Much like volcanic lightning or, perhaps, a total solar eclipse, special edition Lotuses appear infrequently. As such, their appearances are to be treasured.
So, this week’s rare new Lotus is a special edition Exige Sport 410. Dubbed the ‘20th Anniversary’, it does in fact mark 20 years since the Lotus Exige first arrived onto the scene, swinging away with all its lightweight might at the likes of the Porsche Cayman.
What you don’t get in this 20th Anniversary Lotus Exige Sport 410 is any more power, but that’s not necessarily incorrect on Lotus’s part because that 3.5-litre V6 produces 415hp and will go from 0-100km/h in 3.4s, ahead of an 290km/h top speed. That’s really fast enough for something weighing as much as a shoe.
What you do get are a set of standard-fit Nitron three-way adjustable dampers, and a carbon fibre front splitter and rear tailgate. Elsewhere, a series of new body features are said to ‘commemorate’ the original Exige: body-coloured roof/side air intakes/rear wing, and a stone chip protector ahead of the rear wheels.
You can option a 20th Anniversary Exige in either orange, blue, red, yellow, black or silver. There are special logos on the wings, on the seat backs and on the dash, and you’ve a choice of various colours of Alcantara for the insides.
Other things that are standard include a DAB digital radio with Bluetooth, cruise control, lightweight forged alloy wheels, and an Alcantara-covered steering wheel.
Gavan Kershaw, Lotus’s director of vehicle attributes, notes how the then-new Exige “set new standards for Lotus road and race cars”. That it did. And it’s also a wonderful thing to drive. Tune in again next week for more special edition Lotus goodness, probably.
STORY Vijay Pattni