Lotus Exige S
(2012 - 2021)

  • Phenomenal performance
  • Excellent reliability
  • Supercar looks for a fraction of the cost
  • Totally unique driving experience
  • Very minimal practicality
  • Entry and egress requires genuine flexibility
  • Sparse interior
  • Infotainment system is basic
Overview

The Lotus Exige is arguably the most pure sports car money can buy and while the price of admission, may seem high, it is quite a bargain.

Especially when taking into account the Lotus Exige’s immense levels of performance and the theatre that comes with everything from its supercar looks to the driving experience. When compared to the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren, it offers an equally unique experience for a fraction of the cost.

It’s important to be aware that many Exige are modified and customised both from the factory and with aftermarket equipment, so while a base model S should differ from a top-spec Cup 430, there is every chance the S may be equipped with many of the Cup 430 features. Each Exige is unique to itself.

However, with minimal practicality, a sparse interior and such a focus on performance, committing to an Exige requires an understanding that one is not purchasing an everyday sports car like a Porsche 911 or Cayman.

The Exige is for those that take their fun very seriously.

Ads goes here
What goes wrong
  • With a Toyota engine and gearbox, mechanically, the Exige is very sound however servicing and maintenance needs to be up to scratch
  • As the Exige is quite lightweight, wear and tear on suspension and brake components and consumables like tyres and clutches is quite minimal compared to other performance-focussed vehicles
  • Any major issues may result from how previous owners have treated the Exige
  • It’s critical to look for accident damage and repair work that hasn’t been completed correctly
  • While the extruded aluminium chassis structure is immensely strong, any major damage must be inspected by an expert
  • As the body is made up of large clam-shells, body damage can become very expensive to replace or repair correctly
Model range, pricing and features

S (2012-2016)

  • Price when new: $119,990 - $137,990
  • Price used: $100,000 - $120,000

The base model S is realistically all the Exige anyone needs. This will keep you immensely entertained both on road and track, will provide all the Lotus feels and we highly recommend driving one at least once in your life.

Standard features:

  • 12-volt auxiliary sockets
  • 17-inch & 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 4-speaker stereo
  • ABS
  • Air conditioning
  • Driver & passenger airbags
  • Alarm
  • Brake assist
  • 4-pot brake calipers
  • CD player
  • Central locking
  • Corner braking control
  • Electronic stability control
  • Traction control
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rear diffuser
  • Digital instrument display
  • Vented brake discs
  • Drive by wire (Electronic throttle control)
  • EBD (Electronic brake force distribution)
  • Electronic differential lock
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Floor mats
  • Passenger footrest
  • Independent front & rear suspension
  • Leather gear stick boot
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Power windows
  • Seatbelt pretensioners
  • Sports seats
  • Sports steering wheel
  • Leather sun visors
  • LED tail lights
  • Starter Button
  • Roadster option (from 2014)
  • Race Equipment Pack (Optional from 2012 then standard from 2015)
  • Automatic gearbox option (from 2015)
  • Premium interior pack (Optional)
  • Rear parking sensors (Optional)
  • Cup holders (Optional)
  • Cruise control (Optional)
  • USB inputs (Optional)
  • Carpet (Optional)
  • Sound insulation (Optional)
  • Larger performance brake package (Optional)

Sport 350 (2017-2020)

  • Price when new: $134,500 - $145,500
  • Price used: $115,000 - $155,000

Shedding 51kg from the Exige S turned up the potency on the already brilliant Lotus.

Sport 350 adds:

  • Revised aerodynamics
  • Lighter alloy wheels
  • 51kg weight reduction
  • Rear parking distance control
  • Leather handbrake
  • Leather trim
  • Matte black exterior trim
  • Performance brakes

Sport 380 (2017 - 2018)

  • Price when new: $154,500 - $159,990
  • Price used: $100,000 - $115,000

Basically a Sport 350 with more power and revised aerodynamics.

Basically incredible.

Sport 380 adds:

  • Carbon fibre front splitter
  • Carbon fibre rear spoiler
  • Exclusive colour scheme
  • ‘Suede’ interior inserts
  • ‘Suede’ seats

Sport 390 Final Edition (2021)

  • Price when new: $149,500
  • Price used: $165,000 - $175,000

Launched to celebrate the final year of Exige production, the Sport 390 Final Edition adds even more power and torque while a recalibration of aerodynamics and suspension do their best to keep it on the black stuff.

