From £61,4209
Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

The S3 Exige has a tight cockpit, with good forward visibility once you’re ensconced, but there is an awkwardly small door opening and few creature comforts.

For this run-out Final Edition special, Lotus has added a flat-bottom steering wheel (trimmed in leather here but also available in Alcantara) along with a new TFT instrument binnacle, and the seat trim is new. However, if high-resolution displays and comfort are important to you, you’d still be better off spending your £65,000 on Porsche’s 718 Cayman GTS 4.0. It’s a class or two apart in this respect.

Flat-bottomed steering wheel is new for the Final Edition models and is designed to increase leg clearance. At best, the improvement is only marginal.

In terms of raw ergonomics, head room remains an issue, especially if you intend to take your Sport 390 Final Edition on track, which you absolutely should. Anybody over 6ft tall should bring their lid along for the test drive, because at least one of our testers had to crane his neck forward with the extra height it gave him. Check you’re happy with the boot space, too: the Exige’s trunk is similar to an A110’s but, again, the Cayman does better.

Assuming you do fit, you’ll find this to be one of the most purposeful cabins around. You sit stupendously low in the car, with the chassis’ wide, carbonfibre-clad sills rising up either side of you and the long gearlever extending skywards to meet your left hand. There isn’t a huge level of adjustability in the driving position, but there’s nothing that impinges on your ability to drive the car hard.

Lotus Exige infotainment and sat-nav

Back to top

The Exige provides you with the ability to make phone calls and listen to the radio but it doesn’t go much beyond that. And fair enough: this is a lightweight sports car of only the very purest intentions.

Navigation is therefore left to the driver’s phone, most likely mounted to the windscreen, although there’s at least a USB port on the passenger side to keep any devices charged. Equally, you could swap out the standard-fit head unit for one with a fold-out screen. (Many suppliers now offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.) Whatever you opt for, sound quality is pretty average and battles against mechanical noise.

The big news is that Lotus has replaced the old analogue dials with a new TFT digital readout that has two layouts: one conventional, another more progressive, and specific to Sport and Race modes. The new tech sharpens up the interior ambience a touch and includes a row of upshift lights, which can be useful on track.