Having taken a recent eCoty (EVO Car of the Year) with the Evora in 2009 Lotus are back with another win for 2012. This time the Exige S was up against a full range of driver orientated cars with the spread starting at the £25k Toyota GT86, including the mad Morgan 3 wheeler and topping out in price at £820k for the Pagani Huayra. The test is well-known as the indicator of the year’s finest performance car from a magazine which focuses on ‘the thrill of driving’ and the competition is more about feel and fun that stats and numbers.

If you’re not familiar with the format, EVO take a bunch of cars somewhere nice and enjoy their guilty pleasures for a week including both road and track driving. At the end, the team all pick their final 6 best cars then place them 1st to 6th, the car with the lowest cumulative number being the winner. This year, the somewhere nice is the beautiful England/Scotland borders and track work is done at Blyton Park, just outside Gainsborough in Yorkshire and the Exige S gets the lowest number to take victory, albeit jointly (for the first time!) with the Huarya.

40 pages are dedicated to the feature in EVO issue #177 which is available in the shops now and included is a 30 minute DVD of the time spent at on track at Blyton Park, more than worth the cover price.

Weighing-in at 1176kg, capable of reaching 62mph from standing in 4 seconds and with a power to weight ratio of 293bhp/ton, brimming with 400 Nm/295 lb ft of torque (@ 4500rpm) – the Exige S* really is something special!  Scrutinised by evo’s panel of experts and pitted against the best offerings to the sportscar market this year, the Exige S ties with the Pagani Huayra for first place in the toughest test in the industry.

Battling against nine opposing candidates to make the top six selection in a high octane shoot-out on road and track, and then taking on the giants in the final round on some of Scotland’s finest driving roads, this couldn’t be a more exciting win for the “gorgeous Exige S”.

Richard Meaden, motoring guru and evo contributing editor remarked on the Exige S “I adore its looks, its presence. It’s like a little shrunk-down, condensed, distilled supercar.  And I love the fact that when you’re on the road and going for it, it just takes off.”

The evo team clearly felt the spirit of the Exige S, and in turn waxed lyrical about its attributes.  Lotus is incredibly proud of the Exige S, and even though the calibre of this year’s competition was immense, it could not top the Exige S.

The Alpina B3 GT3, Toyota GT86, Mercedes C63 AMG Black and Morgan 3 Wheeler were also entered, but were eliminated in the first round.

For the £53,850** Exige S to tie with the £820,000 Pagani is a massive accolade and illustrates just what amazing value for fun the Lotus powerhouse delivers.

So, the Exige S really is a good as it looks!

* Fuel economy figures for the Exige S mpg (l/100km): Urban 19.5 (14.5), Extra urban 37.2 (7.6), Combined 28.0 (10.1).  CO2 emissions for the Exige S: 236 g/km.

** Price includes VAT and excludes on the road costs.

[Source : Press Release | Images courtesy of EVO magazine – click below to enlarge gallery]

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