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Exige S Roadster


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TLF are in Hethel tomorrow to review the Roadster. Anything you'd like us to ask the team up there?

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Is Bethel near Hethel?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Do we need a point? Lets just enjoy it particularly in that colour but then I am biased. I agree in certain angles very Fezza 246 Dino. Er come to think of it, it wouldn't be so they can sell cars and make money would it?

A LEGS man and proud to declare it! Lotus Enthusiasts Group Scotland

Autocar's Best UK Drivers Car 2009. Car's Performance Car of the Year 2009; Evo's Car of the Year 2009. Top Gear Sports Car of the Year 2009

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It costs Lotus next to nothing to make and should probably find a few homes among those less keen on spoilers and confined spaces.

 

Perhaps Elise V6 would have been a (slightly) better name? If only to preserve the hardcore associations with the Exige line. Trouble is, everyone would have said "who are they kidding! it's just an Exige without the spoilers"! Either way, it's going to be a stunning thing to own. I totally see the 246 Dino similarities too.

 

You know the car must be good when all anyone complains about is the name!

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TLF's was blue! 

 

1074318_10151763273330586_659313994_o.jp

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Never driven anything like it on track. AMAZING :D

 

We've got some stunning, stunning photography and a full write up in production. Watch this space.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Funny you should ask. I approached yesterdays road/track test not that worried about the driving as I've driven the coupe so assumed I was keyed in to the car dynamically and thought we'd concentrate on some stunning photography as we had a really talented photographer come along for the day.

 

The truth is, it's actually very different from the coupe insomuch that it's a lot, and I mean a lot less intense. The coupe is a track focussed monster, very in your face and very much on the button all the time. The roadster has been softened and feels more relaxed and feels much easier to drive close to it's limits. The tyres were making noise under braking, as soon as I turned in and most of the way through each corner so I'm guessing I was fairly 'on it' but it felt very easy to get there, making the performance pretty accessible. This was alway pretty apparent on the roads too, it feels less hectic. Also, the DPM in 'Touring' on track does reign you in a fair amount, grabbing understeer on turn in and everything once you nail it at the apex but switching to 'Sport' I would guess added 10-15% to my speed, allowing the car to flow better underneath you and really, really tear around the track. 

 

Loved it of course but on reflection I'm struggling to think of a car which ticks so many boxes. It's right up there with other great Lotus cars through history, it really is a peach! 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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The truth is, it's actually very different from the coupe insomuch that it's a lot, and I mean a lot less intense. The coupe is a track focussed monster, very in your face and very much on the button all the time. The roadster has been softened and feels more relaxed and feels much easier to drive close to it's limits.

Yet believe I have read that it is only 1.5 secs slower around the Hethel track!  If so, given its advantages as a road car from the softer chassis setup, that is some achievement. Looking forward to your full report.

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1.6

 

Coupe is 1:32.5 and the roadster is 1:34.1

 

The difference is the complex after the pits where you can carry more speed and windsock, due to the aero. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Roadster, all day long.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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The coupe I drove was fitted with the track pack, stiffer springs and revised geo plus trofeo tyres. The roadster was the opposite, no track pack, some revisions to the suspension the other way and road tyres. There's plenty of optionable middle ground but remember I've driven both ends of the spectrum, not the middle ground. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Wait 'til you see Malcolms pics. From what I saw, they are out of this world and the car looks the nuts! 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Nope, didn't get the chance I'm afraid. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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They can't learn any lessons, it's a different car. The Exige Roadster is just a coupe with the roof removed and some tweaks, the Evora roof can't be removed so simply and it needs a folding hard top which appears to be very difficult for them to buy in to fit the car. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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That crossed my mind as well Scott. On/off news of the Evora Roadster (Soft Top? Convertible? Cabrio?) whetted my appetite 12-18 months ago and was the first time I started thinking of moving on from the Esprit. The Exige Roadster is giving me similar tinglings.

 

I spoke at length with Donato Coco at last year's FoS and whilst he admitted the design work was complete and a mock-up existed, the business case was proving difficult, probably for the reasons mentioned by Bibs above. Its a real shame - many of the LEGS Evora contingent were very interested and even I may have been tempted.

 

Just think if it had been ready for this summer  - it would have been a blast in this weather!

 

Even better, Donato also admitted to an Esprit Cabriolet mock-up, that even Harry Metcalfe of EVO had seen. Now that would have been truely awesome. Actually it is awesome, in my dreams.........

Edited by hedgerley
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