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Summer arrival for Lotus Exige S Roadster

Raise the roof: The Lotus Exige S Roadster has shed 11kg from its coupe sibling.

Lotus Exige S Roadster will be fastest ever convertible from the British brand


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24 May 2013

LOTUS has lopped the roof from its Exige S coupe, making what it claims will be the fastest convertible to ever wear the famous British badge.

Despite shedding a few kilos over its recently launched coupe sibling, the Roadster – expected to arrive in Australia early next year – maintains the same blistering performance figures.

Power comes from the same Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre supercharged V6 as the coupe, and pumps out 257.5kW of power at 7000rpm and 400Nm of torque at 4500rpm.

A six-speed manual with ‘sport ratios’ will be the only gearbox available at launch, however Lotus said in a statement that an auto with paddle shifters may be an option down the track “subject to demand.” The Roadster employs a lightweight soft-top that Lotus says takes only slightly longer to open than the sportscar takes to race to 100km/h.

The British-built Roadster does the zero to 100km/h sprint in just 4.0 seconds, 0.8 seconds quicker than the Porsche 911 Carrera.

When the coupe went on sale last month for $119,990, GoAuto reported that it was the most affordable car on the market that can dash to 100km/h in around four seconds.

While Lotus is yet to release pricing for the Roadster, it is expected to gain a slight premium over the coupe.

The weight of the low-riding convertible has dropped 11kg from the coupe thanks to its lack of roof and now weighs in at just 1166kg, similar to that of the Nissan Almera light sedan.

A roof isn’t the only thing the Exige S Roadster is missing from its coupe twin. The rear spoiler has been dropped, as has the front splitter in an effort to maximize airflow with Lotus saying that the style of the soft-top has taken “an understated approach.” Lotus said that the Exige S Roadster is now available for order, however specs and pricing won’t be available until the sporty Brit arrives in Australia in the first quarter of 2014.

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