The future

Until recently it seemed unlikely that we would ever see an acknowledged successor to the Exige. A recent link in the ‘Articles’ section, pointing to a German car magazine report has caused me to change my mind. The article deals with a conversion called Lotus Esthi Here are some of the details of the beast:Chassis/bodyBased on MkII Elise but 50mm wider and about 10mm longer. The front clam has a low skirt and long vents trailing the front wheel arch, both very similar to the Exige. Apart from the main radiator intake opening, there are two small air intakes (four in total) on either side, but unlike the Exige they are not dummies.The rear clam has four additional air outlets below and beside the rear lights, serving the rear brakes. To improve engine bay ventilation, ‘LOTUS’ is stamped out of the rear clamshell in large letters . The bottom of the clam is cut away at the rear, exposing some of the workings, below which is an extended, shaped rear aluminium undertray which improves downforce (something like this is available as an Elise accessory).Engine bay cover incorporates two clear polycarbonate panels.The standard roof is currently undergoing some re-designing.EngineThe engine is the Audi/Cosworth, twin-turbo, 2671cc, thirty valve, V6 engine, previously fitted in the Audi RS4. Power is 380hp (280kW) across 6100-7000rpm. Torque 440Nm across 2500-6000rpm. This engine has in the past been rechipped for 450hp!!The gearbox is a six shift out of the A8 diesel. Exhaust is from the Esprit.0-60 is @ 3.8 sec and top is @ 193mph. The speedo goes up to 360 kmph(220mph)!Fuel consumption is estimated at 18 liters per 100 km.Brakes/SuspensionBrakes include ABS and come straight from the Esprit.Wheel sizes are front 215/35 17" rear 255/335 18". 18"front/19" rear Superleggera 3 from OZ will be an option. Front suspension comprises a Wilber system giving adjustable ride height.If one were to place a hardtop roof with the Exige trademark air-scoop on this car, then it would look as complimentary to the Elise II as the Exige does to the Elise I. Type approval is planned for October this year and deliveries will start in May 2003. Price �55,000 - �60,000. Boot has shrunk and so has the standard fuel tank, but an auxilary fuel tank is on the drawing board.

Ken [image][/image] [image][/image] [image][/image] [image][/image] [image][/image]

quote:Originally posted by Ken Pegg:…an auxilary fuel tank is on the drawing board.Is that going to be like on Harrier jump-jets, hanging off the side!!!Um, you don’t appear to mention traction control! 380bhp in under 1000kgs!!!Ian [image][/image]

Sorry, forgot to mention that weight goes up to approx 1000kgs.

Regarding traction control, the first journo to drive it on a public road wrote, '…it pulls away like a well-behaved Elise, but then mercilessly you are hit in the back of the head with a hammer. Two wastegates roar in my ears as excess pressure is dumped… His conclusion is that ‘…this car is everything a Lotus should be. No compromise and unbelievably fast.’