Sport 390 Final Edition adds:

  • Exclusive interior & exterior badging
  • Adjustable Eibach anti-roll bars
  • Three-way adjustable Nitron dampers

Sport 410 (2018 - 2021)

  • Price when new: $159,990 - $169,990
  • Price used: $155,000 - $190,000

Not that a Lotus Exige is anything but a serious performance car, the Sport 410 marks the point where the Exige range becomes truly extreme.

This is the most potent of the road focussed Exige models and not much else on four wheels will do to your brain and internal organs what the Sport 410 can do.

However, the Sport 410 is possibly too fast for public roads, depending on the self discipline of your right foot.

Sport 410 adds:

  • Oil cooler
  • Rollover protection
  • Sports suspension
  • Tyre pressure sensor
  • High performance brakes

Sport 420 Final Edition (2021)

  • Price when new: $169,990
  • Price used: $190,000 - $198,000

The Sport 420 Final Edition marks both the introduction to the more track-focussed end of the Exige range and, like the 390 Final Edition, a celebration marking the end of Exige production.

This is a true racer for the road.

Sport 420 Final Edition adds:

  • Carbon fibre sports seats
  • Exclusive interior & exterior badging
  • Leather-trimmed door sills
  • All-new TFT digital dashboard with the choice of two screens
  • New design, leather and alcantara steering wheel

Cup 430 (2018 - 2019)

  • Price when new: $199,990
  • Price used: Approx. $200,000

The Cup 430 represents the range-topping Exige, it is widely regarded as being one of the world’s quickest real-world sports cars.

Not just suited to incredible roads, but also at home on the most challenging circuits.

Cup 430 adds:

  • Ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels
  • Carbon fibre roof
  • Carbon fibre scuff plates
  • Radical aero package
  • AP Racing brake calipers
  • J-hook brake discs
  • T45 steel roll bar
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Front towing eye
  • Rear tow hook
  • Carbon fibre race seats trimmed in Alcantara
  • Carbon fibre panels on the front splitter, front access panel
  • Carbon fibre diffuser surround
  • Carbon fibre air-intake side pods

Cup 430 Final Edition (2021)

  • Price when new: $209,990
  • Price used: Near impossible to find

The Final Edition is basically a very limited celebration version of the Cup 430.

Cup 430 Final Edition adds:

  • Final Edition-numbered built plaque
  • New seat trim and stitching patterns

20th Anniversary (2020)

  • Price when new: $169,990
  • Price used: $185,000 - $195,000

Built on the foundation of the Exige Sport 410 coupe and limited to just 150 examples world wide, the 20th Anniversary spec received $11,545 of additional equipment.

20th Anniversary adds:

  • Carpeted cabin floor
  • Cruise control
  • Exclusive decals
  • Coloured hard top
  • Coloured side air intake pods
  • Coloured rear wing
  • Different hues of Alcantara trim inside with specially-stitched seats that pay homage to the original car
  • Digital radio (DAB+)
Should you by it?

If you want this level of driver involvement, supercar looks, the incredible community and support surrounding a brand like Lotus and a completely unique motoring experience, yes.

The only other cars that offer anything near what the Exige can deliver are also from Lotus but if you are genuinely considering buying an Exige, find a good one and just do it.

Sure they aren’t all that practical, getting in and out can be a challenge and the interiors aren’t exactly at the forefront of luxury but the Exige, as a tool to bring absolute motoring pleasure, are just truly phenomenal.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/unlimited kms

Servicing:

15,000kms or every 12 months

Tech specs

Body style:

  • 2-door coupe (S, Sport 350, Sport 380, Sport 410, 20th Anniversary, Sport 420 Final Edition, Cup 430, Cup 430 Final Edition)
  • 2-door convertible (S, Sport 350, Sport 380, Sport 410)

Engines:

  • 3.5-litre 6-cyl supercharged petrol

Power:

  • 257kW – 321kW (Depending on Variant)

Torque:

  • 400Nm – 427Nm (Depending on Variant)

Transmissions:

  • 6-spd manual, rear-wheel drive (S, Sport 350, Sport 380, Sport 410, 20th Anniversary, Sport 420 Final Edition, Cup 430, Cup 430 Final Edition)
  • 6-spd sports automatic, rear-wheel drive (S, Sport 350, Sport 380)

Fuel use:

  • 10.2L/100km – 14.5L/100km (combined, depending variant)

Dimensions:

  • Height: 1129mm
  • Length: 4084mm
  • Width: 1802mm
  • Kerb weight: 1110kg – 1176kg (Depending on variant)
Disclaimer

Information correct as of June 25, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.