Click image for high-res gallery from SEMA
The Lotus Elise and Exige are great little cars that personify Colin Chapman's original edict to maintain a light weight in order to allow maximum performance. Weighing in at under 2,000 pounds, they feature Toyota (or Honda) motors putting out around 200 HP, but still offer supercar acceleration and handling. Well, as we were whiling away the hours at SEMA, we came across a special CSF1 Exige built by Prototype Composites that takes that formula and cranks it up a notch. Out went the original Series 1 Exige fiberglass body and in its place Composite Master Craig Brewer laid out an exquisite carbon fiber replacement that sheds 82 pounds from the car's overall weight. While less is more on the weight side, the builder decided that more is more on the power side. Phong Thao replaced the original 4-banger with an Acura TSX mill that puts a generous 311 HP at the drivers beck and call. And that is wheel horsepower, so you can imagine how this little 1,700-lb. sportster will scoot. Made just a one-off for a client, we have to say we like the idea and execution a lot.