Geneva 2012: Lotus Exige Roadster
Kimi drops by for a mumble and Lotus launches its most powerful roadster ever
Interior aside it's actually a pretty tasty looking package and if you want a more appropriately minimalist cabin that's on offer too. 350hp from the supercharged 3.5-litre Toyota V6 combined with an appropriately Lotus-like 1,100kg kerbweight result in some pretty spectacular-sounding numbers - 0-62mph in four seconds dead and 0-100mph in 8.5 seconds. It's no vmax hero, topping out at 145mph rather than the regular S's 170mph, but it'll be fun getting there no doubt. Stripped of the coupe S's aero the roadster version does look pretty cool and, cynicism aside, we're itching to have a go.
Away from the road cars and rather more in the background is Lotus's involvement with the Infiniti Emerg-E and the realisation of the potential of its range extender engine. A chat with Director of Engineering Mark James underlines how important this is for Lotus, the modular approach - there are three states of tune available for the motor - meaning it can offer a variety of off-the-shelf packages to suit applications in a number of different cars. If Infiniti is serious about the Emerg-E, a high-profile mainstream collaboration like that would be a real leg-up for Lotus's 'other' business. At the core of this is the Evora 414E revealed at a previous Geneva show (see earlier stories here and here for the background) and underpinning the Infiniti.
still, better than just bare metal, and looks awesome in my opinion.
It will be interesting to hear what refinement/NVH levels are possible on the Exige roadster. I think it will be feasible to be dramatically better than a basic Elise (if that's what buyers want).
These Exiges appear to offer pretty mind blowing performance for the money.