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Lotus lobs limited-run Exige Sport 410 Targa Edition

Lotus pumps up Exige Sport 410 to create Targa Edition, 5k premium adds 12k value

27 Apr 2020

LOTUS has launched a new, super limited edition Exige exclusive only to Australia and priced from $174,990 plus on-road costs, $5000 more than the regular Sport 410.


Dubbed the Sport 410 Targa Edition, the new variant is the most expensive and exclusive Exige ever to have hit Australian soil with production being limited to just 10 units.


As its nameplate suggests, the Exige Sport 410 Targa Edition is based on the regular Exige 410 Sport but adds a number of visual and functional carbon goodies to make it “immediately stand out from the crowd”.


The most obvious of these features are the carbon ‘cup style’ side air intakes and more aggressive rear wing while Targa decals scattered around the body help to reaffirm the Targa Edition’s identity, should there be any uncertainty.


Inside, the regular Sport 410’s sports seats have been replaced by full carbon-fibre racing bucket seats, behind which lays a new harness bar – a four-point harness replaces the standard seatbelt – while a fire extinguisher also comes factory fitted, “all of which make the car ready for entry-level driving at Targa”.


Despite the obvious competition focus and a myriad of extra weight saving measures – carbon-fibre front splitter, front access panel, rear boot lid and ‘ultra-lightweight’ forged alloy wheels – the Targa Edition only saves 2kg compared to its donor car (1108kg vs 1110kg) while power from the supercharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine remains unchanged at 305kW and 420Nm.


As before, drive is sent exclusively to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, with 0-100km/h being dispatched in 3.4 seconds while top speed is pegged at 280km/h – both figures exactly the same as the standard car’s.


Underneath however there have been a few subtle changes made here and there to help make the Targa Edition worthy of its name and – in theory – make it more capable than the 410 Sport.


The first port of call is the suspension, which retains the familiar three-way adjustable Nitron dampers and Eibach anti-roll bars but adds Eibach springs instead of the stock Nitron units.


Tyre choice was also revised, with the already classy Michelin Pilot Sport Cups being replaced by a set of even stickier Michelin Pilot Cup 2s.


Stopping duties are still taken care of by four-piston callipers courtesy of AP Racing though the stock discs have been upgraded to two-piece J-hook units promising “higher thermal capacity and improved bite” along with improved debris clearance and pedal feel.


To help the whole package in check, Lotus has upped the ante with the Exige’s ESP system with four driver modes – normal, sport, race and ‘TCS off’ – now on offer compared to the regular three – drive, sport and race.


Lotus Cars Australia CEO Lee Knappett said the catalyst for launching the Targa Edition was the success the Exige had enjoyed in Targa competition, having won the Australian Targa Championship back-to-back in 2018 and 2019.


“Some of our customers have been doing Targa for a long time, but our relationship with Targa at a manufacturer level really started in 2015 when we supported four cars competing in Targa High Country,” he said.


“Targa is a great fit for our customers … the Exige V6 has proven its credentials as a Targa car, so it seems fitting that it be the platform chosen for the Limited Edition.”


Last year Lotus sold 32 Exiges in Australia, accounting for more than 50 per cent of all the brand’s local sales for the year although it struggled to make an impression in the $80,000+ sportscar segment, occupying just 0.6 per cent of the market.


Through the first quarter of 2020, sales were down 40 per cent compared to the same period last year (6 units vs 10) though it managed to stay consistent within the segment, occupying 0.7 per cent of the market.


2020 Lotus Exige pricing*

Sport 350 $139,500
Sport 410 $169,990
Sport 410 Targa Edition $174,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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