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The 2015 Lotus Exige S range has been expanded in Australia with the launch of the previously reported, range-first automatic gearbox option.

At the same time, the boutique British-based brand has made the previously optional ($5400) Race Equipment Pack a standard feature and upped the car’s starting price by $6000.

The MY15 Lotus Exige S Coupe and Exige Roadster are therefore now priced at $132,990 (plus on-road costs) apiece, with the six-speed auto adding a $5000 premium to take the price to $137,990.

The Race Pack adds the Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) system with four different driving modes. Launch control is now standard, as is an exhaust bypass valve override for a racing car sound. Finally, the suspension is optimised for the optional Pirelli Trofeo tyres.

Exige S

“The standard fitment of the Race Pack to the Exige S for 2015 is a clear indication of what the owners want from the Exige S,” said Lotus Australia general manager Glen Sealey.

“They want a car that is the closest a road car is able to be to a racing car and, when taken on the race track, can be finely tuned like a racing car for optimum performance under all conditions.”

Meanwhile the six-speed ‘box with paddles has Sport and Race modes built in to make the shift pattern more aggressive. It also hustles the car from 0-100km/h faster in 3.9sec — one-tenth faster than the standard manual. It also laps the Hethel test track in the same time.

Exige S Auto Interiors 23_10_14 01PR

As with the manual, the auto in the 1176kg Exige S is matched to a Euro 5 mid-mounted supercharged 3.5-litre V6 with 258kW at 7000rpm and 400Nm at 4600Nm.

The Exige S was Lotus’ top seller in Australia in 2014 with 29 units delivered, ahead of the Elise on 23 and the Evora on nine. This figure was before the addition of the auto, and in a market like Australia that has a penchant for self-shifters, this figure should rightly grow.

Read our last Exige S review, in manual guise, here.