I researched this car for a while before I bought it. The car is fantastic to drive. The interior space is comfortable but yes it is somewhat spartan. However, it is a sport car and not a luxury car. The acceleration is crazy fast. The feel of the car while driving is like being part of the car itself. I have the upgraded stereo and the touring package so I can listen to great music and smell the wonderful scent of leather. Imagine a smooth ribbon of highway, the sun on your shoulder and your hands wrapped around a machine that is capable of unleashing a fury of raw energy and you are in command. This car is worth every penny and the few negatives, like high maintenances charges are worth it.
Starlight black (it's stunning). Great stereo, beautiful seats and comfortable. Wonderful brakes and acceleration. The roar of the engine at 7500 rpms. The wide eyed looks and the "what is that". Great gas mileage.
Make ingress and egress a little easier. Find a small area for a glove box, just a little one!
Exige will take you're breath away. Not a practical utilitarian car by any means. This car car is designed for one purpose: to be driven on back twisty roads where the adrenaline flows through your veins. This is a "me" car that spells out individuality with F1 roots. This car is for serious drivers in a small niche track drivers, car enthusiasts and those that want pure performance without killing the pocket book. From its 150lb chassis to the hand layer fiber body it is definitely worth the wait for an order to be processed for the US market. I waited since 2004 for mine since the first US announcement for ramp up in Nov 2005, delivery was Feb 2006. Only 300 made and I'm glad I got mine.
The spartan interior makes for a no distraction free zone. I'ts you and the car. Forget the luxury items, there are none. No trunk to speak of, throw your gear bag and helmet in and you're packed to race. This is like sitting in a cruise missile. You have simply to think about your line, Exige does it.
The supercharger would be nice for the US model, the extra 40hp would be a great boon for the mid-end performance. The addition of the front driving lights offered in the UK would be nice since it is prewired. The tow ring is too small in the kit and needs to be larger.
The Exige is an amazing machine. Steering feel, braking & cornering are all phenomenal. The car is also beautiful to look at while being functional. I love mine, but prospective buyers need to know what they're getting. The car is not for everyone and you have to be willing to deal with its total impracticalities. It's basically a 4 wheel motorcycle. The car is best used on twisty back roads or on track. Commuting or highway cruising is a waste, in my opinion. You have to accept the attention that the car draws. It's a surprisingly comfortable car once inside. Ingress and egress are tricky but get easier with a little practice. Nothing comes close to an Exige for the money.
Handling and styling. The car goes like stink, corners like nothing else, and gives tremendous feedback to its driver. The car looks like a $200k supercar or like a mini Le Mans racer. It's just a thrill every time you get it out on an open country road.
Lotus would be well advised to offer a dealer installed supercharger for the Exige. Extra low-end grunt is always welcome even though the car is far from slow as is. HID lights would also be a welcome addition. Any other creature comforts would change the nature of the beast. Leave it alone.