New models - Lotus - Exige
Lotus details its Final Edition Elise and Evora line-up
Lotus ups the ante in every way for Final Editions of Elise and Exige sportscars
9 Feb 2021
THE end is near for Lotus’ current sportscar portfolio after the British brand this week revealed the Final Edition versions of its Elise and Exige models, 80 of which are due to arrive here later in the year offering increased performance, more visual flair and added exclusivity.
Set to be built in limited numbers, the Final Edition series will consist of five different variants – two Elises and thee Exiges – with the local allocation split reportedly to be confirmed in coming weeks.
Described by Lotus as being the “pinnacle” of the Elise and Exige model lines, the Final Edition line-up consists of the Elise Sport 240, Elise Cup 250, Exige Sport 390, Exige Sport 420 and Exige Cup 430, all of which have upped the ante compared to their predecessors.
In the case of the series-opening Elise Sport 240, 240 horsepower equates to 179kW while torque from the supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine is rated at 244Nm.
Priced from $97,990 plus on-road costs, drive is sent to exclusively to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with 0-100km/h dealt with in 4.5 seconds while the top speed is pegged at 245km/h.
Weighing in at just 922kg, the Elise Sport 240 rolls on staggered 10-spoke Anthracite forged alloy wheels (16-inch front, 17-inch rear) shod with Yokohama V105 tyres with the weight able to be reduced down to 898kg when fitted with a myriad of optional carbon body panels.
Standard equipment includes a new digital instrument cluster, Final Edition build plaque and exterior decals, new flat-bottom leather and Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, new seat trim and unique seat stitching.
Carrying a $12,000 premium over the Sport 240, the Cup 250 ($109,990) does not add any extra creature comforts to the equation, but it does add an extra 4kW and a heap more go-faster gear including an aggressive aero kit, Bilstein suspension, adjustable sway bars and grippier tyres.
With the extra aero bits, Lotus says the Elise Cup 250 generates 66kg of downforce at 160km/h and 155kg at its 248km/h top speed with 0-100km/h taking 4.3 seconds.
As ever, stepping up to the Exige range not only brings a significant increase in power and performance but price too; with the Sport 390 opening things up from $149,950.
Residing under the bonnet of the Sport 390 is the familiar supercharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine tuned in this case to produce 296kW/420Nm, all of which is still sent to the rear wheels.
A six-speed manual is the only transmission choice.
Weighing in at 1138kg, the Exige Sport 390 dispatches 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds and will push onto a top speed of 277km/h.
All of those figures – besides the weight – are increased in the Sport 420 which screws an extra 17kW/5Nm out of the force-fed V6 to boost the outputs to 313kW/427Nm.
Checking in from $169,990, the Sport 420 shaves three tenths off the Sport 390’s 0-100km/h time to stop the clock in 3.4s and extend the top speed up to 290km/h.
Doing more than just upping the performance ante, the extra outlay also nets the buyer a heap of chassis improvements including adjustable front and rear Eibach anti-roll bars, three-way adjustable Nitron dampers and AP Racing brakes.
The tyres are stepped up from Sport 390’s Michelin Pilot Sport 4s to Pilot Sport Cup 2s in the name of enhanced cornering grip while the kerb weight has been reduced to 1110kg.
Finally at the top of the range sits the $209,990 Cup 430 which turns everything previously mentioned up to 11.
In this guise, the blown V6 produces 321kW/440Nm which combines with the 1098kg kerb weight to stop the 0-100km/h clock in 3.3s.
Thanks to its more radical aero kit, the Cup 430’s top speed is actually 10km/h lower (280km/h) than the Sport 420’s however it generates more downforce at all speeds.
Carbon-fibre has been used for the front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, enlarged air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and the rear wing.
While the underpinnings are for the most part the same as the Sport 420’s – save for the revised steering arm geometry – the Cup 430 has been fitted with an advanced six-way traction control system to help it extract maximum performance out of both the tyres and engine.
A titanium exhaust system also ups the aural stakes, even if the power gain is marginal.
According to Lotus Cars Australia CEO Lee Knappett, the brand is expecting local demand for the Final Editions to be strong.
“Since the end of production announcement in January, we’ve started receiving enquiries to secure build slots,” he said.
Lotus did not sell a single vehicle in January however it did manage to chalk up 59 sales last year, the vast majority of which (38) were accounted for by the Exige.
2021 Lotus Elise pricing*
2021 Lotus Exige pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs
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