2006 Lotus Exige S

AUTOMOTIVE >> AUTO NEWS >>   2006 Lotus Exige S

2006 Lotus Exige S

Lotus Cars, 10 Feb 2006

2006 Lotus Exige S

2006 Lotus Exige S

Lotus Exige S

Exige S Lotus

Click images to enlarge.

The Lotus Exige S breathtaking performance from thefastest accelerating Lotus ever. The Lotus Exige S giving a zero to 100 km/h time ofjust 4.3 seconds (0 – 60 mph in 4.1 seconds).

The Lotus Exige S – breathtaking performance from thefastest accelerating Lotus ever to come off the production lineSummary

A small lightweight sportscar weighing just 935 kg (2057 lbs), powered by a 162.5 kW(218 hp, 221 PS) high revving supercharged engine, giving a zero to 100 km/h time ofjust 4.3 seconds (0 – 60 mph in 4.1 seconds). It comes straight off the production lineand isn't an “aftermarket special”.

Is this the quickest ever real-world production car?

It is certainly the quickest Lotus production car - so far!
The Lotus Exige S is the latest addition to the Exige range and is a real sportscar thatredefines the term “Extreme Performance”. With 90.5 kW / litre (121.4 hp / litre, 123 PS / litre),it is one of most powerful production cars in the world for its engine size but most importantly ithas full type approval for all the markets in which it will be sold. The Lotus Exige S is not alimited edition, nor is it an aftermarket special – it is manufactured from start to finish in theworld leading and award winning Lotus Manufacturing facility at Hethel, Norfolk.Because the basic car is so immensely strong but lightweight (935 kg, 2057 lbs), giving apower to weight ratio of 173.8 kW/tonne (233.2 hp/tonne, 236.4 PS/tonne), performance isphenomenal, with 100 km/h being reached from a standing start in 4.3 seconds (0 – 60 mph in4.1 seconds) and 160 km/h (100 mph) being reached in 9.98 seconds (estimate) beforetopping out at 238 km/h (148 mph). Inspite of this phenomenal performance the fuel economyis impressive with an official combined figure of 9.1 litres / 100 km (31.0 mpg) - extra urban isan impressive 7.2 litres / 100 km (39.2 mpg). Lotus believes that there is no car on saleanywhere in the world that has such good performance combined with such good fueleconomy! Not that many customers will be buying this car principally for its fuel economy!!

Being a Lotus, straight-line performance is not the most important factor, but every day drivingon normal roads, or around a circuit is. There are very few cars on sale today that can matchthe speed, agility and safety of the Exige S in both day to day and track or circuit driving.However the Exige S is not just a track day warrior. It is a sportscar that would be at home onthe back roads, freeways and autobahns, as well as on city streets. With an extremely"torquey" engine and the classic Lotus suspension set-up of soft compliant springs and firmcontrollable dampers, the driving experience is an uncanny combination of telepathic-likehandling with a taught and comfortable ride. There is really no car that handles quite like aLotus.

Clive Dopson, Managing Director of Lotus Cars says, “The Exige S represents the ultimate“extreme” production Lotus, with performance that trumps other supercars costing twice oreven three times as much. That it does so with the fuel economy of a family hatchback, standsas a testament to the Lotus concept of performance through light weight. Its an unbeatablepackage and an unbeatable drive.”

The Lotus Exige S in more detail

The Driving Experience

For what is probably the quickest “real world” production car, the driving experience has to bepretty special. The lightweight composite seats with ProBax technology hug the driver andpassenger giving the right amount of support and security to cope with acceleration, brakingand cornering forces of well over 1g. The steering wheel is a small off-centre leather clad unit(both the airbag wheel and the non-airbag wheel) and is set in just the right position forcomfort, driver dexterity and feedback. The gear stick is located just 15 cm (6 inches) from thesteering wheel for quick, accurate and safe gear changes and the lightweight steel andaluminium pedals are located in just the right position for heel and toeing. The Lotus Exige Sdoesn't have a multitude of user adjustment to the wheel or seat position – Lotus believes thatthe driving position is pretty close to perfect anyway!

What does acceleration feel like in a Lotus Exige S? First of all the feeling of acceleration ismildly addictive. Few vehicles, aside from racing cars, motorbikes and extreme theme-parkrides, can pull this amount of g-force under acceleration, braking and cornering. This gives asafe, but fun (even exhilarating) experience that you can only get from such a finely honedsportscar.

The Engine

The heart of the Exige S is a Roots-type supercharger and air to air intercooler attached to thetried and tested 4-cylinder, 1.8 litre 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine. Using a development of thesupercharger and intercooler package developed first for the already legendary Lotus SportExige 240R, the Exige S has peak power of 162.5 kW (221 PS, 218 hp) at 7800 rpm, 215 Nm(158.6 lb ft) of torque at 5500 rpm (but 80% is produced at just over 2000 rpm). Maximumengine speed is 8000 rpm (8500 rpm transient for up to 2 seconds). 162.5 kW (218 hp, 221PS) is the figure that has been achieved by Lotus Engineers whilst retaining full vehicle typeapproval for the markets in which it is sold.
A slightly redesigned air intake and roof scoop has been added to the Exige S to ensure thatthe air to air intercooler works as efficiently and effectively as possible in all climates andenvironments.
A single oval exhaust exits from the centre of the undertray.

