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Lotus is getting a shot in the arm courtesy of corporate parent DRB-Hicom, which has announced a 100-million pound ($152.3M USD at today's rates) investment in the Hethel, UK-based manufacturer. The troubled brand was also in the news last week, with DRB announcing a new, three-year plan that would see variants of existing models introduced.
The money will create 100 new jobs in Hethel, with 45 new engineers, 40 manufacturing operatives and 18 university grads joining the team. Lotus has already seen an uptick in sales this year, according to a Norfolk-based news site, with 40 to 45 cars being produced per week and 722 road cars and 45 race cars sold between January and May. Even sales in the UK have seen a big jump - Lotus only moved 70 units in 2012, but it's already sold 80 cars in the first half of 2013.
Better yet, Lotus is citing an increased demand for its cars around the globe as the motive behind the new hires. While still quite uncertain, Lotus looks like it might finally be on the right track.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The first thing you need to know is that this is the Lotus Exige S Roadster, unchanged from the Exige S even in price and officially the fastest convertible Lotus has ever made. The second thing you need to know is that if you live in the US, you won't be getting this car.
Now that that's out of the way, the lack of a roof, rear wing and front splitter help make it 22 pounds lighter than the coupe, coming in a 2,565 pounds, and the supercharged 3.5-liter V6 in this topless blossom discharges 345 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. For historical comparison with a non-convertible, those numbers nearly match the 2004 Lotus Esprit V8 Final Run edition - which had twin Garrett turbochargers. Yet the Exige S gets from a stoplight to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, nearly a full second quicker than that Esprit. Fair play, though, the Esprit did weigh 3,040 pounds.
It will be fitted with a six-speed manual only, and cost 52,900 pounds ($79,667 US), 55,378 euros ($71,404 US) or 8,500,000 yen ($82,078 US), depending on where you live. Here in the US we'll be sticking with the track-only Exige V6 Cup and Cup R models. The press release below offers more on the fine points.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We haven't heard much about the Lotus Exige S Roadster since we first saw it at the Geneva Motor Show last year, but Lotus is now confirming the car will go on sale this summer. Of course, unless anything has changed since the car was introduced, Lotus' "ultimate roadster" will still not be coming to the US.
Lotus has released a new video showing its 345-horsepower roadster in action, and while it doesn't even show that much of the car, you can check out our live images of the Exige S Roadster in our gallery. The video, which looks like a knockoff of a Universal Studios movie trailer, is posted below.Permalink | Email this | Comments