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Original MSRP: $65,690 - $65,690
MPG: 20 City / 26 Hwy
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2010 Lotus Exige Performance

This performance review was written when the 2010 Lotus Exige was new.

Auto writers love the Exige's high-performance engine and wonderful handling dynamics, but find it uncomfortable for daily use.

  • "The 2010 Lotus Exige is loud, harsh and unforgiving. And that's just to name a few of its inconveniences. And yet the Exige is so narrowly focused on performance, all other considerations are secondary. The Exige is mentally and physically demanding to drive, requiring all of the driver's attention as well as a decent amount of upper body strength. To the average driver, this vehicle is torturous. To the enthusiast, this is Nirvana." -- Edmunds
  • "Get it out of traffic and down a twisty road, or into its natural track habitat, and it is really unbelievably good. The motor is good for 60 in under four seconds and a hundred in just ten, and it makes fairly wonderful sounds while doing it all the way to 150 or so." -- Jalopnik

Acceleration and Power

Reviewers admire the Exige's mid-mounted, supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. While the S generates 218-horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 156 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm, the more powerful S 240 produces 240-horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 170 pound-feet of torque at 5,500 rpm. Both are equipped with a six-speed close ratio manual transmission. Lotus reports a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 4.1 seconds with the S and 4.0 seconds with the S 240. The Exige can reach a top speed of 150 mph.

According to the EPA, the 2010 Exige has a city highway fuel economy of 20/26 mpg, which is on par with class rivals.

  • "If you blow into someone's face while he's yawning, he'll wake up for sure. Lotus did exactly that to the Exige, pushing 7.3 psi of supercharged air into the four. The resulting 220-hp Exige S makes 80 percent of its peak torque from just over 2000 rpm. It will still rev to 8500 rpm, and it retains enough of its intoxicating midrange power surge to make you want to keep the revs up." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Not only does it scoot the 2,077-pound hand-laid composite fiberglass bodied Lotus to highway speeds nearly as quick as an F430, but it makes such an adrenaline inducing exhaust note that it'll stand the follicles on the tops of your arms at attention as your skin tingles with goose bumps." -- Automobile.com
  • "Acceleration is impressive, with Lotus claiming a 0-60-mph run in only 4.1 seconds. Fuel economy is also respectable for a sports car, registering an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the Exige is a marvelous handler. Still, its stiff suspension makes for a ride that's so uncomfortable that many don’t recommended it for daily use. In addition to its standard performance technology, Lotus offers options to satisfy the most aggressive of drivers -- including a Limited Slip Differential.

  • "The purity of the 2010 Lotus Exige is evident in every aspect of its driving experience. The manual steering, firm brake pedal and tight suspension relay data instantaneously to the driver, but they also deliver the worst parts of public roads directly to your spine." -- Edmunds
  • "The car rotates freely and predictably around a vertical axis drawn through your right shoulder, exactly as you knew cars would back when you drove your third-grade desk. Like the seven-year-old you, the Exige doesn't acknowledge understeer or oversteer." -- Jalopnik
  • "The steering -- and the comically small steering wheel -- that seems so nervous on the road is perfect on the track: light, quick and laser accurate." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "If you add the optional track pack to an Exige, an Amish horse-drawn carriage builder would complain about the ride quality." -- Automobile Magazine
Review Last Updated: 4/13/10

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