The next generation Exige gets a reworked body and tweaked interior, but the real news is under the clamshell. Lotus has pulled the 3.5-liter, supercharged V6 from the Evora S and slotted it into the back of the Exige S to create a 2,380-pound, 346-horsepower track sled designed and engineered to be, in the words of CEO Dany Bahar, "the ultimate Lotus experience."
Although the 200-plus pound weight increase isn't something Lotus founder Colin Chapman could get behind, the performance should be more than enough to make even hardened Lotus aficionados temporarily forget the "add lightness" edict.
Specially-developed Pirelli P-Zero Corsas are fitted at all four corners, while the Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) system allows drivers to switch between Touring, Sport and DPM Off traction control modes. Option up for the Race Pack, and "Race" is included in the settings, along with Launch Control and a reworked suspension.
Two interior packages – Premium and Premium Sport – will be offered when the Exige S goes on sale next year, but Lotus isn't giving out performance figures just yet. But considering the current Exige S does 0-60 in 4.1 seconds, it's safe to assume the added grunt will bring that figure down deep into the threes, and have the handling chops to match. Details in the press release after the jump.
The 2012 Lotus Exige S
1080kg Lightweight Exige Chassis
+ 350 PS 3.5l V6 Supercharged Evora S Engine
= The all NEW Exige S
Raw performance, agility, unparalleled ride and handling and mind blowing drive experience, these attributes are what people have come to expect from Lotus. And we don't like to disappoint. After months of media speculation Group Lotus is proud to announce the latest addition to the family: the extraordinary new Exige S, the ultimate lightweight high performance sportscar.
Alongside the staggering power to weight ratio, the Exige S has a completely new exterior and interior look and feel. The dramatic styling overhaul sees a completely new look for the Exige including a new front splitter and rear spoiler giving it a strong and aerodynamic profile.
There are two new interior package options available: Premium and Premium Sport. The Premium Pack provides added comfort and style where as the Premium Sport option focuses on creating an internal space optimised for ultimate driver involvement.
Built for the adrenalin hungry sportscar aficionado, the Exige S features high performance bespoke tyre package with Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres as standard. A Lotus DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) switch allows the driver to switch between three driving modes: Touring, Sport and DPM off. And if three dynamic settings are not enough, an additional Race Pack option is available which adds a fourth driving mode setting: Race. This setting provides the maximum possible traction out of corners. The Race Pack also features Launch Control and an optimised suspension setting making the car perfect for letting rip on the track.
Commenting on the Exige S, Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar said: "Anyone who has ever driven an Exige will tell you that it's not for the faint-hearted. The new Exige S skips a few rungs on the ladder to give the driver the ultimate Lotus experience. Quite simply you can't get more Lotus than the Exige S."
Please note: At time of going to print (September 2011) the fuel economy, CO2 and performance figures have not been witness tested. Group Lotus plc will publish these figures as soon as they become available on the lotuscars.com website.