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Lotus has managed to give the bantamweight Exige more power without increasing weight, and as you might expect the result is even more fun from the British giant-killer.

Sparked by its entry into the FIA's new GT3 sportscar championship, which equalizes competition by balancing the power-to-weight ratio of different cars, Lotus revamped Toyota's 1.8-liter VVTL-i engine with an upgrade to the supercharger/intercooler package from the Exige 240R, resulting in 218 hp at 7800 rpm and 159 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm. (The same engine in the base Exige is rated at 189 hp.) Redlined at 8500 rpm, the new engine package makes the Exige S the quickest-ever Lotus production car, with a 0-60 mph time of only 4.1 seconds, and 100 mph reached in less than 10 seconds. The Exige S will be the base production car for the full-race Lotus Sport Exige GT3.

Clive Dopson, Managing Director of Lotus Cars says, "The Exige S represents the ultimate 'extreme' production Lotus, with performance that trumps other supercars costing twice or even three times as much."

Unfortunately, all this fun won't be exported to North America, but our readers in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region can enjoy this lightweight flyer for about $53,000, starting in late spring 2006.

[Source: Group Lotus]

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