LOTUS EXIGE S2
Full details released by Lotus prior to Geneva Show
Exiges haven't rolled off the production line at Hethel for two years now but that's about to change for the better. The S2 Exige is ready to go and will get an official launch at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The new car gets the Toyota 1.8 VVTL-i (Variable Valve Timing with Lift - intelligent) engine rated at 190bhp at 7800rpm. The lightweight engine, with a compact metal matrix composite alloy cylinder block has been subject to a rigorous testing and development programme which, as part of Lotus' key federal Elise programme, has involved over half a million miles of testing. To ensure reliability it's undergone testing in extremes of temperature from the Arctic Circle to the Arizona and Nevada deserts and at altitude in Colorado. A brand new, custom-engineered Lotus T4 engine management system (EMS) has been developed specifically for the Exige by Lotus.
The high revving engine is governed to a maximum engine speed of 8500 rpm on up changes (8000 rpm at steady state). The change from the low speed cam to the high speed cam is controlled by the Lotus engine management system to achieve a smooth transition, which will not upset the balance of the car. This change occurs at around 6200 rpm, but can vary by a few hundred rpm depending on engine operating conditions. The return switching from the high speed to low speed cam occurs at 5800 rpm to extend the operating range of the engine on the high speed cam. This helps the enthusiastic driver stay on the high output cam between gear changes.
In order to protect the engine during the warm up phase, the maximum engine speed is limited to 6000 rpm and is restricted to the lower speed cam when the engine coolant temperature is below 70 °C.
The lightweight C64 six-speed gearbox (with an aluminium casing) is fitted with an all-new Lotus designed and developed shift operating mechanism. Lotus have chosen a particularly close set of ratios designed to give the flexibility to apply the power exactly as and when required.
The first Exige (177bhp) established itself as a track day regular with its strong performance matched by aerodynamics generating significant downforce allowing rapid cornering. The S2 is no different in this respect. The dash to 100kph (62mph) takes just 5.2 seconds (S1 was 4.7 to 60mph) and top speed is up to 146mph from 136. ABS is standard although designed to cut in very late.
The downforce package consists of:
- Completely flat underside of the car - provided by a light extruded and bonded aluminium tub
- Black anodised rear diffuser which helps promote the "Venturi effect" underneath the car
- Deep front splitter which sits just 108 mm from the ground (giving just enough ramp angle clearance) whilst still maintaining the aerodynamic properties
- Fixed rear wing that is set at the optimum 11.5 degree angle for the best compromise between downforce and drag.
Three new colours will be introduced for the Exige. In addition to the current Lotus range Chrome Orange, Graphite Grey and Krypton Green will be available.
As well as the sports seats, small steering wheel and pedals set up for heel-and-toeing, some creature comforts have sneaked into the new model. A four speaker Blaupunkt stereo system with CD player is provided as standard along with a radio receiver wiring loom including a dipole aerial kit located in the front of the Exige.
Air conditioning, weighing in at 15 kg, is standard in some markets. The cabin of the Exige has always been a warm environment and the introduction of air-con will open up the possibility of selling the Exige in more worldwide markets.
Other equipment includes auxiliary front driving lights and central door locking. For the Japanese market specifically, central door looking is only included as part of the optional Touring Pack.
The Touring Pack consists of Electric windows, Full carpet set with a lightweight aluminium passenger footrest, Blaupunkt Woodstock DAB radio, CD-R/W and MP3 player (not available in Japan), Full Alcantara trim, Sun visors and Interior stowage net.
A performance pack will also be available for the Exige containing Sports seats with the Exige Logo on the headrest, 4 point harness (dealer fit for track use only), Cross bar, Acrylic capped door panels, Carbon effect door inserts, and twin oil coolers.
Lightweight wheels and air-con are optional.
The car will be launched in March. UK prices start at £29,995 for the basic car, with the Touring Pack available at £1795. The performance pack will be £1765. Air con is a hefty £1295 and the lightweight wheels are £1175. All prices include VAT.