Buyers of the Lotus Exige can now show their support for the Lotus F1 Team, thanks to a limited-run version of the two-seat sports car. This summer, 81 copies of the Lotus Exige S will be built in LF1 trim, paying tribute to the Lotus Formula 1 Team.
The Lotus Exige LF1 is meant to commemorate the Formula 1 team's success in the 2013 championship, when it came fourth overall of 11 teams. The numbering is significant, too, as each of the 81 numbered cars pays tribute to a specific Lotus Grand Prix success: number 1 comes from the team's first-ever F1 win at Monaco in 1960, while car 81 marks Kimi Rakkonen's victory at the Australian Grand Prix in 2013.
Changes for the special-edition Lotus Exige begin with a black-and-gold paint scheme that recalls the racing team's iconic liveries, along with red accents and gold wheels. On the outside, the cars also receive unique "LF1" badges, and black-and-gold wheel center caps and nose badges. Within the small cabin, the Lotus Exige LF1 benefits from special leather upholstery with gold piping and stitching, LF1 logos embroidered into the headrests and floor mats, and a special carbon-fiber plate with the car's specific build number.
In addition, all examples of the Lotus Exige LF1 feature the Race Pack and Dynamic Performance Management system as standard, along with upgraded brakes and Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tires. As with all versions of the Lotus Exige S, the LF1 is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 rated for 345 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Given that the car weighs just 2593 pounds, it's no surprise it can rocket to 60 mph in a claimed 3.8 seconds.
Because it is aimed squarely at Formula 1 fans, the Lotus Exige LF1 also gives buyers a handful of special perks. Owners are entitled to a tour of the Lotus Cars factory and the Lotus F1 Team headquarters, discounts on Lotus merchandise, a Lotus F1 key fob and USB flash drive, and a 1:2-scale replica of driver Romain Grosjean's helmet.
Sadly, the Lotus Exige LF1 will not be sold in the U.S. market. Owing to regulatory issues, the car and its Elise sibling haven't been sold in the States since Final Edition models were offered in 2011.