Lotus Exige S Roadster (March)
Sharing its coupe twin’s mid-transverse-mounted 3.5 litre V6 engine, complete with Harrop HTV 1320 (Eaton-type) supercharger, the Lotus Exige S Roadster is one rapid drop-top. Due to arrive here in March, this 257kW/400Nm lightweight screamer is claimed to reach 100km/h in 4.0sec, 0-160km/h in 8.5sec, and blast on to a maximum speed of 233km/h. At just 1166kg, its claimed kerb weight is 10kg less than the hardtop. Drive is fed through a close-ratio, six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels. Suspension is double wishbone front and rear, with Bilstein gas dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs all around. AP Racing brakes do the stopping, and 17-inch Pirelli P Zero tyres do the gripping. The factory-fitted, soft-top roof is suitably lightweight, and an easy, one person job to erect and take down. Expect cost of entry to be around $125K.
Lotus Exige V6 Cup (March/April)
Powered by a supercharged 258kW/400Nm 3.5-litre V6, the Lotus Exige V6 Cup is a stripped-out, yet still road-registerable, version of the Exige that pulls a mega 60kg out of the ‘standard’ car’s 1176kg weight. Scheduled to land here in late March/early April, the track-honed V6 Cup features a suite of pure racecar extras including a full but removable roll cage, fire extinguisher, electrical cut-out switch and four-point harness. The radio and speakers have been removed, as has any shred of sound-deadening material, and the seats are super-lightweight. The Cup also has an active traction control system, switchable through four modes: off, tour, sport, and race. The system is able to ‘learn’ a circuit or road’s grip levels and adjust traction assistance accordingly. Likely price tag is around $135K.
Lotus Evora Sports Racer (March/April)
So far, the Lotus Evora Sports Racer has only been available in Europe, but it’s headed our way in March/April. The performance-focused hardtop is offered with a choice of a 206kW/350Nm 3.5 litre V6 or a 258kW/400Nm supercharged version of the same engine. There’s also a choice between six-speed manual gearbox and six-speed auto with ‘Intelligent Precision Shift’ (IPS). The SR is loaded with additional standard features including 2+2 leather seating, switchable sports mode for sharper throttle response and increased rev limit, as well as a sports diffuser and cross-drilled brake discs. A 'Tech Pack' adds upgraded audio, DVD player, seven-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone connection, USB/iPod/MP3 connectivity, tyre pressure monitoring, cruise control, rear parking sensors, electric power-fold mirrors and a reversing camera as standard. Gloss black forged wheels (18-inch front, 19-inch rear) are shod with sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber. Price should be in the $150K range.
Lotus Elise S Club Racer (March/April)
Another March/April arrival for Lotus is the Elise S Club Racer. And although the name implies it’s a track-only special, this featherweight flier is fully road registerable. Powered by a supercharged 162kW/250Nm, all-alloy, 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, the 905kg CR is claimed to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.6sec and scream on to a hair-raising top speed of 234km/h. If you’re after a cushy driving experience, forget it. This ‘stripper’ does without sound-proofing or a radio. Its circuit-focused suspension is ultra-firm, and increased use of composites in its construction not only reduces weight but increases stiffness. Track day enthusiasts can gain a further 8kg reduction by specifying track-use only, which brings a race air box, sports filter element, lightweight 12-volt battery and a sports exhaust. Best estimate on price lands the CR is the $80K range.