New Lotus Exige S Roadster

The current Lotus Exige with its 3.5-litre V6 motor from the Evora has gained great attention for Lotus, so the 2012 Geneva Motor show sees the unveil of the roadster version. If you can find it among the dozen other models on the stand!

Lotus is in a bit of a spot because many of the Toyota engines it has relied upon for years no longer comply with the latest regulations. So this Evora is a sort of stop-gap roadster, though a thoroughly welcome one.

With a big, supercharged V6 in a car as tiny as the Exige, there's no questioning this is going to be a hoot to drive. We've always preferred our small Lotuses in roadster form because the noise stays out of the cabin with the roof down.

Reaching 100km/h from rest in a neck-snapping 4.0 seconds and 160km/h is just 8.5 seconds, this Exige Roadster is certainly quick. It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, but will also be available with Lotus' Serial Precision Shift (SPS), a paddle-operated automated manual transmission.

But beneath the hype this is, after all, a Lotus Elise with some subtle modifications and new running gear. The additional weight worries us a bit because it distances Lotus from its ethos of "adding lightness" that makes the cars such fun.

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