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After an absence from the market place for 2 years, Lotus is reintroducing the Lotus Exige. The second generation Exige, unveiled as a world debut at the Geneva Motorshow in 2004, takes the same racecar-for-the-road philosophy and applies it to the driver of today.

The first generation Exige was introduced to the world in early 2000 as a racecar for the road. Born out of the successful Lotus Sport Elise racecar, which was campaigned throughout Europe with such success in 2000 and 2001, the Exige was hand built in low numbers for a few markets around the world. The design project, undertaken by the Lotus Design Team lead by Russell Carr, took the core values of Lotus and the first generation Exige and applied them to the 2004 Exige.

Signature racecar features such as the roof scoop, rear wing, deep front splitter and fast back roof have been carefully developed whilst new features such as the engine cover vents, side intakes and lightweight mesh grills and a unique graphic further differentiate the Exige from other products in the Lotus stable.

With phenomenal performance and handling, powered by a Toyota 1.8 litre engine, producing a maximum power output of 141 kW and 181 Nm of torque, the Exige sprints to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and 160 km/h in 13.2 seconds before reaching a top speed of 237 km

Toyota's Engine

Being a true mid-engine sports coupe, the high tech engine is located behind the cockpit and in front of the driven rear wheels. Power comes from the 2ZZ-GE 1.8 litre 4 cylinder 16-valve VVTL-i (Variable Valve Timing and Lift-Intelligent) engine linked to the C64 six-speed gearbox. The engine and gearbox combination, sourced from Toyota, was chosen as the ideal engine for the Exige and perfect for the Lotus brand philosophies.

The lightweight engine, with a compact metal matrix composite alloy cylinder block has been subject to a rigorous testing and development programme which, as part of Lotus' key federal Elise programme, has involved over half a million miles of testing in a wide range of extreme climate conditions from the Arctic Circle to the Arizona and Nevada deserts and at altitude in Colorado. This is in addition to Toyota's world renowned development and testing programme that had already been applied to the engine prior to the installation in the Exige.

To enable this class leading engine to carry the Lotus DNA, a brand new, custom-engineered Lotus T4 engine management system (EMS) has been developed. The software for the EMS was designed and developed by Lotus specifically for the Exige. This management system and the extensive calibration work ensures that the Exige has unique performance characteristics perfectly suited to the fast road and track environments.

The engine management system enables the VVTL-i system to select the optimum camshaft profile, lift and timing across the full range of engine operating conditions. This interaction between the Lotus T4 EMS and the VVTL-i system gives the Exige its optimum linear torque characteristics.

A change from the low speed cam to the high speed cam is controlled by the Lotus engine management system to achieve a smooth transition, which will not upset the balance of the car. This change occurs at around 6200 rpm, but can vary by a few hundred rpm depending on engine operating conditions. The return switching from the high speed to low speed cam occurs at 5800 rpm to extend the operating range of the engine on the high speed cam. Ths technology is the same VTEC system which has received praise on an international level.
 

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Areodynamics

Of course, the Exige isn't about straight line performance. The Exige is one of the quickest and safest cars from A to B and around a circuit. Key to this incredible performance is the aerodynamic package, which creates 41.2 kg or downforce at 160 km/h (19.3 kg front and 21.9 kg rear). This downforce ratio between front (47%) and rear (53%) is of course balanced and remains constant at the speeds of which the Exige is capable.

Thisaerodynamic package is provided through the aid of the following:

-Completely flat underside of the car - provided by the elegantly simple strong yet light extruded and bonded aluminium tub
-Black anodised rear diffuser which helps promote the venturi effect underneath the car
-Deep front splitter which sits just 108 mm from the ground whilst still maintaining the aerodynamic properties and of course the aggressive stance
-Fixed rear wing that is set at the optimum 11.5 degree angle for the best compromise between downforce and drag.

Chassis

Of course, the Exige is a Lotus and as such has a world leading chassis. Based around the revolutionary and award winning extruded and bonded aluminium tub, with lightweight steel rear subframe, used in the Elise 111R, the Exige uses stiffer Lotus Sport springs and dampers to provide minimum body roll and to exploit the exceptional level of aerodynamic performance and downforce, and the high levels of grip provided by the Yokohama A048 tyres.

Lotus ride and handling engineers worked with Yokohama to develop a bespoke A048 tyre (rated W) and annotated with LTS. These soft compound tyres were chosen to maximise grip and achieve the ride and handling targets set by Lotus.

Unique black lightweight eight-spoke wheels complete the wheel and tyre package, as if the Exige has just come off the race track; in fact it probably just did - as Lotus envisages many customers of the Exige may take part in track days, which are becoming increasingly popular around the world.

Optional Performance Pack

The Performance Pack provides the Exige with options that will appeal to the driver who enjoys spending the majority of time taking part in track days. This pack contains:

-Sports seats with the Exige Logo on the headrest
-4 point harness (dealer fit for track use only)
-Cross bar
-Acrylic capped door panels
-Carbon effect door inserts
-Twin oil coolers


Story by Group Lotus plc, edited by Supercars.net
 

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where's the CO one?

ps. I like the photo of the glass engine off the lotus site.... especially the fact that it's a running engine...

:)

Craigy
 

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Craigy said:
where's the CO one?

ps. I like the photo of the glass engine off the lotus site.... especially the fact that it's a running engine...

:)

Craigy
CO is coming... I am trying to squeeze this in around my work. :)Thanks for the link Craigy! I snatched the glass engine one also. Very cool.
 

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awesome looking. If it comes here in street legal form with sig more power than the elise, I would definitely put in an order....
 
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