model, weighing 2,057 lb (933 kg), has the following specifications: Engine Toyota supplied, 1796 cc I4, DOHC with VVTL-i (variable valve timing and lift - intelligent), supercharged and intercooled Bore/Stroke 82 mm/85 mm 218 hp (163 kW; 221 PS) @ 7800 rpm 158.6 lb⋅ft (215 N⋅m) @ 5500 rpm Compression ratio: 11.5:1 Transmission 6-speed, close ratio with single-plate dry clutch Performance 0-60 (0-100 km/h): 4.1 seconds 0-100 mph (0-161 km/h): 9.98 seconds Top speed: 148 mph (238 km/h) Fuel consumption: 24 miles per imperial gallon Our Exige S Performance Touring + is finished in Metallic Aspen White with Black Alcantra and Leather interior, Matt Black Alloy Wheels, Air Conditioning, only 41000miles with full service history. 4 point harnesses, Re-mapped to 240bhp, Carbon Fibre side pods. Competitive finance available. Part exchange welcome. Please call Fraser on 07880 554460 or 01279 813907 for more information.

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 41000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale
    £32,950 £32,950
  • Lotus Exige

    £66,950 £66,950

    Variant name:S RACE AND PREMIUM SPORT ,Derivative:MK3 ,Variant: 70th Anniversary 350 Sport 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of Lotus Car and to kick of the celebrations Lotus have made something rather special with the Exige Sport 350. The 70th Anniversary Sport 350 is limited to 25 units for UK and Europe with some very unique touches. Castle Lotus is offering this 70th Anniversary Exige in Metallic Grey, with gloss Phantom Black front panel and red cat strips on both the front panel and colour coded roof. The 70th anniversary boasts the following options at a reduced cost; Alcantara Trim Pack, Floor Mats, Alcantara Steering Wheel, Alcantara Trimmed Facia Vents, Double Stitching (red and white), Interior Colour Pack in Red, Air Conditioning, Stereo Plus Two Front Speakers, Sound Insulation, Cruise Control, Lightweight Silver Forged Wheels, Performance Brakes 2 Piece, As with any car we supply the vehicle will go through a PDI (pre delivery inspection) and service by one of our Lotus experienced technicians prior to a new owner taking delivery. Competitive finance available and part exchange welcome. Please call Fraser on 07880 554460 or 01279 813907 for more information.

    • Year: 2018
    • Engine size: 3.5
    For sale
    £66,950 £66,950
  • Lotus Exige

    £71,989 £71,989

    Variant name:SPORT ,Variant: SPORT Black Alcantara with Contrast Yellow Stitching, Metallic Black Interior Pack, Air Conditioning, Carbon Fibre Tailgate, Carbon Fibre Sill Covers, Alcantara Steering Wheel, Stereo Plus Two Mounted Speakers, Cruise Control, Sound Insulation, Full Carpets, Carpet Mats, Metallic Paint. A Brand New Unregistered Physical Sport 380. Delivery Miles. Lotus Main Dealer Facilities. Part Exchange Welcome. Please Ask For A Finance Quotation.

    • Year: 2018
    • Engine size: 3.5
    For sale
    £71,989 £71,989
  • Lotus Exige

    £27,950 £27,950

    Variant name:TOURING ,Derivative:MK2 ,Variant: TOURING This lovely Lotus Exige Touring is equipped with the desirable Yamaha designed, 16v Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine, 6 speed manual gearbox, Ebony black alcantra interior, electric windows and Air Con. Finished in Yellow with Black Alloy wheels, having only covered 39000 miles with full service history, and only 2 owners from new. For more information and finance options, please contact Fraser on 07880 554460/01279 813907.

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 39000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale
    £27,950 £27,950
  • Lotus Exige Sport 350 Roadster

    £45,950 £45,950

    *** CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, WAS £48,950 *** The Lotus Exige Sport 350 is the pinnacle of the Exige range for motoring aficionados looking for high performance, agility, dynamic handling and an exhilarating driving experience. Lighter and faster than before with revised bodywork, suspension and increased levels of grip, the Exige Sport 350 is 2.5 seconds faster around the Hethel circuit than its predecessor. Despite new levels of comfort and refinement the Sport 350 still provides unparalleled performance, agility, ride and handling. These are attributes that people have come to expect from Lotus and the Exige Sport 350 is no exception. The improved styling package includes the new optional Heritage Tartan interior, and on manual cars a new gearshift mechanism with exposed linkage system combine to deliver a purer sportscar driving experience. The lightweight louvered tailgate completes the dynamic sport styling. Powered by a 3.5 litre V6 engine producing 350bhp, the Sport 350 offers a 0-60mph time of just 3.7 secs and onto a top speed of 145mph. The 2016 model Lotus Exige Sport 350 Roadster offered here at Hofmann’s is finished in Yellow with Black leather interior. First registered by

