Lotus Exige

Lotus Exige

Posted on by Alexander + 6

Last year’s picks for the coupe of the year raged a war between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang , but this year things are a bit different. In fact, neither one of these muscle cars made the list, simply because the new Camaro ZL1 isn’t available for purchase just yet.

With the two major muscle cars out of the running, we were still left with a ton of vehicles worthy of some time in the spotlight. Our choices for the top coupes of 2011 are kind of all over the place. From the Audi TT-RS’ return to the States to the Lotus Exige S and its road-going capabilities on the other side of the pond, there’s pretty much a flavor for anybody.

In fact, if we’ve missed one of your favorites, make sure to hit us up.

Hit the jump for our picks for the 2011 Coupe of the Year, in alphabetical order.

Hiding behind the shadow of the bigger and better 2012 Lotus Exige S at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show is Lotus’ brand new Exige R-GT. This new racer marks the brand’s return to the rally world, 30 years after their World Rally Championship victory in the Talbot Talbot Sunbeam Lotus. The Exige R-GT will participate in the newly formed FIA GT category of the FIA Rally Championship on asphalt in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, and San Remo.

The new Exige R-GT shares the new Exige S model’s mid-mounted, transverse 3.5 liter DOHC V6 VVI-i engine, but power has been brought down to 300 HP because of the 34mm air restrictor required for racing. The Exige R-GT will also have to pack on ballast weight to meet FIA requirements of 1200 kg (2645 lbs).

"With the new R-GT rules in rally, it’s a very interesting time for us to return to the sport. Naturally our approach this time around will be different to when we won the championship with Talbot three decades ago but I think our philosophy is definitely the same, we want to compete and ultimately we want to win. Our new rally car, the Exige R-GT is a dream come true for those who are passionate about GT racing – this will be their car," said Group Lotus’ Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro.

UPDATE 12/28/2011: After its official debut in Frankfurt, the Exige R-GT headed to the Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma on December 22, 2011 for its first track test under the watchful eye of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport, Claudio Berro, and technicians from the team. According to Lotus, the results were delightful and the team will continue to test the car until the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship season where the Exige will contend in the FIA GT category on asphalt at events in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, and San Remo. We have also added new images from the testing days. Enjoy!

Lotus Exige

It was just a few weeks ago that our spy photographers were able to catch the new Exige testing with some ugly zebra-like camouflage and now the brand’s engineers are at it again with some swirly and hypnotizing wraps on the 2013 Exige . Thankfully, this new camouflage isn’t distracting enough to cover up all of the sports car’s new features, providing us with ample opportunity to learn more about the future model before it debuts at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

The 2013 Lotus Exige will adopt a new design language borrowed from the bigger Evora which will include a redesigned front and a longer back end. That new rear will also be accessorized with a new rear wing leading up to a modified roofline. These spy shots also reveal a slightly wider Exige with bigger brakes.

As far as power is concerned, rumors state the new Exige will be pulling from the same engine found in the current model: a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version.

Lotus called it a night for the current generation Exige by unveiling two special edition models - the Exige S260 Final Edition and Matte Black Final Edition - but that doesn’t mean the brand’s engineers are getting a break. Just last month, the next generation sports car was caught testing covered in questionable camouflage and now our spy photographers have captured new images of the Lotus Exige with more mind-numbing coverups. We can’t wait for the 2013 Lotus Exige to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show just so our heads stop spinning from these psychedelic wraps.

These new spy images reveal a little more of the Exige’s future design language, like the new front and back of the vehicle. The future model will also benefit from a new rear wing on the elongated back end, a tidbit many of us anticipated when we heard that the new Exige would be borrowing elements from the Evora . The roofline also looks different from the current Exige.

As previously reported, the 2013 Exige will be powered by the same V6 engine as also found in the bigger Evora. So expect to see a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version. This engine will be combined with bigger brakes that, of course, suggest improved performance numbers.

The second special edition Lotus has announced as a celebration of the end of production for renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models is called the Exige Matte Black Final Edition. This model will be limited to only 25 units, and will have a price of $69,900. It will make its first appearance on the US market within the Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill in Pebble Beach.

As its name suggests, the 2011 Exige Matte Black Final Edition will be offered in an exclusive matte black paint finish combined with black Alacantara sport seats. It will be powered by a supercharged and intercooled 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 275 HP. Coincidentally, this engine is the very reason why the Exige model will be discontinued. According to Lotus, the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models is continually unavailable. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.

