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Geneva Motor Show 2012: Lotus Exige Roadster

Not as silly as it sounds. In fact far from it...

Oh my. We weren’t expecting anything too new from Lotus this week, merely a showing of the Evora GTE and the Exige S coupe. But today Lotus has unveiled the Exige S Roadster at the Geneva Motor Show, to everyone’s surprise.

Described by Lotus as “rawer than a Japanese tasting menu," the car is essentially an Elise with a bigger engine, a revised chassis and tweaked suspension. Bodywork-wise, we get the new front and rear ends of the Exige S with larger air intakes at the front and a new wider rear to accommodate the engine. But instead of the enclosed coupe roof, we get the same removable roof panels as on the Elise, with the option of a fabric roof for emergencies. Without the large spoiler and roof, the Exige Roadster looks absolutely fantastic, like a more grown up Elise with the slightly elongated wheelbase and more stylish look.

Power comes from a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine with 345 bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It can be paired to a six-speed manual or an optional Serial Precision Shift (SPS) gearbox. With the former transmission, the Roadster accelerates from 0 - 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and hits a top speed of 145 mph. In terms of efficiency, owners can expect to average 28.0 mpg UK with CO2 emissions of 236 g/km, though these figures will generally be of less importance to the buyers of a 345 bhp lightweight Roadster.

The Lotus Exige S Roadster will be available in Asia and Europe, but there are no plans to offer it in the United States. Prices haven’t been confirmed, but don’t expect to get much change from £55,000.

Images courtesy of Lotus

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more