    For sale
    £45,950 £45,950
  • Lotus Exige S Club Racer

    £43,950 £43,950

    *** CHRISTMAS SPECIAL WAS £46,950 *** Applying the Lotus refined Club Racer principles to the already stunning Exige S results in the most inspiring version of an already class-leading sports car. At 1161 kg, it is lighter by 15 kg compared to the Exige S, because of its new lightweight battery, lightweight centre console in body colour, lighter doors and lightweight sports seats in leather or Alcantara with colour coded stitching. Traction slip thresholds (‘Drive‘, ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings) allowing the driver enhanced vehicle control before intervention is required can be altered via a driver-selectable switch which is now fitted as standard. Both ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings increase throttle responsiveness. The Exige S is a model that already excels, thanks to its lightweight aluminium chassis-tub and aerodynamically enhanced composite bodywork. Its 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine delivers exciting performance, benchmark handling and a pure driving experience combined with a 4.0 seconds 0-62mph (0-100km/h) acceleration time and a top speed of 274 km/h (170 mph). Factoring the Club Racer ethos into the Exige enhances the track-focussed potential of this important model. It en

    For sale
    £43,950 £43,950
  • Lotus Exige Sport 380

    £72,990 £72,990

    *** PRE REGISTERED, DELIVERY MILES, CHRISTMAS SPECIAL*** Launched in 2017 with a dry weight of just 1,076 kg, and boasting a potent power-to-weight ratio of 338 hp per tonne, the new, pure-bred Lotus has been conceived to out perform and out manoeuvre everything in its class. The new Exige is blisteringly fast off the line, dispatching 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 178 mph. The uprated 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine in the Exige Sport 380 generates 375 hp at 6700rpm and 410 Nm (302 lbft) of torque at 5000rpm. Lotus returned to the Lightweight Laboratory in order to cut kilos from the kerb weight of the Exige Sport 380 which features hand-made, high-gloss visible weave components as standard. A new design of rear transom panel now has two rear light clusters, rather than the four on the Exige Sport 350 with reversing and fog lights now mounted inboard. The Lotus Exige Sport 380 offered for sale at Hofmanns is finished in Lotus Exclusive Sky Blue with an Alcantara interior and yellow stitching. Aside from the standard specification this car also comes with, Yellow Interior Pack, Full Carpets, Floor Mats, Carbon Fibre Sill Covers, Alcantara Steering Wheel, Cr

    For sale
    £72,990 £72,990
  • 2007 Lotus Exige S

    $56,500(£0) $56,500(£0)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 2007 Lotus Exige S in Black with Black leather interior. 1,520 miles with clean Carfax. Very well optioned with: Performance Pack, Touring Pack, Lifestyle Paint, Star Shield, etc. Perfect body and paint. Superb interior. Excellent mechanically with no issues. This is as good as they get - best color with the best options and super low miles. Comes with its books, both keys and original window sticker. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California. Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665 today to schedule your test drive.

    For sale
    $56,500(£0) $56,500(£0)
  • Lotus Exige

    £49,990 £49,990

    Sports Exhaust, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Air Conditioning, Full main dealer service history +++FREE NATIONAL DELIVERY+++PART EXCHANGE WELCOME+FINANCE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST - SUBJECT TO STATUS+COMPANY DIRECTORS PACKAGES AVAILABLE+ALL VEHICLES PROFESSIONALLY VALETED AND READY- Lotus Exige 3.5 VVT-i V6 S Automatic registered October 2016 finished in Signature Orange with Full Black Leather interior, Premium Pack, Race Pack, Lotus Dynamic Performance Management, Switchable Sports Exhaust, Cruise Control, Rear Parking Sensors, Paddleshift Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, 17 Inch Gloss Black Alloys with Red Brake Callipers, Alpine Stereo, Rear Windscreen Demist, Full Lotus Service History at JCT600 Lotus Leeds on 18/11/16 at 921.

    • Mileage: 4600 mi
    • Engine size: 3456
    For sale
    £49,990 £49,990
  • Lotus Exige 255 Cup Honda conversion LHD

    POA POA

    Lotus Exige 255 Cup 2008 Pearl white Original LHD car Honda K20 engine and gearbox conversion, supercharged with a Rotrex C30-94 Chargecooler 750 injectors Full 2Bular exhaust system Lithium battery Bigger alu radiator Stronger clutch Wavetrack LSD SVEL ECU Nitron Hoffman Pro Race 46 Anti roll bar ATS wheels Front brake AP5000 4pot with 308mm discs Rear brake AP 2pot with 308mm discs Mechanical handbrake 2 switchable maps: 400hp or 418hp (with 100ron fuel) Probax seats Carbon fibre front splitter Carbon fibre hard top AIM MXL dash Fire estinguisher And more.. The car have done 4100 kms after the engine conversion. Total chassis mileage around 68000 kms / 42500 miles Price: 49990 €uro

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 42500 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Lotus Exige S 220

    POA POA

    Left hand drive Perfect conditions throughout. 32000km With some tasty modification: Lotus Sport injectors Lotus Sport fuel pump 2.9 compressor pulley TRD air filter Stage 3 Lotus Sport exhaust Lotus Sport intercooler Fidanza flywheel Exedy clutch Lotus Sport limited slip differential ECU mapped at 272cv Ohlins suspension all around Nitron uniball toe link Lotus forged alloy wheels + new Avon ZZR Goodridge braided hoses Pagid fron tads – Black Blue on the rear 240PP roof – air scoop Carbon side pods Carbon rear wing We have all the original parts The car has been completely serviced (at the end of February) at a Lotus garage.

