Lotus is working on a fresh revisions to the Elise and Exige — and they could include a V6 powerplant, judging by the exhaust note of this test hack spied close to the firm’s Norfolk base.

This Exige has widened wheel arches and increased cooling. Our spies reported that its engine sounded the same as those of nearby Evoras, suggesting that it has six cylinders.

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The Evora’s Toyota-sourced V6 powerplant would add bulk to the Exige, potentially raising its weight beyond the 1000kg level. But it would also offer more power and torque than the car’s current four-cylinder powerplant. Even the hardcore Exige S has 257bhp and 174lb ft; in the Evora the V6 produces 276bhp and 258lb ft.

The Exige V6 was first mooted late last autumn, but management changes at Lotus are said to have put the project on hold until a fresh, more comprehensive business plan for the model could be compiled. The fact that this car has been seen in the last fortnight appear to indicate that development has now been signed off.

This test car also shows that Lotus is considering chassis tweaks to the Exige; the wheelarches have allowed a modest increase in track, and the rear wheels appear to be sitting slightly further back in the chassis, suggesting a longer wheelbase.

John McIlroy

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