Monday, September 13, 2010

Car Style - The Lotus Exige

John Marine | 9/13/2010 02:03:00 AM |
The world's best little sports car since 1996 is the Lotus Elise. The Exige series is a coupe version of the usual Elise roadsters. Is it safe to say that a small sports car like this one can blow away ANYONE? It may be powered by a 1.8-liter Toyota engine, but this car is still purely British from the lightweight sports car specialist Lotus. While I haven't been in love with the styling changes the Series 2 Elise when it was unveiled in 2000, the car and its handling prowess remain very much top-of-the-line.

This blog entry regards my ideas on this car's style. I was able to see this car a bit at the 2008 Houston Auto Show. It came in a light blue color with black stripes.

--- Car Style: The Lotus Exige ---
THIS is the Lotus Exige:

Lotus Exige
^ from: - the Lotus Exige S.

As I mentioned before, I've disliked the style of the 21st century Elises compared to the Elise Series 1 models. I will admit, though- the newer Elise and Exige models move you standing still. Get ready for a car that will be guaranteed to move you. It may be a short car, but this car is in no way a sport compact. This is about the shortest pure sports car on the market. This would put just about any sport compact like it's nothing. It's not any kind of tuning toy. In a creative sense, think of this little car as Boise State trying to take on the big boys of NCAA FBS college football. It manages to balance road-going sports car with exotic car styling. Considering that this car costs almost as much as a fairly decent recent Porsche, this car looks much more expensive than what it really is.


The car tends to look faster than it really is. I look at this car up front and imagine a car that could put any much more powerful and exotic sports car to shame. The headlight arrangements have a great deal of sporty character. The front bumper features some curved and edgy openings. The front opening is flanked by two small fog lights. Below these openings is a modestly aggressive front splitter. Overall, this car up front suggests a car that is much faster than this car really is. The W-like vents up front adds some aggression. There is no front bonnet, so its versatility is compromised. These cars were mostly meant to be weekend racers, so don't expect to carry a lot of groceries or a few golf clubs.

Lotus' little monster is even more of a possessed demon on the sides. A lot of curved lines and aggressive lines adds some sexy appeal to it. The fenders are aggressive in nature, matching the aggression of the front. You almost want to imagine the Exige as a condensed supercar based on its side styling. Up top, you see a hood scoop with a thin opening. It doesn't consume wind like water to feed the mid-mounted Toyota engine, but it's aggressive enough to exude some character.

From the rear, its aggression becomes even more apparent. A sporty (and functional) rear wing compliments the rear deck lid of this car. The engine bay in this mid-engined car is complimented with lots of ducts to help it breathe better. Four identical tail lights (two on each side) help accentuate the lighting arrangement at the rear along with a race car-like rear valance. This rear valance makes you question whether this car is a road car or a race car. Outlining the rear valance on the rear bumper is a little extra body work protruding outward, but only modestly.


Considering this is a miniature pure sports car, don't expect much in the way of anything super fancy. It is a business-oriented car with its interior designs. It features a very sporty and stylish steering wheel. Fairly basic gauges accentuate the instrument panel. The dashboard is nothing special since it's so business-oriented. Items such as a stereo system and stuff like that are optional. In fact, I don't think this car even has a glove compartment. You do get four circular air conditioning vents. The seats are nicely styled. If you want the closest to a miniature GT race car, go for the racy Lotus Exige 240.

Don't call the Exige a sport compact. Don't call the Exige a grocery getter. Absolutely DON'T call it a "boy racer." What CAN you call it? The world's smallest true sports car. This car is capable of putting almost any larger sports car to shame. The car is impressive as it is. With tuning, it can be even better. This car, while small and powered by a Toyota engine, is dead serious on leaving a huge impact. From time to time, you'll see a few recent Lotus models. Get your camera out if you see an Exige on the road. This is a lovely sports car.

Learn more about Lotus by visiting their official website. Thank you for reading my Car Style blog entry on the Lotus Exige!
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