The Exige perhaps now more than ever feels like the sort of car Lotus ought to be making.

After several turbulent years for the Norfolk-based company, this raw and focused model feels like a brutal counterpunch, or the instinctive lunge of a wounded animal. The Exige range is an engineer’s car, seemingly conceived for the purest of intents: to go fast and to entertain wildly while doing it. And it complements the rest of the Lotus range superbly, with the thrill-seeking Elise propping up the range and the GT-flavoured Evora topping it.

There are three flavours of Exige: the Sport 350, the Sport 380 and the Race 380. If you think these Exiges are simply a more focussed Elise, then you will need to think again, as the each one uses the same Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 fettled at Hethel and found in the Evora. The main differences between the two are that all three Exiges produce less bhp than the entry-level Evora and utilise a Harrop supercharger rather than the Edelbrock version found in its bigger sibling.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided