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Cars America Missed Out On: Lotus Exige S

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The best model in the current Lotus lineup is off limits for the US.

Lotus may not have the most secure financial future compared to its direct rivals, but the UK automaker has always known how to make damn fine sports cars. And there's no better example of its engineering and handling expertise than the current Exige S. For several years the Exige was sold in the US, but once its Toyota-built engine was discontinued, Lotus ceased US sales. Loyal American Lotus owners were obviously not at all pleased by this.

But instead of dropping the Exige altogether for the rest of the world, Lotus went ahead and gave it a thorough update and fitted the Evora's supercharged 3.5-liter V6. The result is a purist's sports coupe, called the Exige S, with 345 horsepower, rapid acceleration that sees 0-62 mph completed in just 3.7 seconds, and a top speed of 168 mph. It's not something for amateur drivers. If he were still alive today, the Exige S would be sure to put a smile on the face of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.

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