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 18000 mi
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Lotus Exige

    £29,995 £29,995

    Variant name:S PERFORMANCE & TOURING & SPORTS ,Derivative:MK2 ,Variant: S PERFORMANCE & TOURING & SPORTS Williams Lotus are proud to offer this stunning Lotus Exige Sprint for sale finished in Persian Blue. This Exige also has TRD Airbox, Larini Sports Exhaust and full paint protective film. The Exige Sprint: Lotus Cars took one of the most recognisable and iconic Lotus colour schemes from the early 1970s and reintroduced it for the first time with the limited edition Exige Sprint. Just 40 right hand drive Lotus Exige Sprints were sold in a duo-tone paint scheme of Aspen White on the lower portion of the body and a choice of Solar Yellow or Persian Blue on the upper portion of the body. The two colours are separated by a gold stripe bearing the name Exige Sprint on the doors on either side of the car. Each one had an individually numbered chassis year build plate covering1967 to 2007, except for 1982, the year of Colin Chapman's untimely and tragic death. The Exige Sprint honours the colour scheme of the legendary Elan Sprint, which entered production in early 1971, 37 years ago. The design was adapted from the red and gold and white colour scheme of the Team Lotus Formula One sponsors at the time: Gold Leaf Tobacco. Other colours were also introduced including the blue, gold and white and yellow, gold and white, both of which are honoured on the Lotus Exige Sprint. More that just a colour scheme The Lotus Exige Sprint includes as standard, ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, air conditioning, Sport Pack, Touring Pack and the newly available Performance Pack giving phenomenal acceleration of zero to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds (estimated), reaching 100 mph in just another 6 seconds (estimated) before topping out at 146 mph. The Sprint also features a unique interior trim with distinctive embroidery and exterior decals. Get a piece of Lotus history and call Williams Lotus on 01454315112.

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 32917 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale
    £29,995 £29,995
  • Lotus Exige V6

    £57,995 £57,995

    Variant name:S CLUB RACER , Williams Lotus are proud to offer for sale this stunning Lotus Exige V6 finished in Metallica Silver with an IPS gearbox. The Exige S a performance car developed for drivers by equally passionate drivers. Developed expertly by the renowned Lotus ride and handling team, at the Hethel test track, its dynamic capabilities are inspirational, in the way that only a Lotus can be. From nose to tail, the powerful stance of Exige S highlights a peerless lightweight performance pedigree. Powered by a 345bhp (350PS) supercharged V6 engine, it flies like the wind. Track-inspired details, such as its focused aerodynamics and hip-hugging cabin, amplify its competence. The purity of its driving thrills are a Lotus remit that promotes the sensation of intimacy with the car. Automatic performance, 345 BHP at 7000 rpm, Max torque 295 lb/ft at 4500 rpm, 0-60 mph 3.8 seconds, Max speed 162 mph, Power to weight ratio 293 hp/tonne. VAT Qualifying Vehicle. 50:50 0% Finance Offer Available on this vehicle, Subject to Status. Call Williams Lotus today on 01454315112.

    • Year: -1
    • Mileage: 10 mi
    • Engine size: 3.5
    For sale
    £57,995 £57,995
  • Lotus Exige

    £55,000 £55,000

    Variant name:S ,Derivative:MK3 ,Variant: Sport 350 Williams Lotus are proud to offer this stunning Exige 350 finished in stunning Red with black and red interior, black alloys and red calipers. A real stand out car. Full spec includes. Solid Red Paint, Air Con, MP3 CD Player, 2 piece high performance brakes, Cruise Control, Parking Senors, Black Gross Wheels, Louvered Rear Boot Lid, Tartan Pack, Red Calipers, Satin Black Hard Top, Manual 6-speed, Exposed gearshift, Close ratios, Light shift weight, Balanced clutch weight, New Dash Setup, Matt Black Tri Stripes. Raw performance, agility, unparalleled ride and handling. These are attributes that people have come to expect from Lotus - and the Lotus Exige Sport 350 is no exception. Lighter and faster than before - now with revised bodywork, 51 kilograms lighter construction, revised suspension and increased levels of grip this Exige Sport 350 is 2.5 seconds faster than the Exige S around our famous Hethel circuit. The improved styling package includes our new optional Heritage Tartan interior, and new gearshift mechanism with exposed design, which combine to deliver a purer sports car driving experience. The lightweight louvered tailgate completes the dynamic sport styling. he Lotus Exige Sport 350 is the pinnacle of Exige driving for motoring aficionados looking for high performance, agility, dynamic handling and an exhilarating driving experience. Call Williams Lotus to book in your drive in this amazing super car on 01454 315112.

    • Year: -1
    • Mileage: 25 mi
    • Engine size: 3.5
    For sale
    £55,000 £55,000