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Lotus reveals F1 tribute act

Black gold: The Exige LF1 will wear the same colours as the liveries of the Lotus F1 cars of the 1970s and ’80s.

Lotus is set to celebrate its F1 success with the special edition Exige LF1

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Lotus logo10 Jun 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

LOTUS is releasing a limited edition Exige S to commemorate its Formula One Grand Prix wins and it is set to arrive in Australia by Christmas, with a price tag lower than many other global markets.

Lotus Australia and New Zealand brand manager Alastair Manihera said the Australian price for the Exige LF1 may be one of the lowest in the world thanks to the country’s super crowded marketplace.

“We’re very competitive compared to global markets purely because of the local competition – obviously having so many brands in such a small market relatively speaking, but obviously everybody is very competitive so we need to maintain an enticing price point for the market,” he said.

As for the Exige LF1’s arrival and pricing Mr Manihera said it is definitely coming to Australia but the final price and launch date are yet to be confirmed.

“Well put our hands up for the car,” he said.

“We’re very keen to get it into the country but they will be hard to get. There’s a lot of markets which are very keen on getting the car. I would hope that we would start to see them before the end of the year, but that really depends on how quickly the factory can produce the cars.

“As for the price it wouldn’t be anything less than the current car, which is $126,990 plus on roads.”

The Lotus Exige LF1 is painted gold and black with red accents in tribute to the Lotus F1 liveries of the 1970s and ’80s, while the 17-inch wheels on the front and 18-inch hoops on the back also gain the gold treatment.

Each example of the LF1 will be individually numbered and have its own carbon-fibre build plate.

The cars will also be decked out with extras including the Exige Race Pack which brings with it a performance management system, high performance brake discs and Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tyres.

Behind the driver will be the same engine also used in the regular Exige S – a 258kW/400Nm 3.5-litre supercharged V6.

Just 81 of the Exige LF1s will be made to celebrate the 81 Lotus victories in the Formula 1 series over the years.

The cars will also each be assigned a win, with No.1 commemorating Lotus’s first Grand Prix win in Monaco in 1960 and the final one, No.81, will recognise Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in Australia last year.

Mr Manihera said he saw the Exige LF1 recently in the United Kingdom and added that it is a fitting tribute to the iconic brand’s performance and racing history.

“It looks absolutely fantastic – it’s sensational,” he said. “I guess the most important thing is that it embodies the Lotus traditional brand values – performance, lightweight and I guess dynamics as well. But it also reminds us of Lotus’s extraordinary track record.”

Lotus currently has six models on sale in the Australian market – the Lotus Elise, Elise S, Exige S Coupe, Exige S Roadster, Evora and Evora S, with the Proton-owned sportscar-maker selling 28 units in the first five months of this year compared to 27 sales during the same period in 2013.

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