To clarify, this is a standard production Exige that has a Exige GT3 aftermarket body conversion. The wheels are indeed Team Dynamics, which are needed to minimize the wider track of the wider body.
The Exige V6 that is just coming out was originally planned back in 2007 except then it was being designed to look fairly different that what has managed to be produced (more on that in a minute).
Back in 2007 the concept replacement of the Sport/Cup 260 was shown as the Exige GT3 - a moniker once planned for a Sport/Cup 260 variant. The Sport/Cup 260 at that time had not even been produced but the plan at that time, recognizing that the supply of 2ZZ engines was limited, that the production run would go 260 from 2008/9 through 2010/11 with GT3 bodywork showing in 2010 and V6 in 2012. The GT3 has the same rear sub frame Sport/Cup 260's have which is different than other Exiges (190 - 240hp and earlier CUP versions).
The GT3 design was an aggressive, wider evolution of the original S2 design intended to ultimately house the next generation engine - the V6. At the original time of planning, there was more than adequate preperation being considered to make the car compliant with North American guidelines. The same bumper scheme used on late 07+ Elise/Exiges would have been able to have been continued on this design.
The whole plan was scrapped by new management when Bahar and company arrived in 2009. Hence the sad 2010 Exige redesign of a model that would only be around for 2 model years. It was only an attempt to replace the planned GT3 body. In the mean time effort and concentration was diverted to the Paris 5 cars to preview Lotus's new direction which would not have included a new Exige at all. The V6 would have only been available in the Evora and at that time thought to have transferred to the new Elan (which originally was supposed to replace the Evora).
As we now know, that strategy didn't work out so well. Lotus's sales didn't sustain the debt and cost of the new racing and production endeavors. Add some lawsuits in the mix and the funds available and viability of the Paris 5 plan evolved - or rather had to be compromised.
When the GT3 project was shelved, some engineers persisted with a type of skunkworks. Very little work continued but it was mostly all engineering related. There was little likelihood the V6 Exige concept would have been possible without funds. As things continued down the spiral at Lotus, a business case was presented to take existing technology (requiring minimal investment) and supplant Exige discontinuation in 2011 with the V6. Because Bahar and management was not looking to cater to Lotus's former customers any longer and simply because there was no money available to invest, a very limited budget was afforded. Management felt that since they were told a lot of engineering work had already been developed and tested, that most of the money should go to design to keep the Exige in line with the new design theme. The GT3 was considered part of the old regimes design which wasn't 3D enough. Coco went to work and in a short time came up with the design we now have as the Exige V6. Problem is, Coco's design - particularly that back bumper and crash structure do not make the car North American compliant. The rear bumper is a hunk of fiberglass all one piece of the rear clam. Coco knew this and the management team cared less - never intending to sell the new Exige V6 in North America.
The molds for the GT3 were put up for sale by Lotus on eBay. Ultimately they were purchased and are now being replicated and sold as kits by a shop in the UK by Zaris Composites (ZARIS COMPOSITES
). George, with Zaris, is often on the other Lotus sites and has performed several conversions already.
The GT3 conversion is not a straitforward clam swap. A wider front and rear track (about 160mm wider at the rear) are produced from the wider bodywork (with completely different mounting points). Spacers and/or wider wheels are needed to offset. The crashbox needs to be altered to accomodate the front clam. You will notice the lower part of the grill is often removed to enable the splitter to fit - that is because of the crashbox changes needed.
Because this bodywork wasn't designed for the standard Exige rear subframe the most complicated part of the conversion is the boot and getting everything to finish properly. Other expected finishing changes are needed to make seams and openings line up properly with existing bodywork (like the doors).
The original GT3 bodywork is also very thin - much thinner than the production Exige. Zaris will make the kit to the standard thickness for a street version if needed.
Because the kit has a one piece front clam (just like the GT3 show car) there is no access to the brake reservoir and washer bottles. Either a quick remove kit (like the GT3 show car) or a modification needs to be made create an access panel.
After the cosmetics, if someone is still inclined to swap the original 2ZZ for a V6, there still is a considerable amount of engineering that went into fine tuning and making the V6 work with the Exige that the bodywork doesn't address. The suspension of a V6, brakes, sub frame, wheelbase adjustments, cooling requirements and more importantly the Bosche system developed to actually make the power usable - will require more effort to substitute.
Sadly - if Bahar and company didn't come into Lotus, we would have had this in production by now and it would have even been sold and street legal in North America...imagine...