Lotus Exige S (2012) CAR review | Road Testing Reviews | Car Magazine Online

8 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Lotus Exige S (2012) CAR review | Road Testing Reviews | Car Magazine Online
Lotus Exige

S (2012) CAR

By Ben Barry

First Drives

25 2012 00:01

Lotus building the four-cylinder Exige a while back, but the name with this, the new 2012 S. It uses the old Exige’s basic tub and section, but combines it with new bodywork and – the big news – a supercharged V6 the Evora S that’s shrouded in rear bodywork.

What the V6 do to the Exige’s less-is-more ethos?

the stats are significantly altered: the old length/width/height in mm was 3797/1727/1159mm, where the new car 4052/1802/1153mm. There’s also an 70mm in the wheelbase. Naturally, increases all help pile on the so the kerbweight hikes from to 1176kg.

Despite all this, the power-to-weight is very similar, the old Exige S2 288bhp-per-tonne, this new Exige S with 294bhp. However, the gains come with the figures, thanks to that supercharged V6: 192lb ft-per-tonne 251lb ft-per-tonne.

What are the key under the skin of the 2012 S?

There’s a faster steering dropping the ratio from to 17.25:1. The rack isn’t the ratio change instead from a shorter effective ratio. Combined with a front track, this has created more steering making it easier to hold Now, this sounds but it’s actually very because the old car ran out of steering angle close to the point at which you balanced the car during a slide, 32 degrees.

This now rises to 35 reducing the potential of hitting the and thereby reducing the risk of the car You can genuinely feel the flexibility brings when you play on a racetrack.

There’s also a wider track, an entirely new rear plus revised springs and all round. Meanwhile, Lotus has an anti-squat angle into the wishbone, helping to prevent, squat under acceleration, and the stiffness of the rear of the Exige by 100%, ensuring the car rolls its centre-line through corners, the old Exige could roll as the structure flexed.

All this a virtuous circle. ‘Previously all the control was done by the springs and says chassis guru Becker, ‘so they were than we’d have And the extra lateral stiffness has us to introduce an anti-roll bar. The old car have coped with the steering and the anti-roll bar – the rear would have always up first.’

What’s the new Lotus Exige S to drive on the road?

It’s The unassisted steering is very at parking speeds, but it lightens up on the go, at point you really come to it: the small rim tingles and jiggles in the of your hand, delicately back the light buzz of the interacting with the road The Exige darts eagerly and right, with no slop in the steering.

As you’d expect the most … car Lotus makes, it’s a very very visceral drive.

Lotus Exige

The V6 is incredibly strong, serving up performance right across the rev Our car got the optional sports suspension and extra-sticky Pirelli Trofeo (£800 for 205/45 R17 front and R18 rear rubber), which explain why – despite all of the V6’s – traction was never an issue on the Whether there’ll be more playfulness with the standard remains to be seen.

The ride and handling are superb. The always feels like in intimate contact with the surface, but it’s never never locks onto and pulls you around like, for the last-gen 911 could. It’s impressively compliant for such a car, the suspension always the body in check but never spiky.

And how about on the track?

is where you need to be to really the Exige’s chassis working, and a very sweetly balanced Be too ambitious on entry to a corner and its default is to push the nose and scrub off speed.

Have a attempt at going sideways and feel the unloaded rear spinning up – Becker admits car is right on the limit of needing a slip diff, but dislikes the corruption inherent with – and the car sometimes clumsily straightening up as the regains traction. No, it’s to either stay neat and or to give the Exige a very flick into the corner to get the car sliding. Either way, great fun.

The brakes felt very the pedals nicely spaced, but you a good solid pull on the to bring home a gear – a slicker shift would be

Anything else to report the Exige S?

The Exige S is the first to use a Ferrari-style manettino, a small to the right of the steering that throttle response, engine rev limit and, most chassis nuances. There are settings: Tour, Sport, and Off. It works brilliantly.

Tour subtly and steadfastly the Exige’s tendency to understeer slower corners, without the of power-cutting frustration that intervention often engenders. is what Lotus calls fun mode’: it allows you to play with the chassis much while still having a net. The real brilliance is for Race.

This mode calculates and adapts itself to the available traction, giving you the balance between grip and for a mega laptime. It’s the least intrusive system ever tried – Ferrari 599 GTO – and works with incredible Even Lotus gurus as Becker are faster with the switched on.

Finally there’s at which point you’re on own.

Lotus Exige
Lotus Exige
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