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by David Zalstein

The Lotus Exige S Roadster has been released in the UK, becoming the British brand’s fastest ever convertible.

A drop-top version of the current Lotus Exige S, the Lotus Exige S Roadster joins the lightweight sports car’s line-up alongside the track focused Exige Cup and Exige Cup R.

Powered by the same 257.5kW/400Nm supercharged 3.5-litre V6 powerplant and six-speed manual transmission as the $119,990 Exige S hardtop that launched in Australia in April, but weighing 10kg less, the 1166kg Lotus Exige S Roadster matches the coupe’s claim of 0-100km/h in four seconds.

Lotus Exige S Roadster - 4

With the convertible’s soft-top fitted – able to open in slightly more than four seconds – the Roadster’s top speed is down from the coupe’s 274km/h to an electronically limited 233km/h.

While the Exige S Roadster loses its hardtop brethren’s rear wing and front splitter in exchange for a sleeker silhouette, efficiency figures remain identical at 10.1 litres per 100km and 236 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Four-piston AP-Racing calipers clamp down on ventilated and cross drilled discs under 17-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres.

Lotus Exige S Roadster - 2

Electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution join cornering brake control and Lotus’ dynamic performance management system in ensuring that safety, as well as performance, is covered.

The Lotus Exige S Roadster – priced from £52,900 ($82,700) in its home market – is available to order in Australia now, with full pricing and specifications to be announced closer to the car’s arrival in the first quarter of 2014.