Surprising Lotus Exige S1 Cobalt Blue .190 HP

Surprising Lotus Exige S1 Cobalt Blue .190 HP


The S1 Exige, the civilian version of the Elise Motorsport  will enable Lotus to make is comeback in competition with a model approved in FIA-GT. Lotus therefore offers a handful of customers the opportunity to buy a turnkey Elise.

The Lotus Exige is based on the Elise’s glued aluminium chassis. The modifications concerned the suspension with double superposed triangles of different lengths with Bilstein single-tube gas shock absorbers and specific Eibach springs. Although the Exige has a line to fall for with its mini Group C look, the spoilers are not there to look pretty. Adding 35 and 45 kg of support on the front and rear respectively at 160 km/h they allow you to feel the car literally sucked to the ground as the speed increases. We enjoy its precision and reactivity at the slightest action while driving. Even at very low speeds the Exige already provides an extraordinary amount of sensation.

Mechanically, the Lotus Exige has the Rover K 1800 VHPD ( Very High Derivative Performance) producing nearly 100 hp/l or 177 horses at 7,800 rpm! Contrary to some popular belief the VHPD is not the variable pitch engine (VVC) like the 111S, although it retains the cylinder head. To obtain such powers, the 1.8 Rover receives a completely revised intake plenum, a treated crankshaft (nitro carburized), forged pistons and of course resized AACs. The maximum torque of 189 Nm perched at 5600 rpm says a lot about the car’s character. A real racing engine! As an option, a 190 horsepower power kit was even available at the factory for the most fanatical as it is the case for our S1, this is a variant developed by Lotus Motorsport in 1998 for the Elise Sport 190, a variant reserved for circuits. Thanks to this kit the brave Rover K is transcended and becomes completely frenetic. It gives its full measure only from 5,000 rpm. Wearing a helmet is not far from recommended. The Lotus Exige is an evil sensation machine. Its sharp engine shouts its joy up to nearly 8000 rpm and the gear changes follow one another at high speed on a 5-speed manual gearbox.

With regard to the running gear, it is radicalised, in particular with the use of a more distinctive suspension and a ” piste ” orientation in the adjustment of its trains. This is not surprising since it was used as a basis for homologation for a FIA-GT competition version. The car’s bottoms are in perfect condition, which is very rare for this model.

In any case, our Exige is a sports car in its own right, a real one, with no concessions to anything. And if its rabid mechanics with modest origins do not make it part of the supercar club, for the rest it has all the attributes!

If this kind of toy is usually associated with a karting, the term single-seater for two would be more appropriate. The braking is almost beyond reproach. The pedal still deserves to be pressed hard to get the most out of it.


Our S1: SCCGA1113YHC80388 chassis was delivered to its first owner in Preston in 2001with  comfort blue leather bucket seats.

In July 2001 she received a sports exhaust kit and in August of the same year the 190 horsepower kit was added, which made her enter the big league.

In July 2009 she was given a block reliability upgrade when she only has 54700 km.

Of course it was remarkably well maintained between 2009 and 2018 with engine oil changes and regular oil filter changes.

Actually our Exige S1 has only covered 62466 km, which is very low for such a car. In total it has only known 4 owners.

It will be delivered after a major mechanical revision and distribution redone in our workshop, French registration.