The Exige S 260 Sport has no power steering, will send shock waves through your spine and is harder to get into than the back stage area at a KISS concert. It also represents the most fun a person can have on 4 wheels short commuting to work via Indy car. If you can manage to squeeze into the scooped out carbon fiber racing seats, the view is nothing more than exposed structural elements, pedals that are spaced mere inches apart and an instrument panel consisting of 3 knobs. Creature comforts include A/C, power windows and an Alpine stereo. If you need more, don’t buy a Lotus.
Lotus has always taken a minimalist approach to motoring and continuously seeks to enhance performance through light weight (their company credo in fact). All told, the little Lotus (3.8 ft tall), with its aluminum chassis (155 pounds) and composite fiberglass body, weighs in at a bantamweight 1,962 pounds (Lambo’s Gallardo LP560-4 weighs about 3,300 pounds). Not a bad weight class considering the high revving (8,000 RPM) Toyota-sourced four-cylinder sends 257 supercharged ponies to the rear wheels. The result of such a favorable power to weight ratio is a blast to 100 MPH in about 10 seconds (60 MPH in 4 seconds).
When you’re not throwing the S 260 around a tight corner or rocketing down a long straight, it is actually quite difficult to live with. For starters, it has no rearview mirror. And who needs one anyway? The massive Eaton supercharger bolted to the engine behind your head blocks rear access anyway. The interior is hot, the engine is loud and the ride quality will make your chiropractor rich. Despite all this, the 260 exudes a level of pure driving pleasure that becomes more and more addictive each time you’re behind the wheel.
Seen here in Burnt Orange, the rare (only 50 will be sold in North America) Exige S 260 certainly turned heads in DUMBO.