Go on, stare. You know you want to. After all, it’s obvious, isn’t it? I mean, that is one striking change. Women are going to swoon. Even little girls could spot this one from a mile away. What’s that? You don’t see it? What are you, some kind of heathen?
Of course it makes a difference. Why, it’s on the new Lotus Exige S 240. There’s twenty new horsepower in there. The front brakes are bigger, too – AP Racing four-piston calipers – and you get a heavy-duty clutch without even asking. Two hundred and forty ponies churn those rear wheels into a frenzy, compared with the Exige S’s 220 hp. (That’s where they get the name, see: Exige S 240.) Torque jumps by an unfathomable 5 lb-ft. (Go ahead. Try to remember the last time you weren’t impressed by 5 lb-ft. I dare you.)
Here’s the kicker: That little styling doodad you’re staring at? It’s mostly responsible for the power bump. (OK, so you also get an engine management remap and higher-flow fuel injectors. But you can’t see those from the curb.) Sure, you’ll pay four grand on top of an ordinary Exige S for the privilege, but at an abominable 4.1 seconds to 60 mph, that car couldn’t outrun a dead walrus.
You wanna know how the 240 drives? I’ll tell you how it drives: Like buttah. Better than that dog’s-breakfast Exige S by leaps and bounds. Granted, you don’t get any extra grip compared with the Exige S. Steering feel is unchanged. The interior is no different. And braking is only marginally improved. But you’re definitely more than a few tenths quicker on the lap-time sheet (traction control, newly adjustable from zero to ten percent slip, helps), and if that doesn’t drive the kiddies wild, lord knows what will.
What’s that? You still don’t see it? What’s wrong with you? I mean, how could you miss the roof-mounted intercooler scoop, the one that’s been extended by mere inches? It’s a totally different car!