Whatever the next Lotus sports car ends up being like, it's going to have a tough job on its hands. From the Evora's introduction in 2009, the V6-powered cars above the Elise have forged an incredible reputation for outright ability, raw excitement and prodigious speed. Making something more usable is one thing; improving on the areas where it exceeds is something else entirely.
Consider the Series 3 Exiges, introduced in 2012. While a pretty radical departure from the four-cylinder models, the current Exige is still exceptionally light by modern standards (less than 1,200kg) and simply exhilarating to drive fast. The Cup 430 sits at the top of that tree; arguably a little compromised for road use, but simply mesmerising on a circuit.
The design of the Series 3 Exige isn't discussed enough, packing heaps of supercar drama into a silhouette barely four metres long. These Exiges really look superb, despite familiarity, and never more superb than when shot in glorious sunshine on what appears to be a spectacular road. With the Lotus media library now showing off all the sports cars to their best, it seemed about time they were celebrated with a Pic of the Week wallpaper. The Exige S1 would suit just nicely as well, as we were all reminded of with Wednesday's Spotted, but then so would an S2 - all the Exiges are great looking little sports cars.
And while seeing a Cup 430 in a situation like this might seem like exquisite torture at the moment, just think how good those drives will be when they can be done again. Let's hope it's soon...
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