2009 Lotus Exige S

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Key Specs
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Overview
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Reviews
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Key Specs

of the 2009 Lotus Exige S. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
    Coupe
  • Combined MPG:
    23 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    240-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    Rear-wheel Drive
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance potential
  • Handling potential
  • Hard-to-miss styling
  • Racing heritage
  • Gas mileage

The Bad

  • Ride comfort
  • Cramped cockpit
  • Sparse dashboard

Notable Features of the 2009 Lotus Exige S

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

2009 Lotus Exige S Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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.

Exterior
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.


Interior
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 ...
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.

Exterior
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.


Interior
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


Safety
  • 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

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2009 Lotus Exige S currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2009 Lotus Exige S has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Exige S received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker