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First look: Lotus Exige gets race-ready

Extreme: Just-for-Oz Lotus Exige Sport 240 gets a limited-slip diff.

Lotus develops a race-ready Exige, dubbed the Sport 240, especially for Australia

28 Aug 2007

LOTUS has created a special extreme Exige exclusively for Australia – the Sport 240 – and will use Sydney's Australian International Motor Show in October for the race-ready sportscar’s world debut. Just six units of the exclusive Exige Sport 240 will be imported to Australia, becoming the most expensive Lotus in the current line-up with pricing from $149,990 – $35,000 above the Exige S upon which the Sport 240 is based. Like the Exige S, the Sport 240 uses a Toyota-sourced 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine fitted with a supercharger. However, the 240 delivers 179kW (240 horsepower, hence the name), which is a 10 per cent improvement over the Exige S thanks to a redesigned engine management system. Torque is also up 15Nm to 230Nm.

The revised engine is paired with a six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox, which has a heavy-duty clutch and pressure plate to handle the increased output.

The 240 will also become also the first Lotus sold in Australia to run a torque-sensing limited-slip differential as standard equipment for ultimate cornering traction.

Another exclusive feature of the Exige Sport 240 is driver-controlled traction control, which was developed in the Lotus Sport UK GT3 motorsport program. This system allows the driver to select the level of traction control they require from 18 pre-set levels, giving them precise control over the level of electronic assistance given.

The handling device also includes a launch-control function. Using this, the Exige Sport 240 can rush from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds, which is a whisker (0.1 seconds) faster than the Exige S. It takes just 9.9 seconds for the Sport 240 model to run from 0-160km/h, on to a top speed of 249km/h.

57 center imageThe special Exige has more potent four-piston AP brake callipers for the front and single piston Brembo callipers for the rear, using 308mm and 288mm rotors respectively. It has adjustable suspension dampers and an adjustable front sway bar and comes standard with OZ five-spoke forged alloy wheels.

It can also be identified as having a roof mounted intercooler scoop that sits above the windscreen. The standard Exige S model has an intercooler scoop, but it sits further back on the roof.

Exige Sport 240 comes standard with sound insulation, special black leather sports seats (with orange stitching) and air-conditioning – never a given in a Lotus sportscar, but which in this case adds just 15kg to the car and has been tuned to switch off under hard acceleration.

Lotus Cars Australia sales and marketing manager Jonathan Stretton said the company was proud to have an Australia-only Exige model.

“Cars like the Exige Sport 240 show our passion and commitment to the Australian market,” Mr Stretton said, adding that the vehicle was a great example of customising a model to suit specific requirements.

“We have worked with the Lotus factory in the UK to select specific styling and performance parts based on what we know will improve performance, but also taking into account customer feedback and current trends in this market,” he said.

Read more:

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