Aerodynamics is the key

The Lotus Exige S uses the same aerodynamic package as the standard Exige. Like all Lotuscars, the Lotus Exige S isn't all about straight-line performance.The Lotus Exige S is one of the quickest cars on normal roads and also around a circuit. Keyto this incredible performance is the aerodynamic package, which creates 41.2 kg (90.64 lbs)of downforce - 19.3 kg (42.46 lbs) at the front and 21.9 kg (48.18 lbs) at the rear - at 160 km/h(100 mph). This downforce ratio between front (47%) and rear (53%) is balanced and remainsconstant at the speeds of which the Exige S is capable.

This class leading aerodynamic package is provided through the contribution of the followingcomponents:
  • Completely flat underside of the car – provided by the elegantly simple, strong yetlight weight extruded and bonded aluminium tub· Anodised rear diffuser which helps promote the “Venturi effect” underneath the car
  • Deep front splitter, which sits just 108 mm (4.3 inches) from the ground (giving justenough ramp angle clearance) whilst still maintaining the aerodynamic propertiesand, of course, the aggressive stance.
  • Fixed rear wing that is set at the optimum 11.5 degree angle for the best compromisebetween downforce and drag.

The Legendary Chassis and Body

The Lotus Exige S is built around the revolutionary and award winning extruded and bondedaluminium tub, with a light weight steel rear subframe, as used in the Exige. The chassis tubitself weighs just 68 kg (150 lbs) and has a stiffness of 10,500 Nm per degree.The body of the Lotus Exige S remains unchanged from the Exige, as it is already a winningformula that is both effective and stunning to look at.However, the key body components of the rear wing, front splitter and side air intakes arebody colour coded to differentiate it from its naturally aspirated cousin.

Closely Related to the Lotus Sport Exige GT3.

At the end of 2005, Lotus developed and built the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 to suit the new FIAGT3 sportscar championship regulations. Weighing in at just 750 kg and producing around285 hp, the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 is suitable for this new power to weight ratio racing.The Lotus Sport Exige GT3 also uses a Roots type supercharger, an air-to-air intercooler (bothare race prepared) and the 1.8 2ZZ-GE VVTL-I engine. The base engine and superchargersystem is identical in the Lotus Exige S.

So with the Exige S acting as the base, a competitive GT3 sportscar has been successfullydeveloped!

Engine Down-Sizing is key to the Exige S

One of the key demands of the automotive industry is to produce engines with not only lowemissions and good fuel economy but also extremely good performance. These two demandsfor performance and economy are not normally compatible unless there is a significant changein the engine development strategy.

Lotus Engineering's Powertrain Division, has been conducting extensive research into “enginedownsizing”. Engine downsizing is the concept of using advanced technologies to enable asmall engine to produce the power and torque of a much larger engine, with the obviousreduction in weight, fuel consumption and emissions.Lotus has recognised that there are changing market and legislative demands in this area, andhas developed a solution to the problem: supercharging a high compression ratio and highspeed engine.

Lotus Engineering had to ensure that there were minimal changes to the normally aspirated2ZZ-GE engine, which arrives fully dressed from Toyota for the Exige and the Elise 111R. Thelightweight 2ZZ-GE engine, with a compact metal matrix composite alloy cylinder block, is aperfect unit on which to conduct the necessary research, as it runs to a high 8500 rpm, with avery high compression ratio of 11.5:1. The only changes needed to be made to the enginewere the addition of a low pressure supercharger (and the longer drive belt that this requires),the intercooler and a new intake manifold, plenum and induction system.

An electronic drive-by-wire throttle ensures the quickest engine response possible whilstkeeping the emissions clean and as low as possible, to meet relevant legislative demands.The Roots-type supercharger (with a sealed-for-life internal mechanism meaning that it doesnot require the use of the engine's oil) is run from the crankshaft, and has an integral bypassvalve for part load operation.

Charge air (air under pressure from the supercharger) is cooled through an air to airintercooler (the cooling air enters via the redesigned roof scoop) before being fed into theengine itself. All charge air ducting has been kept as short as possible with large diameterpipes making sure that the bends in these ducts are not too tight, to the benefit of throttleresponse and efficiency.

The whole vehicle has been tested extensively around the world in hot and cold climates aswell at renowned proving grounds and testing facilities.

The Lotus T4e Engine Management System.

The Lotus T4e Engine Management system is used in the Lotus Exige S. This enginemanagement system has been programmed to optimise the supercharged engine.The lightweight C64 six-speed gearbox (with an aluminium casing) is fitted with the closestratios and gearset afforded by the transmission. The gearbox offers a fast, precise and lightgearshift, ensuring drivers have total control and flexibility to apply the power exactly as andwhen required.

