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 |  Jun 21 2010, 8:13 AM

Lotus will launch two special editions models at the end of this year, both to celebrate the dedication of its long-time vehicle engineer Roger Becker, and to mourn the loss of the 1.8-liter engine. That’s right, new Euro 5 emissions regulations are set to mark the end of the 1.8L-powered Lotus Elise and Exige and so the British sports car company will give both the engine and Becker a special send off with the RGB special edition Elise SC and Exige S.

But before we go any further, those not in Europe can breath a sigh of relief, as Lotus will continue to sell the 1.8-liter models elsewhere. In Europe, however, Lotus fans will have to make due with the new 1.6-liter engine Elise. There’s no official word from Lotus on what will power the Exige but we have to think the new 3.5-liter V6 found in the Evora will take the place of the supercharged I4. (An Exige sporting a wider rear and sounding like a V6-powered Evora has been spied several times).

The Lotus Roger Becker (or RGB) special editions models will go on sale in September in Europe, and will be full-loaded models, offering most option packages and items like light-weight forged alloy wheels. Four colors will be offered: Aspen White, Starlight Black, Solar Yellow and Carbon Grey. All models will also get a numbered plaque and will be signed by Roger Becker.

“I am honored that Lotus has named these two special editions after me, especially as it allows me to offer the customer my favourite specifications,” said Roger Becker, who recently retired from Lotus after over four decades of dedication to the brand. “The past 44 years have been an incredible journey and I’m looking forward to watching Lotus progress in the future.”

See the full list of Elise SC RGB and Exige S RGB specs after the jump:

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 |  Sep 16 2009, 3:10 AM

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Lotus displayed its Evora Type 124 endurance racer at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The Type 124 (the 124 was the next number in line in Lotus’ naming sequence, but coincidentally, the 24 also represents 24 hour endurance racing) will make its racing debut at the 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours in May.

Lotus engineers tuned the Toyota-produced V6 engine to produce up to 394hp. The car has been lightened to less than 2,646 lbs, though both power and weight may be subject to race regulations.

Other racing components on the car include a full roll cage, 18-inch wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, a new suspension setup as well as AP Racing brakes with six-piston calipers.

Gallery: Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racer

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 |  Sep 11 2009, 10:37 AM

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Lotus is on a motorsports roll as of late, releasing racing versions of the Elise, Exige 260 and now this, the company’s flagship Evora model. Called the Type 124, this race-prepped Evora gets a 400hp version of the Toyota Camry’s V6 motor, mated to a six-speed sequential transmission.

The Lotus mantra is to build fast cars through the use of light-weight components and so the company’s road cars are already featherweights by comparison to most of the competition. Impressively, through the use of carbon fiber body parts and a fully striped out interior, Lotus engineers managed to drop an additional 440 lbs from the curb weight of the Evora, reducing it to just 2,600 lbs.

Other racing components on the car include a full roll cage, 18-inch wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, a new suspension setup as well as AP Racing brakes with six-piston calipers. The car meets FIA standards and will debut at next year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race. Lotus says it will run a factory backed team in 2010 and 2011 and we would imagine the Evora Tye 124 will also be made available to private teams to compete in motorsports throughout the world.

“Every Lotus car is designed to be at home on the race track as well as the road, and the Evora is no different,” said Roger Becker, Vehicle Engineering Director for Group Lotus Plc. “Designed primarily as an everyday road car, the Evora’s lightweight and stiff structure, its aerodynamics and performance means that it is perfectly suited to taming race tracks around the world, and we are looking forward to seeing the new Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racecar line up on the grid for the 2010 season.”

GALLERY: Lotus Evora Tye 124 Endurance Race Car

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Official release after the jump:

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Report: Lotus Exige Cup 260 Announced

New version of already impressive track car now weighs in at under 2,000 lbs

 |  Aug 27 2009, 11:34 AM

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As expected, Lotus has announced the release of a cup car version of the new 2010 Exige 260. Powered by the same 257-hp supercharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder as the street car, the race-ready Cup version weighs just 1,958 lbs, making for what will no-doubt be an outrageously good track machine. Lotus says the Exige Cup 260 can hit 60 mph in four seconds flat.

The standard Exige 260 model already weights 84 lbs less than last year’s model, and the Cup car version sheds an additional 26 lbs thanks to the use of plenty of light-weight material. Carbon fiber components include the roof, seats, dash-top, tailgate, center tunnel, front access panels, front splitter, side intake ducts and rear spoiler. Additional light weight components include a lighter motorsports battery, ultra-light wheels, a revised rear engine subframe, alloy u-bend pipes for the supercharger and a lightweight flywheel.

The new Lotus Sport forged wheels are the lightest original equipment wheels in the world, weighing just 5.65 kg (12 lbs) in the front and 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs) in the rear.

Additional improvements over the past cup car include a Ohlins two-way adjustable shocks and a chassis that is now 30 percent stiffer thanks to a new diffuser and structural “shear panel” that links the rear subframe to the main chassis. The rear spoiler also grows for improved downforce, measuring 181mm (7.1-inches) wider, 46mm (1.8-inches) higher and it sits 61mm (2.4-inches) further back.

Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering for Lotus said, “The Lotus Exige Cup 260 is the epitome of the Lotus brand philosophy of performance through lightweight. Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus, once said “Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere” and the Exige Cup 260 totally proves this, being one of the most exhilarating, focused and pure sportscars on the road today.”

So far Lotus has only set European pricing, with the Exige Cup 260 priced at £45,000 in the U.K. We do expect it will make its way to North America, although PR boss Kevin Smith at Lotus Cars USA says there are no official plans yet. Still, we’re certain a few of the competitors in the Lotus Challenge Series would be eager to get their hands on this new model.

GALLERY: 2010 Lotus Exige Cup 260

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Official release after the jump:

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