Currently reading: Frankfurt show: Lotus Exige V6
The Lotus Exige is back as a lightweight, high-performance sports car - with a V6 engine

The Lotus Exige returns at today’s Frankfurt motor show as a lightweight, high-performance supercharged V6 sports car.

Lotus promises the 1080kg, 345bhp machine will offer “raw performance, agility and unparalleled ride and handling”. Performance figures are not yet available, but the most extreme road-going Lotus yet is likely to crack the 0-100mph sprint in under 8.0sec — putting it within a second of the Ferrari 458 Italia.

The Exige has been unavailable in the UK since its previous Toyota-sourced 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine failed emissions tests. Rather than find a similar four-pot, Lotus took the opportunity to radically revise the whole car.

This new S version, complete with the Evora S’s 3.5-litre V6, will bridge the gap between Lotus’s current range and the five new cars due from 2013. They were previewed at last year’s Paris motor show. Lotus CEO Dany Bahar says the Exige S, which is noticeably larger than before, “skips a few rungs of the ladder” over the outgoing car.

The aerodynamic styling is typified by a large, fixed rear spoiler, a new front splitter and the bolder front-end looks previewed on the Paris show cars. Although not shown here, the interior, Lotus claims, has also had a major overhaul. The two specs are Premium and Premium Sport.

The Exige S features grippy Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres and a ‘Lotus Dynamic Performance Management’ system offering three driving modes: Touring, Sport and DPM Off.

Buyers can also specify a Race Pack that adds a fourth driving mode — Race — which provides “maximum possible traction out of corners”, a launch control and track-optimised suspension.

Lotus will make official fuel economy, CO2 and performance figures available by the end of the month. Customers can expect their new Exige by the end of the year, with a price that is tipped to be in excess of £40,000.

A new Elise S, replacing the SC, is also at Frankfurt motor show. It gets a new 200bhp, supercharged 1.8-litre engine with more torque and lower CO2 emissions.

Alongside the revised 2012 Evora is an IPS automatic version of the Evora S. An Elise 1.6 with an SPS robotised automated manual ‘box completes Lotus’s Frankfurt show line-up.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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