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by Brett Davis

Lotus has just been spotted track testing the new 2013 Lotus Exige. This is the first time a prototype has been seen out in public.

Our spy photographers tried to get as close as possible to the new Exige, but from these images we can see the upcoming model will take on a body design similar to the Lotus Evora. It appears to be either longer or lower than the current model, with a increase in rake of the windscreen and the rear compartment buttresses.

The front of the new Exige will feature a fresh face, showcasing design elements also seen on the Lotus Evora. There’s a deeper and wider lower air dam and a more curved face and bonnet layout. It appears there will also be a larger overhang on the front end, which supports the impression that this is a longer car than the current model.

The rear of the new Exige will showcase a completely fresh design as well with less of a swept up rear bumper bar. Instead, the rear presents a chunky diffuser setup which has been blended into the overall design. The diffuser shape also matches the contours of the rear spoiler. It appears the spoiler has been formed from the body itself, rather than a separate extension.

Reports say overall dimensions of the new model will be larger than the existing, including a wider track for improved high-speed stability and possibly a longer wheelbase which could reduce any level of twitchiness the existing model has.

As for the engine, the new Exige is believed to be powered by the same 3.5-litre Toyota V6 as seen in the Evora. This means around 200kW will be on offer in standard form, while an S version could see as much as 260kW going through the nimble sports car.

No word on an official release date as of yet, but it is slated to hit the market sometime in 2012. We’ll keep you updated.