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Lotus supersizes the Exige

2011-09-14 08:58

FAST BUT FAT: New Exige. It’s supersized. Image gallery

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Lotus
Model Exige
Engine 3.5-litre V6
Power 258kW
Torque 400Nm
Zero To Hundred 4.1 sec
Weight 1080kg
Lotus has done the unthinkable in an attempt to try to trump the peak power outputs of its rivals by revealing a rather curious new Exige at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show.

The company’s much-loved, and appropriately lightweight Exige sports ca, has gained a few detailed styling upgrades, a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 and, alarmingly, a lot of weight. A rather portly 166kg - to be exact.

Why?

Well, Lotus feels that the Exige's 1.8-litre, supercharged, four-cylinder was just not class-competitive any more so it’s been replaced by a 258kW/400Nm blown 3.5-litre V6. Toyota continues to be the supplier of choice for all Lotus road car engines.

ONE REALLY FAT LOTUS

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar says this new Exige is supposed to be "the ultimate Lotus experience" but at 1080kg it’s hardly going to be as agile as the Exiges of old. It’s plenty quick, though: 0-100km/h in only 4.1sec and perhaps more impressively 0-160km/h in a touch under eight…

As a counter to the potentially lethal mid-engined oversteer handling dynamics, especially considering the new engine’s greater shove, Lotus engineers have Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyes at each corner. There’s three-stage traction control, too, with Touring, Sport and zero-intervention thresholds.

The traditionally utilitarian Exige cabin is now trimmed in two specification, Premium and Premium Sport – although Lotus isn’t quite at liberty to say which items are added or deleted with either as yet...

The new Exige is distinguished by a large rear fixed spoiler, new front splitter and bolder headlights.

It may a lot quicker than a Porsche Cayman R, but at what price?

The latest from the Frankfurt show.
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