Lotus may have gone off the reservation with its plan to be all things to all people (again), but at least a few engineers back in Hethel still seem to have their heads on straight. And here's proof.

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.
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Group Lotus unveils the next generation Exige at Frankfurt

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      600 lbs lighter than a Cayman R, with 20 more HP.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't see how they've "paid the price in pounds". Haven't they greatly improved the power/weight ratio? Isn't that really what Lotus is about? I think this has just become my new lottery car.
        Carlos Vargas
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes they have but they've increased the inertia of the car by increasing the weight meaning it is not going to change directions as quickly which is what the Exige was really about.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think this just took the #1 spot in my dream garage.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't know why I get excited every time Lotus does something sexy like this. It's not like I'll ever be able to afford one. =P
      • 3 Years Ago
      At least there's a pig snout exhaust to go with the weight increase. Still could be an amazing car if the extra weight in the rear doesn't destroy the handling.
      Brandon Allen
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the perfect reason why the upcoming Factory Five '818' which is a Subaru WRX based MR lightweight kit car will be amazing. The FFR will weigh 1800-1900 lbs with a WRX engine in the back, it's way easy and way cheap to get 350 hp...to the wheels on a 2wd converted Subaru drive-train. http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/forumdisplay.php?28-The-New-Factory-Five-818 This looks amazing though, but it just makes me want the new Factory Five kit more and more...
      Andre Neves
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have to admit. This looks insanely-good. From the front to the back, just perfection.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry, not feeling this one at all. Especially that hideuos half R33, hald Viper rear end. The Geneva cars were so much cooler.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The back looks more like an Esprit to me. Nice to see they're conjuring up some of their roots. And I'm not sure what you're talking about (or seeing).
          • 3 Years Ago
          The taillights and overall blockiness and proportions of the rear end are a dead ringer for the R33 if you ask me. And the pseudo-duckbill lip around the back of the car is reminiscent of the Viper. It just looks bad, imo. I thought their concept barrage earlier this year was much better looking.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        I found the Geneva cars to be far too generic, and prefer the road racer appearance of this.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yes, extra weight is awfully distressing but, in their defense, my Miata weighs just 20 pounds less than this and there's little that can touch it in corners. This car will still be the dynamic monster the original Exige was, albeit with horsepower to match. That said, CEO Danny Bahar is still a tool. F'im.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      i agree, the rear sucks. i can almost see a chevy malibu in the rear.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought this was the Hennessey VenomGT at first glance...good thing Lotus copied a copy of an Exige.
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