A few weeks before the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Lotus announced they would "blow the top off" at the show. Back then, we all thought that we would see a Convertible version of the Evora, but we were so wrong. Lotus has decided to bring out the fastest roadster ever: the Exige S Roadster.
Based off the new Exige S, the roadster model will be powered by the same supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers a total of 345 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This engine sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and to 100 mph in 8.5 seconds. Being that this is a Roadster, safety precautions deem it necessary to lower the top speed to 233 km/h (145 mph).
The Exige S Roadster weighs just 1,166 kg (2,570 pounds) and features the same design elements as the coupe, except of course for its factory-fitted soft top roof that makes the car look even more muscular than the coupe.
Now for the bad news: the new Lotus Exige S Roadster won’t make it to the U.S. market, as it will only be offered in markets like Europe and Asia.
UPDATE 5/22/2013: Lotus has just unveiled the official pricing for the Exige S Roadster and is now available for order. See more after the jump
Hit the jump to read more about the Lotus Exige S Roadster.
Exterior and Interior
The exterior of the Lotus Exige S Roadster will be identical to the coupe model, meaning there’s a new front splitter that eliminates the broken lines found on the previous model and newly designed headlamps. The coupe’s rear spoiler has also been dropped, to make room for the factory-fitted soft top roof’s storage when the driver is enjoying his breezy Sundays. Thankfully for the driver, the roof is typically lightweight and easy to put up and take down.
For the interior, Lotus is offering customers the chance to opt for a comfort enhanced plush interior or go for a more stripped down, sporty option.
The Lotus Exige S Roadster is powered by the same engine found in the coupe model: a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine with race-derived technologies that delivers a total of 345 horsepower. The engine is mated to a stanard six-speed manual gearbox, but will also be available with Lotus’ Serial Precision Shift (SPS), a paddle-operated automated manual transmission which makes driving a more relaxed experience in the city and more F1-like when it’s let off its leash.
The sports car also comes with two different suspension settings: a standard suspension for an active driving experience suited for public roads and an optional setting as part of the Race Pack for maximum performance, developed for track use. The launch control system can be activated when the car is in Race mode.
The Roadster version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and to 100 mph in 8.5 seconds. Being that this is a Roadster, safety precautions deem it necessary to lower the top speed from the 170 mph found in the Coupe to 145 mph.
The Exige S Roadster is now available for order in the UK, throughout Europe and in Japan. There is no official shipping date yet.
| Region || MSRP |
| UK || £52,900 incl. VAT ($79,916) |
| European Union || €55,378 plus tax ($71,686) |
| Japan || ¥8,500,000 incl. tax ($82,518) |
2013 Porsche Boxster S
Since the Boxster Turbo is still unconfirmed, we can only figure that the 2013 Boxster S as Porsche’s answer to the Exige S Roadster. Under its hood, the Boxster S carries a 3.4-liter flat-six-cylinder engine that pumps out 315 horsepower – a 5-horsepower boost from 2012 – and 266 pound-feet of torque. As standard, this six-pot powerplant links up to a six-speed manual transmission with a seven-speed PDK trans as an option.
This setup allows the Boxster S to hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds in standard garb; 4.7 seconds with the PDK transmission; and 4.5 seconds with the PDK and the Sport Chrono Package. At its fastest, the Porsche Boxster S is 0.7 seconds slower to 60 mph than the Exige S Roadster. The Boxster S does trump the Lotus in top speed, as it hits a top speed of 173.4 mph.
In terms of styling, the exterior of the Boxster is aging quickly and just doesn’t hold up to the supercar-like look of the Exige. Don’t get us wrong, the Boxster isn’t ugly; it’s just had nearly the same look since it debuted.
In terms of pricing, the Boxster starts out at £46,112 ($69,661), making it significantly cheaper than the Exige S Roadster. Now, if we could only get the Exige S at the Boxster’s pricing…
The Exige S Roadster is a novel edition to Lotus’ lineup, but does Lotus really think that releasing a topless version of its flagship rig will help its image issues? Additionally, the Exige outprices its Porsche rival by a long shot, making things even more difficult. The Exige does separate itself from the Boxster S with its 0.7-second faster naught to 60 mph time and sexy body, but the Boxster takes the inside lane in terms of luxury, build quality and name recognition.
Impressive performance numbers
Not coming to USA
Undercut in price by its biggest rival (Boxster S)