UPDATE 08/18/11: The Lotus Exige Matte Black Final Edition that will be exclusively sold in North America officially broke cover at Monterey, showing off its stealthy matte black finish for all the crowd to see. Much of the information we’ve already detailed about the car appears to spot on, but we did add some new information on what to expect when you place an order for any one of the 25 units that’s going to be sold.

Hit the jump for details on the 2011 Exige Matte Black Final Edition.

The third and final vehicle of the special edition series announced by Lotus is called the Exige S260 Final Edition. This vehicle, like the two that preceded it, was created as a celebration of the end of production for renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models. It will be limited to 30 units and will carry a price tag of $67,500.

Unlike the other two special edition model - Exige Matte Black Final Edition and Elise SC Final Edition - the Exige S260 Final Edition will be offered in the full array of Lotus exterior colors, but it will be distinguished by a slew of other features that will make it stand out from the every day model.

The Lotus Exige S260 Final Edition will be powered by a supercharged and intercooled 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 275 HP. This engine is the very reason why the Exige model will be discontinued. Apparenly, the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models is continually unavailable. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.

Details on the Lotus Exige S260 Final Edition after the jump.

We have heard rumors of a new Lotus Exige for quite some time now, but the car has finally been caught testing. This may be one of the ugliest camouflages we have ever seen, but if Lotus thought that would keep our spy photographers away, then they were very, very wrong. The new Lotus Exige will make its world debut in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show.

The prototype seen in these spy shots reveals a new nose inspired by the one from the Evora and a completely different rear end, both of which make the car appear much longer. The roofline is also different from the one in the current model. The mules previously caught testing where all wider so we suspect that the new Exige is also slightly wider than the current one.

Under the hood, Lotus will place the same engine as in the Evora : a 3.5 liter V6 producing 280 HP in the normal version and 350 HP in the S version. The prototype also gets bigger brakes, another indication the model will deliver better performance numbers.

At the 2010 Paris Auto Show, Lotus unveiled the impressive Elan concept with the full intention of bringing it back in production form by 2013. Be it blind passion or just a mere oversight, Lotus failed to notice that their new concept bared a strong resemblance to their Evora model, so the company is putting the concept on hold indefinitely.

This may sound a little familiar considering we had already heard that the Elan was headed back to the drawing board for looking too much like the Esprit Concept revealed at the same auto show. This begs the question as to whether or not the Esprit will also be delayed because of the same issue, but apparently that is not the case. The Esprit and the Elite will share many of the same components, including a V8 engine that is rumored to deliver around 550 horsepower. This engine will be mated to either a standard dual-clutch transmission or an optional manual.

However, before those puppies are born, Lotus will be working on updating the apparently inspiring Evora with some aesthetic changes and new trim levels to align it with the rest of the "Lotus New Era" range. The Elise and Exige will also be seeing the light of day, but will do so with newer versions "more usable for every day". The production Exige will finally be revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

Source: Autoblog ES

With the growing number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis cruising their way through our streets, it’s refreshing to see a Lotus taking its worthy turn at showing off. It’s even better when this particular Lotus has taken part in a little tuning project of its own. Tecnocraft has taken a couple of Lotus models, including the Exige and the Elise , and has molded and shaped a good amount of carbon fiber for a product worthy of a little attention.

No official details have been given on the final product just yet, but these pictures show a classy combination of yellow and black for the exterior and the interior of the sports car. Considering carbon fiber was the way to go for these Lotus models, we imagine that a weight reduction is definitely in order. Just how much weight has been schlepped off is anyone’s guess at this point.

The carbon fiber sports seats being used in the Lotus model have already been showcased in Tecnocraft’s version of the C63 AMG , but another new addition for the sport cars will be a news set of wheels to further decorate the exterior.

As a refresher, the standard Elise is powered by a supercharged 1.8 liter engine that develops a total of 217 hp and rockets the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. The Exige gets a supercharged and intercooled 1.8 liter engine with 257 HP and a sprint time of 4 seconds.

Lotus’ Paris Motor Show explosion back in September gave way to the announcement of some big changes to their lineup occurring sometime in the near future. Well, this may very well be the near future since, according to British magazine, AutoCar, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has announced there will be a new Exige revealed later this year at the Geneva Motor Show.

And that’s not all, Bahar also announced that the Evora will get a refresh and will be launched in 2012. The new Evora will get a completely redesigned cabin and a new version to go along with the newest S trim level. The cabin will be designed by German firm, CSI, who have also engineered cabins for the Audi R8, Mercedes SLS, and Porsche Panamera.

So, if we have this right, we should be getting a new Evora in 2012, new Esprit and Elan models in 2013, the Elite in 2014, and the Elise and Eterne in 2015. Talk about having all of your ducks in a row.

Source: AutoCar

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