This open-top sports car, set to make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, is what Lotus calls its fastest roadster ever. The Exige S roadster simply chops the roof off the Exige S coupe that debuted at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
The car looks mostly identical to the Exige S that bowed in Frankfurt, albeit with a gap in the roof that can be fitted with a removable fabric top. The Exige S roadster represents the first time that the Lotus Exige has been offered without a roof from the factory. Of course, Lotus fanatics may balk at the idea of an Exige roadster because the Exige was originally launched as a hardtop companion to the Elise roadster… still with us?
As in the hardtop Exige S, power comes from a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 with 345 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A traditional six-speed manual gearbox is standard, while the Serial Precision Shift automated manual (which has steering wheel-mounted paddles) is optional. Because the Exige S roadster weighs less than 2420 pounds, Lotus says the car will reach 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 145 mph.
Lotus says “this little roadster packs a punch both on and off the track” and is “more raw than a Japanese tasting menu” — whatever that might mean.
Customers who order the Exige S roadster can pick from several ways to configure the car. There are comfort options to dress-up the cabin, and also performance parts like the Race Pack that includes stiffer suspension and launch control.
Lotus has developed the Exige S roadster for sale in Europe and Asia, but not the U.S. as the Exige and Elise are no longer sold on our shores. The new model should go on sale abroad later this year.
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