LA Auto Show: Lotus brings more lightness to the U.S.
After over a decade of being denied the glorious philosophy instituted by Colin Chapman, Lotus is now bringing over almost every variation of the Elise and Exige available. Their debuts in Los Angeles were a little less than noteworthy, but anytime we can show pictures of the street-legal go kart, we try.
Lotus introduced two separate vehicles during their brief press conference: the 1,800-pound, 252 HP, supercharged Sport Exige Cup and its road-going sibling, the Exige S.
The Sport Exige Cup is oriented towards track driving, featuring upgraded brakes, light(er)weight wheels, uber-adjustable dampers, a five-way adjustable anti-sway bar, stainless steel exhaust, an ignition kill switch and an integrated fire suppression system, among others more geeky features.
The Exige S comes in at a portly (snicker) 2,077 pounds, produces 220 HP from its blown 1.8-liter four and is priced at $56,990.
Both vehicles are as stunning as they are hard to get in and out of, but with a Lotus, you just don't mind.
Live and press pics are posted below the fold, along with press releases on both vehicles and pricing on the Exige S.
MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup –adrenaline boosting fun from the latest Lotus track car
Los Angeles, CA (November 30 2006) – Lotus Cars USA, the subsidiary of Lotus Cars in North America, today unveiled the MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup. Unveiled at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, the 252 hp, supercharged and intercooled sportscar is a completely out-of-the-box track car with a specification designed to prepare the budding driver for the grid at some of the finest and most challenging circuits in North America.
Weight has been kept to an ultra low 1800 pounds and the phenomenal power to weight ratio has been further enhanced by increasing the power output from 243 hp to 252 hp. Weight saving (or adding lightness!) has been achieved through the effective use of lightweight materials and through the eradication of all non-essential components such roof trim, carpets, front mudflaps, central locking and bulkhead trim. Of course just having fantastic power to weight doesn't make a car a high performer on the track, so the Lotus Sport Exige Cup has a list of standard equipment that includes track only slick tires, uprated 4-piston front brakes, adjustable dampers and adjustable anti-sway bar, the latest SCCA-compliant roll cage, FIA approved Lotus Sport branded driver's seat with six-point driver harness (there is no passenger seat) and a lightweight rear screen (instead of glass). The options are even more race focused with a FIA approved 70 litre fuel cell, air-jack system and level two stainless steel exhaust with de-cat pipe, a plate type limited slip differential and Star Shield.
The Lotus Sport Exige Cup is one of the quickest cars around a circuit. Key to this incredible performance is the aerodynamic package, which produces over 90 pounds at 100 mph increasing grip and ultimately safety at higher speeds.
With a top speed of close to 160 mph and a zero to 100 mph slingshot in just less than 9.8 seconds (the 60 mph sprint takes just under 3.9 seconds), the MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup is the perfect partner to a serious track day enthusiast. Even the most exotic supercars would struggle to keep up! At a MSRP of just $84,990, plus options, delivery and taxes, customer will have to queue on a first ordered, first delivered basis.
Further details about the Lotus Sport Exige Cup:
The supercharged and intercooled engine in the Lotus Sport Exige Cup has a maximum power output of 252 hp at 8000 rpm and a torque figure of approximately 179 lb-ft, at 7000 rpm. This vast amount of extra power and torque now available means that the cam change between the low-speed cam and the high-speed cam is variable to ensure that there is a smooth and linear surge of power from low engine speeds all the way to the maximum 8000 rpm. The Roots-type Eaton M62 supercharger (with a sealed-for-life internal mechanism meaning that it does not require the use of the engine's oil) is run from the crankshaft and has an integral bypass valve for part load operation. Charge air (air under pressure from the supercharger) is cooled through an air-to-air intercooler (the cooling air enters via the roof scoop) before being fed into the engine itself. All charge air ducting has been kept as short as possible with large diameter pipes making sure that the bends in these ducts are not too tight, to the benefit of throttle response and efficiency. Four high capacity injectors add additional fuel under hard acceleration or high speed driving.
