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On sale in the UK: N/A
Engine: 1796cc, 4cyl, 265bhp @ 7800rpm, 181lb ft @ 5500rpm
Transmission: six-speed manual, rear wheel drive
Performance: 0-62mph in 4.0secs, 158mph, 25mpg (est), 151g/km CO2 (est)
How heavy / made of? 930kg / aluminium
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3797/1727/1163
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54

Handling

Rated 5 out of 55

Performance

Rated 5 out of 55

Usability

Rated 2 out of 52

Feelgood factor

Rated 5 out of 55

Readers' rating

Rated 3.5 out of 53.5

Lotus Exige 265E (2007) CAR review

By Angus Fitton

First Drives

03 June 2007 02:36

It looks like a slightly more colourful Exige - what's the story?

This is the Exige 265E - the fastest ever Exige and the first bio-ethanol Lotus. The digits 265 denote the 265PS power output, or 261bhp in old money – up 46bhp over the standard car. The 'E' informs people that this car runs on ethanol, alcohol made from the fermentation of crops, mixed with petrol. Using this greener fuel results in a claimed 70 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The Exige 265E is a development prototype created by Lotus Engineering, the Norfolk firm's fiendishly clever consultancy arm. In only five weeks between July and August 2006, its engineers completely re-engineered the Toyota engine powering the standard Exige S to run on the wheat-derived fuel. The result is the fastest road-legal bio-ethanol car (and the fastest Exige) ever built. Performance is sensational - 0-60mph flashes up in only 3.88 seconds before running out of puff at a mind bending 158mph. Who says being green is boring?

Slow down future boy! Surely this is the stuff of 2060 - not 2006...

Far from it. The technology to make all this possible is remarkably low-tech. The basic aluminium block (built for Toyota by Yamaha) is exactly the same as that fitted to the Exige S. The supercharger and intercooler combination is tweaked slightly to cope with the increase in power and the ECU has been remapped for the new fuel mix. These tweaks do nothing to make the Exige faster, the extra power is entirely down to the fuel. Ethanol burns more efficiently than conventional petrol thanks to the extra oxygen atom attached to the ethanol alcohol molecule in its makeup. In English this means the combustion process is more effective and more power can be produced.

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Average rating: Rated 3.5 out of 53.5 (14 votes)

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Lotus Exige 265E (2007) CAR review

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