Geneva Motor Show:  2010 Lotus Exige S

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2009

With the revised 2010 Exige S Lotus demonstrates its lightweight, high-efficiency ethos. The most current repeat of the British sports car takes advantage of lower carbon emissions, functional styling improvements and a some advanced additions. At its front face the Exige comes with three air vents intended to channel cool air into the radiator and double oil coolers.

On the underside, a composite front air splitter covers the whole front end equipped with chiseled lips that draw air away and around the tires.

The rear wing of the latest Exige is derived from the Exige GT3 concept unveiled in the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. Its significant size is complemented by its ability to manage airflow by increasing downforce while at the same time lowering drag coefficient.

A new high-def LCD that provides information of the different car systems are added to the instrument cluster of the 2010 model. The launch control can be programmed via the LCD message panel. The driver may dial in the revs, depress the gas pedal and sidestep the clutch. The engine maintains the revs until the clutch pedal is released.

To reduce the stress to the drivetrain, the clutch damper cushions the severity of the clutch engagement. The influence of the Exige GT3 racing program is evident in the launch control and adaptable stability control. Computer assistance can be adjusted on the fly up to 30 increments representative of the percentage of wheel spin permitted.

The stability control can be totally turned off. The Exige comes with cross drilled and ventilated brake rotors at all corners with the front coming with a diameter of 308mm with four piston AP Racing calipers. The rear comes with a diameter of 282mm and fitted with two piston Brembo calipers. Using Eibach springs with adaptable dampers and adaptable front anti-roll bar, customers can custom tailor the suspension.

Although it looks aggressive, the Exige is eco-friendly with lowered CO2 emissions and increased reaching 27.7mpg on the European total cycle. Pricing and specification have not yet been released, but for sure more details will be available once the Lotus Exige S is about to be offered for sale.

Press Release

Lotus Exige S

The Lotus Exige is a renowned high performance coupe that has a well earned reputation of choice for drivers who demand uncompromised performance, both on the road and on the track.

Lotus has always pursued efficiency and fuel economy and for the 2010 Lotus Exige S, Lotus has reduced the emissions to only 199 g/km CO2 and increased the fuel economy to an impressive 8.5 litres/100 km on the Official European Combined Cycle and a frugal 6.5 litres/100 km on the Official European Extra Urban Cycle.

The 2010 Model Year also sees the introduction of a few key changes to the Lotus Exige to enhance the look and improve aerodynamic performance.

A restyled front end and new larger, rear wing that not only reduces drag, but also gives a more muscular stance enhancing the lightweight shrink-wrapped look of the whole car.

The composite rear wing is based on the design from the Exige GT3 road car concept shown at the Geneva Motorshow in 2007. Compared to the 2009 Model Year Exige tailgate mounted wing it is 181 mm wider and mounted 46 mm higher and 61 mm further back.

It is attached to the rear bodyshell clam via rear end plates which not only increases the stiffness of the whole structure but also ensures that as much of the airflow as possible passes over the rear wing. This careful airflow management increases stability, reduces drag and, most importantly, maintains the impressive downforce figures of 42 kg at 160 km/h.

The restyled front end includes a larger, more angular air intake mouth to help funnel more air through the radiator, to improve the efficiency of the engine system. Ahead of the front wheels on either side of the main aperture, two larger air intakes increase the airflow to the twin oil coolers. Horizontal vanes bisect these oil cooler air-intakes to stabilise the airflow to further increase the cooling efficiency.

Since the Lotus Exige S2 was launched in 2004, the power has increased from 190 hp through 220 hp to 240 hp in standard road form - more for the track centric Lotus Exige Cup 260 - and the new larger air intakes improve engine cooling for these current higher powered Lotus Exige variants.

Mounted below the three new air intakes is a new aerodynamic splitter for the 2010 Lotus Exige. Made from a lightweight composite, the splitter is now extended to wrap around the whole of the front end and chiseled side lips are raised to deflect air around the tyres to reduce drag.

Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive of Group Lotus plc said, "Over the years, the Lotus Exige has developed a hardcore fan base around the world and its popularity has placed it as one of the legendary sportscars of the 21st century. So far, over 5000 Exiges have been hand-built at our high-tech manufacturing facility making it a significant contributor to our global production. The lightweight Lotus Exige has one of the highest specific power outputs of any globally emissions certified car and 133 hp per litre is a perfect demonstration of Colin Chapman's philosophy of performance through light weight and of Lotus' relentless pursuit of efficiency. The same technology that makes a lightweight car a high performer also makes it efficient - how many cars have performance figures of 0 - 100 km/h in 4.77 secs but produce only 199 g/km CO2?"

Like all Lotus cars, the functional components of the car are also beautifully designed as Russell Carr, Chief of Lotus Design, explains, "For 2010 we have taken the already visually extreme Lotus Exige and given it even more visual drama. The changes we have integrated into the front and rear of the Lotus Exige signal an even clearer and purposeful intent. The purposeful rear wing is race inspired, the new angular air intakes and full width splitter gives a more hard-edged and aggressive look. Overall, the Lotus Exige appears more planted and gives the illusion that both the front and rear of the car are wider than they really are without losing its agile and lithe character."

Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering said, "The changes we have made to the Lotus Exige for 2010 Model Year are quite subtle when taken individually, but taken as a complete package they make significant improvements to aerodynamics and the overall look of the car. The Exige is a classic fit-for-purpose performance machine, the design tweaks we have made have reduced the drag, cleaned up the airflow around the front and rear of the car, whilst retaining the impressive balanced downforce figures, to give an exciting high performance drive."

The specification of the highly successful 2009 Model Year Exige Cup 260, unveiled at the Paris Motorshow in 2008 remains unchanged.

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