BBC F1 anchorman Jake Humphrey joined Lotus at the IAA in Frankfurt to present to the media a batch of new and improved cars to bolster the current lineup of products. Speaking with CEO Dany Bahar it was an opportunity for Lotus to showcase their current engineering talents and provide a link to the future cars which will be coming to us in 2013, starting with the Esprit to be presented in Geneva. The current range is important for the growth of the company and a key to the success of Bahars future plans for Lotus hence the cars we are seeing today.
The Evora GTE was on display, Bahar explained that this is the fastest road car Lotus have ever produced and with its 105kg weight saving over the standard road car a true Lotus in the Chapman ethos of performance through lightweight. With sales much beyond predictions in the Far East this car will be available for first customer deliveries from Dec 2012/Jan 2013. The high pressure robotised gearshift uses systems from the same vendor that the Veyron and Zonda utiliseso expect blistering performance and solid reliability from this race car for the road. No price has been confirmed as yet for the UK/EU but with a 444bhp version of the standard engine it will be a car you’ll want to been seen in!
Also in the show is the MY12 Evora which we’ve showcased previously here and to bring the Elise back into the true performance category is the Elise S, again with a 1.8l Toyota sourced engine with supercharger producing 220bhp. The advantage this car may have over previous SC Elise is that the torque now peaks at 2,000rpm and is 25% higher across the range, meaning the car will be more tractable and with a better response out of corners leading to an enhanced driving experience. We can also see the Elise SPS (Serial Precision Shift) which is a version of the 1.6l car with paddle shift, similar to the IPS system fitted to the Evora and now Evora S.
Stealing the show is the new Exige S. Powered by the Evora’s 3.5l V6 with supercharger the car is 350bhp animal, a real drivers car for those who want performance, performance, performance. With an expected 3.8 second 0-60 sprint and 170mph top speed the expected retail price will be €70,060 and weighs in at 1,080kgs. The Exige S is to sell in the UK and ROW however it could make an appearance in the USA as a track or race car, dependant on availability of suitable events. It will also feature ‘Track’ and ‘Race’ modes on the ECU which has been developed with Bosch and will have launch control and other race/track related features.
Finally Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro unveiled the Exige R-GT, a rally car expected to compete in tarmac rallying, a new aspect to the WRC. This is a race discipline close to Berro’s heart as he was a co-driver in his previous career in the Sunbeam Lotus. This is a rally version of new Exige S and with further development could see weight savings and a sub-1,000 kgs racer, watch this space for more news on this car.