The much-loved Lotus Exige, with its ground-breaking, extruding aluminium and bonded chassis, lightweight composite body and race-bred double wishbone suspension now features an automatic transmission option that continues its uncompromised sporting profile.
With an exceptional power-to-weight ratio of 292 hp/tonne and stunning performance, an even more focused driving experience is made possible by including the 6-speed automatic gearbox option. The automatic control panel is integrated neatly into the centre console of the cockpit, with buttons for Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive with beautifully crafted, forged aluminium, manual-shift paddles located behind the steering wheel cross-spokes, upshifts take just 240 milliseconds, with rapid downshifts accompanied by a throttle-blip (when in Sport mode).
In both automatic and manual gearshift modes, the Exige S provides the driver with a very rapid driving experience. In Sport mode, throttle response is sharpened and the Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) increases the traction slip thresholds allowing the driver even more vehicle control before an intervention is required. The system also opens the engine exhaust bypass valve at mid-to-high engine speeds. The Optional Race Pack includes Race mode, which reduces the intervention of the DPM further and incorporates a Launch Control system.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO Group Lotus plc, stated: “Expanding the Exige range, with a new automatic gearbox, opens up a new market for those who prefer using a paddle shift with the alternative of an automatic gearshift. We expect that the Exige S Automatic will account for over a third of the total global sales for the Exige S range as many drivers will appreciate the involvement of a manual paddle-shift and the convenience of an automatic.”
Aided by the 345bhp, 3.5-litre, supercharged V6 engine, the Lotus Exige S Automatic reaches 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and 100 km/h in only 3.9 seconds. 100 mph (160 km/h) comes up in just over 9 seconds before reaching a top speed of 162 mph (261 km/h); 145 mph (233 km/h) for the Exige S Roadster. Its CO2 emissions rating of 222g/km is low enough to warrant a tax reduction in some markets compared to the Exige S with the manual.
The automatic transmission is available on both Exige S and Exige S Roadster models. The RRP, excluding tax, is £1,667 (UK) and €2,185. Orders can be placed immediately.