Equipment and Options

ProBax Seats

ProBax seats help to significantly improve the postural position of the driver and passenger bymaintaining the natural curvature of the spine, so improving comfort and improving the body'sblood flow.

Touring Packs

The Touring Pack includes electric windows, black suede effect interior with leather highlights,full carpet set, high specification DAB Radio and CD/MP3 player, sound insulation, auxiliaryfront driving lamps and interior stowage net.The Super Touring Pack includes the contents of the Touring Pack plus an upgraded interiortrim with driver and passenger airbags, high specification leather covered steering wheel, frontspeakers located in the fascia top panel, engine start button, trinket tray stowage unit, cupholder, leather handbrake sleeve, leather handbrake gaiter and gear shift knob andembroidered logo premium floor mats.

Sports Packs

The Sports Pack includes switchable Lotus Traction Control (LTC) - see later for a fullexplanation of LTC. In addition, it is equipped with sports seats and a T45 steel roll-over hoopand harness bar for the aftermarket fitment of four point harnesses for track use only.The Super Sports Pack includes the contents of the Sports Pack plus black coloured ultralightweight seven-twin spoke forged (6.5J front, 7.5J rear) alloy wheels (giving an unsprungweight saving of 2.7 kg (6 lbs) for each front wheel and 1.3 kg (2.8 lbs) for each rear wheel –compared to the already lightweight cast wheels), track suspension with Eibach springs andBilstein one-way adjustable dampers – with a single adjuster for bump and rebound – andadjustable ride height), adjustable front anti-roll bar and a double-shear rear traction controlarm brace.

Stand alone options

Lotus Traction Control and Limited Slip Differential

A switchable Lotus Traction Control System (LTC) is available for the Exige S. The LTC worksthrough the Lotus T4e Engine Management System to reduce power when required tomaintain traction. Unlike many traction control systems, LTC has been tuned to complementthe skills of the driver without taking over. The Lotus LTC is active above 8 km/h (5 mph) andoperates much more quickly than many brake based systems. The system can be deactivatedwith an illuminated button, which is located adjacent to the gear lever. A Torsen type limitedslip differential (LSD) is also available for tight and twisty driving (such as in auto tests). TheLSD is only available if LTC has been specified and is not available by itself.


Air-conditioning is available as a cost option (standard in some markets) and weighs in at afeatherweight 15 kg (33 lbs).

A Comprehensive Range of Colours

The range of colours, from standard solid shades to metallic and fashionable lifestyle coloursis available. Colours include black, shades of silver, shades of blue, a vivid Aspen White, nonmetallic British Racing Green, a hot Chilli Red, a high metallic Solar Yellow and a harmoniousAutumn Gold.The total number of colours available is 20, excluding the bespoke custom colours.

Market Positioning and Pricing

The Lotus Exige S, being a fully homologated vehicle for the markets in which it is sold,introduces a more powerful and higher performing series production variant of the Exige to themarket. The rest of the Exige range consists of the 141 kW (189 hp, 192 PS) Exige, the LotusExige Cup 190 and its supercharged variant the Exige Cup 240 (both of which are developedand converted by Lotus Sport, the performance arm of Lotus Cars) and the Lotus Sport ExigeGT3 (developed and built by Lotus Sport specifically for the FIA GT3 championships).

The Lotus Exige S is priced at:

UK: £33,995 including VAT (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)
Mainland Europe: 44,147 Euros excluding individual market taxes (Manufacturer'sSuggested Retail Price)
Japan: JYP 6,909,000 including tax (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)

Market Availability

UK: March / April 2006
Mainland EU: April / May 2006
Japan and APac: May / June 2006
USA: There are currently no plans to launch the Exige S in the USA marketEnds
See separate Lotus Exige S Specifications, Technical Details and Options


Technical Specifications for the Lotus Exige S can be found here:

High-resolution pictures of the Lotus Exige S, can be downloaded from the media centre of the officialGroup Lotus website at http://www.grouplotus.com/mediactr. The image library is for registered usersonly. Members of the press may register for the media centre.
Please follow the attached hyperlink for pictures of the new Lotus Exige S. Registered media will needto login first.
http://www.grouplotus.com/mediactr/image_library.php?id=1&mid=4&rec=12&pg=4 Or use the media centre search function typing in Exige S

About Group Lotus plc:

The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd., which has two operating divisions -Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering:

Lotus Cars builds and commercialises Lotus sports cars, Elise and Exige and manufactures theadvanced composite front and rear crash structures for Aston Martin V12 Vanquish.Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world'sOEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project designthrough development to full production prototype build.

For further details please contact:

PR Department
Group Lotus plc, Potash Lane, Hethel, Norfolk, UK, NR14 8EZ;
Tel: +44(0)1953 608264; Fax: +44(0)1953 608111; Email: pr@lotuscars.co.uk

blog comments powered by Disqus