First Look: 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster
By Brandon Turkus
March 06, 2012
Lotus has presented a convertible version of its hardcore, supercharged, V-6-powered Exige S at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Fitted with a manual soft-top roof, the Exige S Roadster should deliver all the fun of the blown Exige while adding a healthy dose of fresh air.
Called the Exige S Roadster, Lotus claims it’ll streak to 60 miles per hour in a striking 3.8 seconds, while 100 miles per hour comes up in a fast 8.5 seconds. Top speed is 145 miles per hour. A six-speed manual is standard, but Lotus will also be offering its Serial Precision Shift six-speed automatic transmission. F1-style shift paddles are standard on the SPS tranny.
Lotus has made no mention of pricing, but we would expect a pretty reasonable increase over the hardtop model’s £52,900 starting price. Sadly, we won't be seeing the soft-top Exige S in North America.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Lotus.
HARDCORE SOFT TOP
Lotus unleashes its fastest roadster EVER: The Exige S Roadster.
More raw than a Japanese tasting menu, the Lotus Exige S Roadster combines its coupé twin’s mesmerizing grunt and handling with an open air experience that makes the driver feel all the more at one with the road.
It’s the first time an Exige model has been offered with a factory-fitted soft top roof, one which is typically lightweight and easy to put up and take down.
In true Lotus fashion the finely tuned suspension delivers a responsive ride and sublimely agile handling, whilst the supercharged 3.5 V6 engine with race-derived technologies delivers stunning performance. Reaching 100 kph from standing in a neck-snapping 4 seconds (0 - 60 mph in 3.8 seconds) and 0-160 kph (0-100 mph) in 8.5 seconds this little roadster packs a punch both on and off the track. The top speed for the Exige S Roadster is 233 kph (145 mph) and it produces just 236 g of CO2 per km.
With a targeted weight of just under 1100 kg, this is one of the lightest six-cylinder roadsters on the market by some margin.
Outside, it’s a fine balance of beauty and the beast. The drop-top adds extrovert style to the Exige’s already muscular contours, at the same time it is an elegant machine that keeps its clenched fist under wraps.
The Roadster comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, but will also be available with Lotus’ Serial Precision Shift (SPS), a paddle-operated automated manual transmission, which makes life more relaxed in the city and more F1-like when it’s let off the leash. The SPS gearbox means the driver never has to take their hands off the wheel, it prevents errors during shifting, and it is lighter and more compact than a normal torque-converter transmission.
The car comes with two different suspension settings. There’s the standard setting for an active driving experience suited to 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.
Inside, the car is a lesson in stylish minimalism and functionality. The customer can specify a comfort enhanced plush interior or go for a more stripped down, sporty option.
The car has been developed for the main markets such as Europe and Asia. The Exige S Roadster will not be available to the U.S market.
Fuel economy figures for the Exige S Roadster with manual gearbox: Urban 14.5 l/100km (19.5 mpg), Extra urban 7.6 l/100km (37.2 mpg), Combined 10.1 l/100 km (28.0 mpg). CO2 emissions for the Exige S Roadster: 236 g/km