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Lotus Exige Stealth - Click above for high-res image gallery

Lotus has unveiled the latest special edition of its maximum performance, minimum everything else Exige today at the Tokyo Motor Show. We took a moment to check out the Exige Stealth (known as the Scura in Europe) on the show floor and managed to curry some time with Lotus vehicle development director Roger Becker.

The new model gains a set of comely forged alloy wheels, but the big news with the car is the unique paint. We asked Becker about the Stealth and its special finish, and as it turns out, this is more than just a basic matte paint. Lotus has been experimenting for several years with matte finishes but was never satisfied with the results. The problem – as anyone who has ever done body repairs and worked on primer-finished cars can tell you – is that matte surfaces really show marks and stone chips. Lotus wanted something more durable before putting the car into production.

To create the Exige seen here, the entire car has to be sprayed in the base gloss coat seen on the central stripes. The stripe area was then masked off and the rest of the body abraded in order to get a surface that the matte paint will grip to. Finally, a newly formulated rubberized matte paint is applied. When you touch the car, the surface actually feels soft, and according to Becker, it is four- to five-times more resistant to marking and peeling than other finishes.

Just 35 examples are planned, so get your deposit in now.

Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid, Jonathon Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      could be intresting see this awsome car whit a 2 Lt engine...mabye whit a twin VGT turbos
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice, except for the indicator stalks which seem to have come from an Opel Corsa B.

      It's sad that I noticed that...
        • 5 Years Ago
        They probably did, seeing as the 1st-gen Elise was rebadged as the Opel Speedster, and the 2nd-gen has, IIRC, the same interior.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is truly the most beautiful creation I have ever beheld. Having laid eyes on this, I am now content to pass on to the next life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      low visibility. not safe to drive at twilight/dawn or at night. you know how awful some drivers on the road can be. otherwise gorgeous
      • 5 Years Ago
      this is one of the few cars that can pull off the matte black look. damn this thing is sexy!
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I was on the Hot Rod PowerTour, I saw a matte black car that the owner let passers by write on with chalk.

      I would totally buy this Lotus, and draw pictures on the side with chalk. Like flames. And NOS stickers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Out of 31 pics, only 1 shows the interior of it.
      I understand that there are nothing spectacular regarding the interior of a Lotus, but come on.....
      10 almost identical pics that's taken from the front right side of the car, but only 1 for the interior....

      • 5 Years Ago
      I really like the sound of that paint. I like dark colors but can't stand scratches.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool, but how do you wash it I wonder?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love matte black paint and it really makes the Exige even more attractive. Stealth is a nice name as well.
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