Lotus will commence sales of the new 2010 Lotus Exige S240 in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2009, now boasting of an array of key enhancements that updates its looks while improving its aerodynamic performance.
Up front, the new 2010 Lotus Exige S240 features a restyled fascia. It now has a larger yet more angular air intake that helps push more air through the radiator for improved engine efficiency. Just opposite these front wheels and on either side of the central slit, Lotus fitted two more intakes to direct air to the twin oil coolers, which are in turned bisected by horizontal vanes for a more stable airflow and thereby increasing the engine's cooling efficiency.
Below these three new air intakes is a new aerodynamic splitter made from a lightweight composite. This new splitter has been extended to wrap around the Lotus Exige S240's entire front end. Moreover, its chiseled side lips are now made higher to deflect air around the tires, thereby reducing drag.
On the other hand, the new 2010 Lotus Exige S240 is fitted with a composite rear wing derived from the Exige GT3 road car concept unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. This new composite rear wing is around 7.1 inches wider than the tailgate mounted wing of the 2009 Lotus Exige.
Likewise, the new rear wing is mounted 1.8 inches higher and 2.4 inches further back to the rear body-shell clam using end plates that do not only make the whole structure a lot stiffer, but also ensures that as much airflow as possible flows over the rear wing. Thanks to this airflow management, the 2010 Lotus Exige S240 is now more stable and encounters less drag. Moreover, this airflow management is able to maintain a downforce figure of 93 lbs. at 100 mph.
In addition, the 2010 Lotus Exige S240 has an air-to-air intercooled supercharged 1.8 liter 2ZZ-GE engine with Intelligent Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i). This engine – sourced from Toyota but tuned by Lotus – develops up to 240hp of output at 8,000 rpm and 170 ft.-lbs. of torque at 5,500. Helped by the car's light weight (2,077 pounds), the new 2010 Exige S240 could accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and from nil to 100 mph in around 10 seconds, on the way to reaching a top speed of 150 mph.
Despite this power and speed, the new 2010 Lotus Exige S240 is as frugal as it can be when consuming fuel. Helped by an aluminum six-speed manual transmission and proprietary Lotus T4e Engine Control System that includes variable rpm cam switching, the new 2010 Lotus Exige S240 returns 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
At 133 hp per liter, the new 2010 Lotus Exige S240 stands out as being a globally emissions certified car that has one of the greatest specific power outputs. Indeed, the 2010 Lotus Exige S240 is another embodiment of Colin Chapman's philosophy of performance by reducing the weight and with the carmaker's unyielding quest for efficiency.
Amazingly, all functional components of the 2010 Lotus Exige S240 are exquisitely designed. Russell Carr, Chief of Lotus Design, quipped that the carmaker has raised the drama factor of the already “visually extreme" vehicle.
He remarked that the changes on the front and rear of the car indicate a clearer and more purposeful intent. He noted that the race-inspired functional rear wing as well as the new angular air intakes and full width splitter lend the 2010 Lotus Exige S240 with a hard-edged and imposing look.
He noted that while the new Exige S240 appears lower and wider than it is, the car remains agile and sleek. According to Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering, when the changes on the 2010 Lotus Exige S240 are taken individually, they may appear subtle.
However, in entirety, these changes significantly improve the car's aerodynamics and overall appearance. He described the Exige as a classic fit-for-purpose performance machine. Becker noted that the design changes have minimized the drag by cleaning up the airflow around the front and rear while retaining the car's balanced downforce numbers – resulting to an exciting high-adrenaline driving experience.