2010 Lotus Exige S unveiled in Geneva
The 79 the International Geneva Motor Show sees the introduction of the exciting new 2010 Model Year Lotus Exige S with a newly designed front end, a new rear wing and impressive emissions of just 199 g/km CO 2.
The Lotus Exige is a renowned high performance coupe that has a well earned reputation of choice for drivers who demand uncompromised performance, both on the road and on the track. Lotus has always pursued efficiency and fuel economy and for the 2010 Model Year Lotus Exige S, Lotus has reduced the emissions to only 199 g/km CO 2 and increased the fuel economy to an impressive 8.5 litres/100 km on the Official European Combined Cycle and a frugal 6.5 litres/100 km on the Official European Extra Urban Cycle.
The 2010 Model Year also sees the introduction of a few key changes to the Exige to enhance the look and improve aerodynamic performance. A restyled front end and new larger, rear wing that not only reduces drag, but also gives a more muscular stance enhancing the lightweight shrink-wrapped look of the whole car.
The composite rear wing is based on the design from the Exige GT3 road car concept shown at the Geneva Motorshow in 2007. Compared to the 2009 Model Year Exige tailgate mounted wing it is 181 mm wider and mounted 46 mm higher and 61 mm further back. It is attached to the rear bodyshell clam via rear end plates which not only increases the stiffness of the whole structure but also ensures that as much of the airflow as possible passes over the rear wing. This careful airflow management increases stability, reduces drag and, most importantly, maintains the impressive downforce figures of 42 kg at 160 km/h.
The restyled front end includes a larger, more angular air intake mouth to help funnel more air through the radiator, to improve the efficiency of the engine system. Ahead of the front wheels on either side of the main aperture, two larger air intakes increase the airflow to the twin oil coolers. Horizontal vanes bisect these oil cooler air-intakes to stabilise the airflow to further increase the cooling efficiency.
Since the Exige S2 was launched in 2004, the power has increased from 190 hp through 220 hp to 240 hp in standard road form – more for the track centric Exige Cup 260 - and the new larger air intakes improve engine cooling for these current higher powered Exige variants.
Mounted below the three new air intakes is a new aerodynamic splitter for the 2010 Model Year Exige. Made from a lightweight composite, the splitter is now extended to wrap around the whole of the front end and chiseled side lips are raised to deflect air around the tyres to reduce drag. Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive of Group Lotus plc said, “Over the years, the Lotus Exige has developed a hardcore fan base around the world and its popularity has placed it as one of the legendary sportscars of the 21 st century.
So far, over 5000 Exiges have been hand-built at our high-tech manufacturing facility making it a significant contributor to our global production. The lightweight Exige has one of the highest specific power outputs of any globally emissions certified car and 133 hp per litre is a perfect demonstration of Colin Chapman’s philosophy of performance through light weight and of Lotus’ relentless pursuit of efficiency. The same technology that makes a lightweight car a high performer also makes it efficient – how many cars have performance figures of 0 – 100 km/h in 4.77 secs but produce only 199 g/km CO 2 ?”
Like all Lotus cars, the functional components of the car are also beautifully designed as Russell Carr, Chief of Lotus Design, explains, “For 2010 we have taken the already visually extreme Exige and given it even more visual drama.
The changes we have integrated into the front and rear of the Exige signal an even clearer and purposeful intent. The purposeful rear wing is race inspired, the new angular air intakes and full width splitter gives a more hard-edged and aggressive look. Overall, the Exige appears more planted and gives the illusion that both the front and rear of the car are wider than they really are without losing its agile and lithe character.”
Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering said, “The changes we have made to the Exige for 2010 Model Year are quite subtle when taken individually, but taken as a complete package they make significant improvements to aerodynamics and the overall look of the car. The Exige is a classic fit-for-purpose performance machine, the design tweaks we have made have reduced the drag, cleaned up the airflow around the front and rear of the car, whilst retaining the impressive balanced downforce figures, to give an exciting high performance drive.”
The specification of the highly successful 2009 Model Year Exige Cup 260, unveiled at the Paris Motorshow in 2008 remains unchanged.