A sports-type clutch plate and heavy duty clutch cover transfers the engine power and torque to the lightweight C64 six-speed gearbox (with an aluminum casing) – with the same perfectly spaced ratios as the Exige S. A plate type limited slip differential is fitted as an option as is the Lotus switchable traction control system (LTCS). The LTCS system works through the engine, reducing power to maintain traction, is active above 5 mph and operates much more quickly than many brake-based systems.
An Accusump (engine oil accumulator unit) is included in the whole package as an oil reservoir backup for extreme track use ensuring that, under these conditions, the engine oil pressure remains constant.
Twin oil coolers complete the powertrain package.
Wheels and Tires
5-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels in silver are shod with Lotus specific Yokohama slick tires to maximise grip and achieve the ride and handling targets set by Lotus.
The brake system includes large diameter 308 mm 2-piece aluminum belled cross drilled and ventilated front discs and 282 mm cross-drilled and ventilated discs at the rear, upgraded Pagid RS14 sports brake pads set into the brake calipers (AP Racing two piece radially mounted, 4 piston at the front and Brembo sliding at the rear), high grade silicone brake fluid, stainless steel braided brake hoses all linked to the proven Lotus track tuned servo-assisted four-channel ABS system that enhances braking performance and minimising stopping distance without taking over from the skill of the driver.
Suspension is provided by Öhlins springs and two-way adjustable dampers (which have 22 compression and 60 rebound settings and ride height adjustable perches to reduce the ride height from 130 mm to 120 mm) and an adjustable front anti-sway bar (five settings). Full instructions and recommended settings are provided to allow customers to tailor the handling characteristics of the car to their own requirements.
As the Lotus Sport Exige Cup cars are modified for track use, a double shear track control arm brace is provided to cope with the expected kerb abuse during racing and hard track day driving.
The Lotus Sport Exige Cup cars have all the safety equipment that is expected for a track car with 6-point seat belt harness on the driver's side (with an FIA approved Recaro / Lotus Sport seat) – there is no passenger seat. The full roll cage is SCCA compliant and completing the additional safety equipment is a mechanical ignition kill switch with cockpit and external activation and a plumbed electrical fire suppression system, again with cockpit and external activation.
A "Level One" stainless steel sports exhaust is fitted with the bifurcated exhaust pipes exiting from the centre of the anodized-finished 3-piece rear diffuser. A "Level Two" stainless steel exhaust with de-cat pipe is a no cost option.
FIA approved 70 litre fuel cell – $3095
Lotus Sport limited slip differential (plate type) – $1595
Lotus Traction Control System – $495
Air jack system (special conditions apply) – $5495
Air-conditioning – $2495
Metallic paint – $590
Lifestyle Paint – $1200
Star Shield protection – $995.
Lotus lineup gets a serious Boost with Supercharged Exige S
Los Angeles, CA (November 30 2006) – As if the outstanding performance of the award-winning Elise roadster were not enough, legendary British sports car company Lotus has boosted its lineup by bringing its quickest, street-legal production car, the Exige S, to the United States.
Lotus Exige S – Supercar Territory
The addition of a supercharger and intercooler to the 1.8 liter engine has raised the horsepower 16 percent (to 220 hp from 190) and torque 20 percent (to 165 lb.ft. from 133) from the standard Exige engine. Perhaps more importantly, with 80 percent of the peak torque available from just over 2,000 rpm, the engine has impressive flexibility making the car more relaxed yet instantly responsive with exceptional acceleration throughout the rpm range. The extra power of the Exige S, combined with the legendary Lotus handling, allows the car to jump out of corners and raises the Exige's already outstanding performance to an entirely new level.
