The Lotus Exige (pronounced /ɛɡˈziːʒ/) is a two-door, two-seat sports car made by Lotus Cars. It is essentially a coupé version of the Lotus Elise, which is a roadster that is mid-engined and has been in production since 1996.
The original Exige (NA or naturally aspirated Exige) was launched in 2000 and had a 1.8 L Rover K Series engine in VHPD (Very High Performance Derivative) tune. It produced 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS) in standard form and 192 bhp (143 kW; 195 PS) in the "track spec" version.
In 2004, the Series 2 Exige was introduced. It features a 1.8 L 16-valve DOHC Toyota/Yamaha engine that produces 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) with the Toyota engine designation of 2ZZ-GE. Compared to the Series 2 Elise, it has a front splitter, fibreglass hardtop roof with roof scoop, rear engine cover, and rear spoiler. The sole purpose of these aerodynamic additions to the base Elise is to create more downforce (almost 100 lb (45 kg) of downforce at 100 mph (160 km/h) in the Exige versus 13 lb (5.9 kg) at 100 mph (160 km/h) in the Elise).
In February 2005, Lotus announced a limited production run of 50 Exiges, using the Toyota engine with a supercharger, that increases the power output to 243 bhp (181 kW; 246 PS). These vehicles were only available in yellow or black, representing the colours of Lotus Sport, and are badged 240R. They have a projected 0-60 mph (0--100 km/h) time of 3.9 seconds and 0-100 mph (0--160 km/h) of 9.9 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) at a cost of £44,000.00 (approximately $72,500.00 or €51,000.00).
The North American Exige was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 2006. In February 2006, Lotus announced the Exige S model which used a supercharged Toyota engine producing 220 bhp (164 kW; 223 PS). The S was also made available in North American markets as a 2007 model.