Vehicle type: Sports car. Timing: Q1
Lotus Australia’s flagship sports car benefits from the new IPS (intelligent precision shift) six-speed automatic transmission option early in 2012. Lotus expects the paddle-shift S to become the most popular model in the local Evora line-up. Powering the Evora S IPS is a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with 257kW of power and 400Nm of torque. The sprint from 0-100km/h takes just 4.8 seconds, and the car will go on to reach a top speed of 277km/h. Local prices haven’t been confirmed, but expect the IPS option to add around $5000, making the Evora S IPS approximately $145,000.
Vehicle type: Sports car. Timing: Q2
A few months after the launch of the automatic Evora S, Lotus will add a semi-automatic transmission option to the entry-level Elise. The Serial Precision Shift (SPS) robotised manual gearbox allows drivers to shift between automatic and paddle-shift drive modes. The SPS transmission will be optional on the Elise 1.6 model, which is powered by a 100kW/160Nm four-cylinder engine. Expect the Lotus Elise SPS to cost around $70,000.
Vehicle type: Sports car. Timing: Q4
Landing in Australia just before the end of 2012 is the Exige V6. Unveiled at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the Exige V6 adopts the supercharged 257kW/400Nm 3.5-litre engine from the Evora. With a total weight of just 1080kg, the show car was capable of launching from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, and had a top speed of around 270km/h. While the styling of the production car will be tamed slightly, expect the Exige V6 to be a standout in the local line-up, with a unique front-end, aggressive diffuser and large rear spoiler. Prices will be confirmed closer to the local launch, but expect to pay a hefty premium over the $79,990 Exige S.