• MSRP: $37,412–$108,560
  • Body Style: Coupe
  • Combined MPG: 23
  • Engine: 240-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
2009 Lotus Exige S

Our Take on the Latest Model 2009 Lotus Exige S

What We Don't Like

  • Ride comfort
  • Cramped cockpit
  • Sparse dashboard

Notable Features

  • 240- or 257-hp, supercharged four-cylinder
  • New S 260 model
  • Six-speed manual
  • Intended for track driving

2009 Lotus Exige S Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The Lotus Exige is a high-performance version of the Elise that's only available as a hardtop. For 2009, the Exige lineup has two models: The S 240 and a higher-performance S 260. Exige models are marketed toward high-performance enthusiasts and intended mainly for operation on a racetrack. The Exige competes with coupes like the Porsche Cayman S and Audi TTS, but with much more track prowess and less daily-driver friendliness.

New for 2009
The S 260 is lighter and more powerful than the S 240 — more than 50 pounds lighter and with 17 extra horsepower.

Even though the Exige S looks similar to the soft-top Elise, the two sports cars use different sheet metal. Only the door panels are shared. Both are based on the same 150-pound aluminum chassis — featherweight by automotive standards.

  • Body-colored rear wing
  • Black ground effects aimed to increase downforce
  • Single exhaust pipe replaces twin pipes in the Elise
  • Roof scoop channels air to the mid-mounted engine's intercooler
  • Built on a 90.5-inch wheelbase, the Exige S measures 149.5 inches long overall and 45.6 inches tall. For comparison, a Porsche Cayman S has a 95.1-inch wheelbase and is 171.1 inches long and 51.4 inches tall.

As in the Elise, only two people fit inside the Exige S. The small steering wheel is barely more than a foot in diameter.
  • Air conditioning-delete option offered to reduce curb weight
  • Composite sport seats come only in black
  • LCD screen displays essential information
  • S 240's optional Touring Package includes leather seats, additional sound insulation, an upgraded stereo system and full carpeting

Under the Hood
Lotus says the Exige S 240 scoots from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and the S 260 makes it in 4.0 seconds. Combined gas mileage for both is in the low 20s, which is atypically high for a car this quick.
  • 1.8-liter, supercharged four-cylinder makes 240 hp and 170 pounds-feet of torque in the S 240 and 257 hp and 174 pounds-feet in the S 260
  • Six-speed manual
  • Available torque-sensing limited-slip differential on S 240; standard on S 260
  • Bilstein shock absorbers and coil-spring suspension
  • Standard cross-drilled rotors and twin-piston Lotus/AP brake calipers
  • Optional Track Package allows drivers to adjust the suspension for shock compression and rebound; standard on S 260

  • Antilock braking system specially calibrated for delayed actuation, which allows competition-oriented drivers to perform "threshold" braking
  • Traction control available on S 240; standard on S 260

Consumer Reviews

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2 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2009 Lotus Exige S trim comparison will help you decide.

2009 Lotus Exige S Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 2 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years