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Lotus Exige S updated

Lotus Exige S updated (copyright image)

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24th September, 2009

Lotus looks to the new year for the Exige S with a newly designed front end and wing package, improved fuel economy and emissions of 199 g/km of CO2.

The Lotus Exige is a high performance coupe with a reputation for performance, both on the road and the track.

Lotus has always pursued efficiency and for the 2010 model year Lotus Exige S, Lotus has reduced the emissions to 199 g/km CO2, combined with improved fuel economy, to 8.5 litres/100 km (combined cycle) and a frugal 6.5 litres/100 km on the highway cycle.

The 2010 Lotus Exige S also sees the introduction of a few key changes to enhance the look and improve aerodynamic performance. A restyled front end and new larger, rear wing that not only reduces drag, but also gives a more 'muscular' stance enhancing the light weight look of the whole car.

The composite rear wing is based on the design from the Exige GT3 road car concept, shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007. Compared to the 2009 Exige tailgate-mounted wing, it is 181 mm wider, mounted 46 mm higher and 61 mm further back. It is attached to the rear body shell clam via rear end plates, which not only increase the stiffness of the whole structure; it ensures maximum airflow over the rear wing. This careful airflow management increases stability, reduces drag and, most importantly, maintains the downforce figure of 42 kg at 160 km/h.

The restyled front end includes a larger, more angular air intake mouth to help funnel more air through the radiator, to improve the efficiency of the engine system. On either side of the main aperture, two larger air intakes increase the airflow to the twin oil coolers, with bisecting horizontal vanes to stabilise the airflow for ultimate cooling efficiency.

Since the Exige S2 was launched in 2004, power has increased from 141 kW to 163 kW, up to 179 kW in Sport 240 and optional Performance Pack guises, peaking at 192 kW in the track-centric Exige Cup 260 form, and the new larger air intakes improve engine cooling for these current high-powered Exige variants.

Mounted below the three new air intakes is a new aerodynamic splitter. Made from a light weight composite, the splitter is now extended to wrap around the whole of the front end and chiseled side lips are raised to deflect air around the tyres to reduce drag.

An optimistic Jonathan Stretton, General Manager at Lotus Cars Australia said: “Over the years, the Lotus Exige has developed a hardcore fan base around the world and its popularity has placed it as one of the legendary sports cars of the 21st century.”

“So far, over 5,000 Exiges have been hand-built at our high-tech manufacturing facility making it a significant contributor to our global production. The light weight Exige has one of the highest specific power outputs of any globally emissions certified car and 107 kW/litre is a perfect demonstration of Colin Chapman’s philosophy of performance through light weight and of Lotus’ relentless pursuit of efficiency.”

“The same technology that makes a light weight car a high performer also makes it efficient – how many cars have performance figures of 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds but produce only 199 g/km CO2?”

Like all Lotus cars, the functional components of the car are also designed as Russell Carr, Chief of Lotus Design, explains: “For 2010 we have taken the already extreme Exige and given it even more visual drama. The changes we have integrated into the front and rear of the Exige signal an even clearer and purposeful intent. The new rear wing is race inspired, the new angular air intakes and full width splitter gives a more hard-edged and aggressive look.”

“Overall, the Exige appears more planted and gives the illusion that both the front and rear of the car are wider than they really are without losing its agile and lithe character.”

Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering said: “Taken as a complete package the updates make significant improvements to aerodynamics and the overall look of the car. The Exige is a classic fit-for-purpose performance machine, the design tweaks we have made have reduced the drag, cleaned up the airflow around the front and rear of the car, whilst retaining the impressive balanced downforce figures, to give an exciting high performance drive.”

The 2010 Exige S is available to order now through the Lotus Cars Australia dealer network. Prices remain unchanged, starting from $114,990 plus dealer delivery and the traditional state/territory statutory costs.

The 2010 Exige in detail

Driver and passenger airbags are standard on all models.

The instrument pack in the Lotus Exige contains two main stylishly backlit dials, in addition to a high-definition LCD message panel that can display a scrolling text message with vehicle systems information.

The instrument pack always displays the fuel level, engine temperature and odometer, however it can also display time, trip distance or a digital speed in the opposite calibration of the speedometer, in km/h or mph.

Warning symbols are ‘secret until lit’, keeping the instrumentation free from visual clutter and distraction until necessary. Gear change shift lights similarly remain hidden until required, with three sequential red lights, flashing simultaneously just before the rev limiter.

The 2010 Lotus Exige continues with the unified key and alarm/immobiliser system with central locking, with the famous Lotus roundel. The key features separate locking/unlocking buttons and a third for a panic alarm.

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The Exige S optional Touring Pack includes:

  • Full leather or Microfibre suede-effect interior
  • Leather trimmed centre console
  • Leather handbrake gaiter
  • Sound system iPod* connection
  • Full carpets, with embroidered logo
  • Auxiliary driving lights
  • Noise insulation paneling
  • Aluminium retractable cup holder

The Exige S optional Sport Pack includes:

  • Bilstein sports dampers
  • Lotus switchable traction control system
  • Adjustable front anti-roll bar
  • T45 roll bar, with integrated harness mounts
  • ProBax Sports seats

The Exige S optional Performance Pack includes:

  • 308 mm front cross-drilled and vented discs with AP Racing four piston callipers
  • Uprated front and rear brake pads
  • Full-length upsized roof scoop
  • Variable slip traction control and launch control system
  • Uprated clutch plate and cover
  • Uprated vehicle performance through enhanced power and torque delivery

With the Exige Performance Pack, the power is raised to 179 kW at 8,000 rpm courtesy of a Magnuson/Eaton M62 supercharger, new faster flowing injectors and higher torque clutch system and an upsized roof scoop to feed more air to the supercharger intercooler system. This hike in power, together with an increase in torque to 230 Nm at 5,500 rpm from the standard 215 Nm at 5,500 rpm, helps whisk the Performance Pack Exige S from 0-100 km/h in 4.77 seconds, and on to 160 km/h in 11.97 seconds. Top speed rises to 232 km/h.

The power and torque of the 179 kW engine is increased across the rev range giving even more flexibility. Despite these high levels of performance the fuel economy is impressive with a new combined figure of 8.5 litres per 100 km and 199 g/km CO2 – reduced from 9.1 l/100 km and 216 g/km CO2 for the 2009 Model Year Exige.

Of course the increased power and straight-line performance are only a couple of elements of the Performance Pack option. The clutch is uprated and a clutch damper fitted; there are thicker, 308 mm diameter cross-drilled and vented discs at the front clamped by AP Racing four-piston callipers; the standard brake pads are replaced by uprated pads.

The Performance Pack also includes the Exige GT3-race developed launch control with variable traction control. From the driver’s seat, the system allows the selection of revs for the optimum standing start in all road conditions. A clutch damper cushions the severity of the clutch/transmission engagement to minimise stresses to the drivetrain.

Above 10 km/h, the launch control hands over duties to the traction control system, which can dial in the amount of rear-tyre slip retardation required.

The amount of traction control can be varied in over 30 increments from an optimum seven per cent slip to completely off, indicated by a reading on the dash.

The beauty of all the packs is that they can be combined so a customer can select the additional interior and exterior equipment from the Touring pack with the sport-focused equipment from the Sport pack.

A torque-sensing limited slip differential is available as stand-alone options, along with options such as Bilstein one-way and height-adjustable adjustable dampers and light weight forged alloy wheels.

* iPod is a trademark of Apple inc.


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