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2009 Tokyo Show: Lotus Exige Stealth/Scura

Sam Smithwriter

Fast is the new black.

God bless Lotus Cars. If there's one car company that we can get behind, one marque that remains gloriously true to its heritage, then Lotus is it. And while the car you see here may be the umpty-bajillionth Elise/Exige variant to hit the streets in the past decade, we're not complaining -- truth be told, we've never met a Lotus we didn't like.

The Exige Stealth isn't much more than a trim package and a set of spiffy new wheels, but that doesn't mean that we're not drooling. Matte black paint, glossy black stripes, and a seemingly endless amount of carbon-fiber trim are all standard, as is Lotus's supercharged, 260-hp four. Adjustable Ohlins dampers come along for the ride, as does traction control, launch control, and a monstrous rear wing. Lotus claims that the Stealth (the model is known as the Scura in Europe; the name is Italian for "dark") sprints to 60 mph in four seconds, weighs ten kilograms less than an ordinary Exige, and tops out at 152 mph. Just thirty-five examples will be built, and none of them are slated for our shores.