Most of us around The Garage have a bit of a thing for cars that bear the Lotus name. The more recent models from the house that Colin built follow the less is more philosophy truly embody the spirit of the marque, having light weight and high performance. The very limited edition Exige S260 has even more (less?) added lightness along with a healthy dose of extra oomph.
Of course when I got behind the wheel, the S260 had substantial removed lightness! Some folks have complained that the cockpit is too tight, but even with my substantial girth I found it comfortably snug. Ok, with Kevin Smith from Lotus and I wedged in there it was a little more than snug but at least we didn’t have to brace ourselves against the Exige’s massive cornering forces.
Even in the rain, on nearly slick tires, the S260 is one of the most capable cars I’ve ever driven. The car reacts to even a hint of movement of the pedals or steering wheel, almost as if you could drive it with telepathy. With gentle, progressive throttle application past a wet apex, the car explodes down the track unlike any other 4 cylinder. At the end of the long straight, one must learn to leave braking well beyond where one would brake in any other car even when traveling at much higher speeds. At just a tick over 2,000 pounds, with gigantic racing brakes, the Exige brakes even more explosively than it accelerates. I imagine this is what the brakes in a formula car must feel like. I’ll never know, as it isn’t likely that anyone is building a XXL Formula Ford any time soon!
When it was my turn to get out of the Lotus, not only did I not want to, but I almost wasn’t able. The exit hole is rather small. Our video guru, Scott Simmons, was nice enough to cut out most of that footage!
After my play time, we sent Scott out on the track with Smith to get some video and he in turn has provided us with some great Frankenheimer inspired on track commentary from the Lotus rep.
Of course the video is after the break!