Weighing just 2,077 pounds, the Exige S sprints to 60 mph in a blistering 4.1 seconds, nearly a full second faster than the already quick standard Exige and the 100 mph barrier sails by in just 11 seconds. Despite its supercar-like acceleration and 148 mph top speed, fuel economy is a rather un-supercar-like 25 mpg combined (est.) thanks in part to the six-speed aluminum gearbox and Lotus T4e Engine Control System which includes variable-rpm cam switching for the first time.
Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer for Group Lotus Plc is delighted with the Lotus Exige S: "The Lotus Exige S is the most incredible car. It's performance unbelievable, almost mind boggling in acceleration, braking and of course cornering. Indeed, when the development team loaned me the prototype Exige S to assess over one weekend, I almost refused to return it on the Monday morning, such was the adrenaline boosting fun I had with it! We are very pleased to be able to offer to serious and enthusiastic drivers, this incredible value for money supercar which offers, what we believe is the ultimate high performing driving experience."
The Exige S shares its 150 pound extruded aluminum chassis with the standard Exige and Elise, as well as the Exige's aerodynamic package (front end splitter, flat undercarriage, rear diffuser and rear wing) to generate nearly 100 pounds of downforce at 100 mph. This downforce combined with the precise steering, outstanding suspension and grippy Yokohama A048 tires give the Exige unrivaled handling capability.
To differentiate the Exige S from its naturally-aspirated sibling, the rear wing, front splitter and side air intakes are painted body color, instead of black. A single oval exhaust replaces the twin-pipe design from the naturally-aspirated Elise and Exige. A revised roof-scoop provides a stream of cooling air to the intercooler that sits above the mid-mounted engine.
With an MSRP starting at $56,990 the Lotus Exige S is an incredible value and is expected in limited numbers at dealerships throughout the U.S. later this year.
About Lotus Cars
Lotus is one of the world's best-known British performance brands with a reputation for innovation through a steady stream of winning racing cars and memorable sports cars. The first Lotus car was built in 1948 by founder Colin Chapman (1928-1982). The Lotus Engineering Company has pioneered numerous automotive systems and components still in use today.
Lotus Cars and its sister company Lotus Engineering are owned by Group Lotus, PLC, headquartered in Norfolk, England. The location is home to design, manufacturing, research and development and sales facilities. While Lotus Cars continues to design and build sports cars revered for their performance, handling, style and innovation, Lotus Engineering develops advanced automotive systems and components for many of the world's leading automakers. Together, these two enterprises are a powerful team, committed to changing the rules that define automotive excellence.
Lotus Cars USA is the North American distributor of Lotus sports cars based in Duluth, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.
2007 Lotus Exige S Pricing
MSRP - $56,990, Destination - $925
Metallic Paint - $590
• Arctic Silver, Aubergine Purple, Canyon Red, Magnetic Blue, Nightfall Blue, Polar Blue, Racing Green, Starlight Black, Solar Yellow and Storm Titanium
Lifestyle Paint - $1200
• Aspen White, Autumn Gold, Chilli Red, Chrome Orange, Graphite Gray, Krypton Green, Laser Blue and Phantom Black
Touring Pack - $1,350
• Black leather sport seats and door panels
• Electric Windows
• Alpine AM/FM/CD stereo with i-Pod adaptor
• Interior stowage net on rear bulkhead, additional sound insulation and full carpet set
Lotus Traction Control - $495
• Modulates power through the engine control unit to reduce rear wheel spin
• Console-mounted switch to disable the system
Limited Slip Differential with Lotus Traction Control - $1790
• Torque-sensing limited slip differential designed to distribute power more evenly between the rear tires to allow more aggressive acceleration out of low speed corners
Track Pack - $2495
• Adjustable Bilstein dampers w/ threaded spring perches and remote front reservoirs
• Compression and rebound are adjusted simultaneously with single knob
• 5-way adjustable front anti-sway bar
• Safety harness mounting bar behind seats
Air Conditioning Delete - $250
• Removes approximately 22 lbs.
• European heater unit replaces air conditioning unit
Star Shield - $995
• Clear paint protection film applied to front of car, rocker panels, exterior mirrors and rear panel
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