LotusSport Elise and LotusSport Exige US Introduction

Lotus chose the 2006 New York Auto Show to debut the LotusSport line to the US market. LotusSport will focus on three main business models; building short runs of limited-edition street-legal cars, track-only cars, and providing aftermarket parts. The idea is to replicate in an official offering what a lot of Lotus customers have been doing with their cars already. Two LotusSport models were on display, a street-legal LotusSport Elise, and race-only LotusSport Exige. On the Elise, the LotusSport treatment starts with the addition of two regular option packages. The adjustable suspension from the Track Pack gives an extra measure of tenability, while a limited-slip differential lends extra traction. The Yokohama a048 tires of the Sport Pack-hefty meats with solid tread blocks-add even more grip over the stock Elise. Ohlins-brand shocks, with remote reservoirs, round out the suspension goodies. Stainless steel brake lines are also fitted, along with a heavy-duty clutch. LotusSport also fits special seats with fittings for four- or six-point harnesses. Instead of the usual leather, these chairs are covered in a grippy suede-like microfiber. The LotusSport Elise will sell for $54,995-they’ve allocated approximately one per US dealer. For the track only, LotusSport offers a supercharged Exige, with 243 horsepower. This model features aero tricks like a front-end splitter, huge spoiler, and functional roof scoop-all good for 100 pounds of downforce at 100 m.p.h. The lightweight alloy rims on the LotusSport Exige are even wider than the Elise’s, while niceties such as a/c, stereo, and even headlights are left out. The LotusSport Exige retails for $78,990; the initial production run of 15 has already been spoken for, but the suits promise to build more if demand warrants it.

Lotus Elise

Lotus Exige

Lotus, New York International Auto Show

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.
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