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2012 Lotus Exige S and Exige R-GT debut in Frankfurt [video]

Both cars are powered by a 3.5 liter supercharged V6

Lotus has brought the heavily facelifted 2012 Lotus Exige S and Exige R-GT to the Frankfurt motor show.

Validating previous reports, the 2012 Lotus Exige S is powered by a 3.5 liter supercharged V6 (Evora S) unit doling out 350 PS (257 kW / 345 hp) which makes for a healthy power-to-weight ratio given the 1080 kg (2376 lbs) chassis.

On the outside the Exige facelift consists of a newly styled one piece bumper/bonnet clip along with new headlamps. The rear is also heavily restyled with a recessed rear body panel with built in lid spoiler, large bolt-on wing and lower diffuser.

The new Lotus Exige S will be offered with two options packages - Premium and Premium Sport - and three drive modes: Touring, Sport and DPM off. A fourth drive mode, Race, can be had as part of the Rack Pack option.

The 2012 Exige R-GT features the same power plant but with changes to the gearbox and restrictions placed on the engine in order to control output and meet FIA GT requirements.

The car is made to race in the newly formed FIA GT category of the FIA Rally Championship asphalt series which includes Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse and San Remo.

Source: Lotus

Group Lotus unveil the next generation Exige at Frankfurt

1080kg Lightweight Exige Chassis

+ 350 PS 3.5l V6 Supercharged Evora S Engine = The all NEW Exige S

Raw performance, agility, unparalleled ride and handling and mind blowing drive experience, these attributes are what people have come to expect from Lotus. And we don't like to disappoint. After months of media speculation Group Lotus is proud to announce the latest addition to the family: the extraordinary new Exige S, the ultimate lightweight high performance sportscar.

Alongside the staggering power to weight ratio, the Exige S has a completely new exterior and interior look and feel. The dramatic styling overhaul sees a completely new look for the Exige including a new front splitter and rear spoiler giving it a strong and aerodynamic profile.

There are two new interior package options available: Premium and Premium Sport. The Premium Pack provides added comfort and style where as the Premium Sport option focuses on creating an internal space optimised for ultimate driver involvement.

Built for the adrenalin hungry sportscar aficionado, the Exige S features high performance bespoke tyre package with Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres as standard. A Lotus DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) switch allows the driver to switch between three driving modes: Touring, Sport and DPM off.

And if three dynamic settings are not enough, an additional Race Pack option is available which adds a fourth driving mode setting: Race. This setting provides the maximum possible traction out of corners. The Race Pack also features Launch Control and an optimised suspension setting making the car perfect for letting rip on the track.

Commenting on the Exige S, Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar said: "Anyone who has ever driven an Exige will tell you that it's not for the faint-hearted. The new Exige S skips a few rungs on the ladder to give the driver the ultimate Lotus experience. Quite simply you can't get more Lotus than the Exige S."

Exige R-GT: What better way to demonstrate Lotus' superior ride and handling than by re-entering the adrenaline filled Rally Championships? Showcasing the new Exige S' phenomenal performance, the Exige R-GT will participate in the newly formed FIA GT category of the FIA Rally Championship on asphalt in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse and San Remo.

Powered by the same V6 3.5 litre engine as the new road Exige, significant changes have been made to the gearbox and the restrictors on the engine in order to control the power. Lotus will initially partner with several customer teams following the tried and tested method in which Lotus entered IndyCar and returned to Le Mans.

For Group Lotus' Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro the return to rally has an extra special meaning: "My motorsport career started in rally, in fact, I even took part in the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus' Italian Rally championship winning a race in San Marino back in 1981 so this is a very nostalgic moment for me. As we unveiled the car in Frankfurt, alongside the original championship winning car, I had the chance to get back inside and the smell was exactly the same - it brought back many happy memories for me."

"With the new R-GT rules in rally, it's a very interesting time for us to return to the sport. Naturally our approach this time around will be different to when we won the championship three decades ago, but I think our philosophy is definitely the same, we want to compete and ultimately we want to win. Our new rally car, the Exige R-GT is a dream come true for those who are passionate about GT racing - this will be their car."

The beauty of the Exige R-GT is that although it's a professionally set up race car, you don't need to be a pro to drive it - the race car has been developed alongside the road car allowing the technical team to create the perfect race machine, high performance but without losing the sense of fun to drive and ease of use. Developing the race version of the Exige in parallel with the road car has allowed the Lotus technicians to make rapid advances in terms of safety and reliability.

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Comments (6)

 ShinyG ShinyG
It was a matter of time before Lotus gave up good taste and started using the same chrome/black y-shaped 5 spoked wheels every tuner seems to think is "sporty"! For ricers it was stickers that added horsepower. Now it seems chrome/black makes your wheels lighter or something, as it seems most concept cars and sports cars are using them. My guess is that there's a factory in China selling them in bulk... I think they're hideous, they all look the same and they do nothing to add character to modern cars, most of them which are already lacking character!
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September 15, 2011 4:21 am
 Rogue007 Rogue007
Looks good. But why are they using Earnhardt's number 3?
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September 14, 2011 3:05 pm
 loki loki
'Love that backend!
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September 14, 2011 2:35 pm
 N20_Purge N20_Purge
That looks brilliant! Makes the Elise look quite tame.
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September 14, 2011 12:05 pm
 DdW DdW
Certainly a racy looker! Subtle touches abound the exterior.
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September 14, 2011 10:57 am