First Look: 2010 Lotus Exige Stealth

A new limited-edition Lotus Exige may be a certainty, but its nomenclature is anything but.

Lotus used the 2009 Tokyo motor show to unveil the Exige Scura. Still, that moniker will only be applied to cars sold in Europe, Australia, and other select countries. Those sold in Japan, however, will wear nameplates reading “Exige Stealth.” We’ve yet to hear an official explanation from Lotus as to the name game, but our best guess is scura — Italian for “black” — is too close to shura — Japanese for “a scene of carnage.”

Such a violent translation may worry corporate lawyers and product planners alike, but it does adequately describe the car’s performance. Lotus hasn’t tweaked the powertrain for the Scura/Stealth, but it still packs a 253-hp, supercharged 1.8-liter I-4 into a car weighing 2020 lbs, allowing a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds. If that’s not carnage, we don’t know what is.

For the most part, the Scura/Stealth is simply an S260 with a paint job that would make Bruce Wayne proud. Lotus is quite proud of the matte black paint liberally applied to the car’s exterior — unlike other matte finishes, this one has a rubberized “soft-touch” feel, which reportedly helps prevent chipping and scratching. The finish is highlighted by three stripes painted in a glossy “phantom black,” along with wheels finished in a similar hue.

Lotus plans on building only 35 examples of the blacked-out Exige, but it won’t bring the car — be it the Scura or Stealth — to North America.

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