A vehicle as light and agile as the Lotus Exige is all about driver involvement, but those enticed by the nimble sports car's handling and performance who aren't keen on working a stick shift now have another option at their disposal.
Lotus has announced a new, special edition of its hardcore Exige for customers in the UK and Europe. Limited to just 81 units (for the Lotus Formula One team's 81 victories), the new Exige LF1 is the ultimate accessory for fans of the British manufacturer's Formula One efforts.
The first thing you need to know is that this is the Lotus Exige S Roadster, unchanged from the Exige S even in price and officially the fastest convertible Lotus has ever made. The second thing you need to know is that if you live in the US, you won't be getting this car.
Lotus may have something special for you if you're still mourning the loss of the Exige here in the States. According to the DuPont Registry, the British sports car maker may be planning to bring the new Exige S to the U.S. as a track-only vehicle for $85,000-$90,000. If true, that means American buyers will be able to sink their teeth into the same 345-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 European buyers are enjoying right now. If you're keeping tally, that's almost 100 horsepower more than the old Exige S2
Lotus has rolled out a new trailer for the company's Exige S. Those who are easily tired by flashy cuts and metaphor may want to skip this one, as it pits the supercharged V6 hellion against a boxer. No, not a Porsche or Subaru boxer engine. An actual boxer, as in, a pugilist.
We were as taken-aback as the blokes over at Autocar when they discovered that the new, Performance Pack-equipped, Lotus Exige S came with an optional cup-holder. "It can't be true!" we screamed to the God of Oversteer, but it is, and although it's as minimal as it can get, it still seems like a dilution of a car (and a brand) that's made a name for itself producing focused, lightweight weapons for the track. Mr. Chapman is doing donuts in his grave and we're left shaking our heads.
On Tuesday, Lotus made the official announcement that the supercharged Exige S is headed stateside with 220 horses under its highly-ventilated engine cover. That's 30 horsepower more than the standard Exige, and is enough to propel the blown version to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, 100 mph in 11 seconds, and a top end of 148 mph. Since it's a Lotus, it works real nice when you actually turn the steering wheel, too.