The name Lotus conjures up images of sportiness and the essence of spirited driving. The British marque's raison d 'être is to be fast and to be fun, with their emphasis on weight, or lack there off, being the key to their handling prowess. In 2000, the ultimate expression of Lotus ethos, 'For The Drivers', made its debut in the form of the Exige Series 1, a track-focused variant of its Elise road car.
Now 20 years on and in its third Series, the Exige is still one of the most capable and exhilarating cars on the road today. The raw, unadulterated performance of the Exige continue the Lotus ethos of being born for the track and bred for the road. Lotus decided to give their Exige Sport 410, the company's most extreme road car, an exclusive 20th Anniversary edition to commemorate the track-blazing history of the Exige nameplate.
On the outside, the Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary harks back to the original Series 1 Exige. The car features body-coloured side air intake pods, rear wing, and roof, as well as black 'shark-fin' stone chip protector. The special editions are finished in a selection of three bespoke, retro-themed colours from the Series 1 Exige, namely Chrome Orange, Laser Blue and Calypso Red. Customers can also choose more modern colour choices such as Saffron Yellow, Motorsports Black and Arctic Silver.
Lotus further distinguishes the anniversary model from the standard with a unique '20th Anniversary' black silhouette logo featuring a striking profile image of the Series 1. The front haunches, rear bumper, and rear wing end-plates also feature subtlety.
The nostalgia train continues on the inside with a choice of different coloured Alcantara trims, and seats decorated with stitching that echoes back to the original Exige. Lotus has had the distinctive 20th Anniversary logo embroidered onto the seatbacks, as well as embossed onto the dashboards' build plaque'.
The Exige Sport 410 also has DAB Digital radio with Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control as standard and… well, that's about it when it comes to creature comforts. You have to remember, the Exige is a stripped-down, no-nonsense sports car bred for the track and not your daily grocery getter.
The Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary is not short on performance upgrades; however, coming standard with Nitron three-way adjustable dampers and carbon fibre front splitters, hood and rear engine cover. An Alcantara steering wheel and lightweight forged alloy wheels also come as standard.
For the full race car experience, customers can tick the options list for the carbon fibre sill trims, lightweight lithium-ion battery and a titanium exhaust system. The powertrain, however, is still carried over from the Exige Sport 410. The familiar 3.5-litre supercharged V6 producing 410hp is mated to a six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels only, as it should.
Hand-built in Norfolk, England, the Exige is the ultimate lightweight sports car, meant to deliver a thrilling and uncompromising driving experience unlike anything else on the road. Despite being 20 years old, the Exige remains as raw and agile today as it was when it first made its debut.