Race-spec wide-body Lotus should be here by the end of 2007
9 March 2007

Here’s one Lotus that won’t remain a concept very long. The superb wide-bodied and race-styled Exige GT3 ‘concept’ draws suspension spec and styling cues from Lotus’s high-achieving 2006 race cars. The special race-derived body features scoops, wings and exaggerated arches to house 10-inch wide rear rubber. There is also a one-piece front body clamshell, and lightweight five-spoke wheels.Acceleration from 0-60mph takes just 3.9 seconds, and the car can top 160mph. Best of all, the GT3 can be road-registered and will be priced between £50,000 and £60,000.The GT3 will be built by Lotus’s own race engineers; the same people who are at present preparing this year’s GT championship track cars. Power comes from a 271bhp, Lotus-tuned version of the ubiquitous 1.8-litre Elise/Exige Toyota engine. Torque (190lb ft at 7000rpm) is electronically governed and fed through a race-style clutch to a lightweight, close-ratio six-speed gearbox. The front discs and brake pads are both upgraded to near-race spec, and the car has a switchable traction control system. There’s no word yet on a launch date, but we’d be surprised if it doesn’t make it to reality by the end of 2007. Here's hoping.

Steve Cropley

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