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With rumors of a future for Lotus swirling, the company will live on as its new owner DRB-Hicom has signed off on a three-year plan to fund the British sports car maker.
Truth be told, the majority of us are anxiously awaiting the release of the next generation of Lotus vehicles. But until the British automaker releases the new range, we’ll have to settle for the new Exige S Roadster. Or rather we won’t, since it won’t even be making its way to American shores.
Lotus is calling this their fastest convertible ever, powered by a supercharged 3.5L V6 and mated to a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic. Even though exact figures weren’t released, the Toyota-derived V6 will deliver roughly 345-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque – the same as in the Evora S model.
Speaking of the Evora, this “new” Exige S Roadster is actually the front section of the old Exige mated to the rear section of the new Evora. Either way, Lotus claims that the Exige S Roadster will hit 60-mph in just 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 145-mph. Weighing in at a scant 2,425 lbs it is one of the world’s lightest six-cylinder convertibles available. But alas, it’ll only be going on sale in Europe and Asia, yet another fun-packed roadster American will miss out on.
GALLERY: Exige S Roadster
The signing of 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to Lotus Renault GP for the 2012 season is generating quite a stir in Grand Prix circles and so far in testing, the team’s new car, the E20 has shown a lot of promise.
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Lotus Cars had further news to announce, namely the hot new Lotus F1 Team Evora GTE and the Exige S Roadster. The former pays homage to Lotus Formula 1 history, sporting an unpainted carbonfiber body with copper accents that simulates the traditional F1 livery. There’s also specially trimmed bucket seats with gold piping and exclusive Lotus F1 Team Special Edition appliqués.
Other features include weight savings of some 100 kg and a 3.5-liter mid-mounted V6 that’s been tuned to deliver 444 horsepower, giving it one of the best power to weight ratios of any street going performance car. Lotus has said the F1 Team Evora GTE will be available in Europe by early summer.
As for the Exige S Roadster, it essentially combines all the attributes of its hard top counterpart; supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, lightweight chassis and optimally tuned suspension. Lotus says it will dash from 0-100 mph in just 8.5 seconds and is the first Exige model to be fitted with a lightweight removable soft top roof. Two transmissions will be offered, a proper six-speed manual and a Serial Precision Shift automated manual for those that want the convenience of shiftless driving in town but full gear selection control when they need it.
Kimi Raikkonen, who attended the Geneva Press conference said, in regards to the Lotus F1 Evora GTE, “I would love to have this as my company car.” For a man whose used to driving at serious triple digit speeds, that’s a serious compliment.