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1 september 2005

Lotus Exige Coming to America

Following a record-breaking first year of sales for the Lotus Elise roadster, Lotus Cars USA will begin importing the Elise's aggressive twin brother, the Lotus Exige. While a family resemblance to the Elise can be seen in the Exige's bodywork, every body panel is new except for the doors.
The Exige is narrowly focused on taking the Elise's excellent handling to an even higher level of performance.

"Bringing the Exige to America allows us to reinforce our commitment to pure sports car enthusiasts" said John English, president and CEO of Lotus Cars USA. "The Exige is unique in its ability to provide incredible track capability in a package that can be driven to and from the track."

Using the award-winning Elise chassis as a starting point, the Exige adds aerodynamic bodywork that produces nearly 100 pounds of downforce at 100 miles per hour. This is exceptional compared to the lift most cars produce at this speed. This additional downforce allows Exige to corner faster than the Elise and therefore makes it nearly 2 seconds faster around Lotus'
famous Hethel test track. New bodywork includes an aerodynamic splitter at the lower edge of the front bodywork, a sculpted hardtop and engine bay cover, side intake scoops and a rear wing. While the additional bodywork adds about 30 pounds to the weight of an Elise, the Exige will still weigh just slightly more than 2000 pounds.

All the trim including the splitter, rear wing, side scoops, rear diffuser and wheels are finished in black to add to the Exige's aggressive look. The radiator outlet, front brake vents and engine bay outlets are finished with black mesh.

Since the focus is performance, the forged wheels, ultra high performance Yokohama A048 tires, stiffer suspension and twin oil coolers from the Elise Sport Pack are standard equipment. Sport seats are also standard and all 20 exterior colors from the 2006 Lotus palet will be available. In keeping with the black trim theme, black will be the only interior color for both the standard cloth and the Touring Pack leather.

For those looking to slightly tame the Exige, a Touring package will be available with leather seats and door panels, full carpeting, additional sound insulation and an upgraded stereo system. For those looking to add even more edge, a Limited Slip Differential, traction control and an air conditioning delete option should do the trick.

Since the bodywork on the Exige is "hand-laid" and the rest of the car is hand-assembled, production will be limited to 300 to 350 cars for the U.S.
The MSRP will be $50,990 when Exiges begin to arrive early in the first quarter of 2006. Options include the following:

o Touring Pack - $1350
o Lotus Traction Control - $495; Designed to
modulate power through the engine control module to reduce rear wheel spin, LTC can be disabled via an interior switch.
o Limited Slip Differential with Lotus
Traction Control - $1790; Torque sensing limited slip differential designed to distribute power more evenly between the rear tires to allow more aggressive acceleration out of low speed corners in autocross-type competition.
o Air Conditioning Delete - $250; Removes
approximately 22 lbs. from the already lightweight Exige.
o Metallic Paint - $595
o Lifestyle Paint - $1200

> 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 the advanced composite front and rear crash
> structures for Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Lotus Engineering provides
> comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the
> world's OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service
> from initial concept and project design through development to full production prototype build.
>
> Lotus Cars USA is the North American distributor of Lotus Sports Cars
> based in Duluth, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.