Once again it’s a large, international, motor show and Dany Bahar is up on the stage announcing 5 new models from Lotus.
But unlike Paris last year this isn’t a far off statement of intent—a range of cars destined to gradually be launched as part of a 5 year plan—these, with the exception of the Evora GTE, are cars you can nip down to your local dealership, spec up and order for delivery in the next few months…
First up was the Evora GTE, a car we featured in the news section last month after it‟s unveiling in the US. After orders of 114 cars from the Chinese market, Lotus are revising the Evora GTE to meet pedestrian safety regulations and bring it to the European market.
The show car looked stunning in bright yellow, and pleasingly Lotus have addressed criticism of the original rear spoiler design by replacing it with the fully fledged Evora GT4 item. A vast improvement.
The full spec sheet for the Evora GTE makes interesting reading too, with 444 PS making it by far the most powerful road car Lotus will have ever produced. Not only that, but the Evora GTE weighs in 160 kg lighter than the Evora S, so performance should be staggering.
Of course the standard Evora range wasn’t being ignored, with the revised MY12 Evora and Evora S on display in the stunning new Motorsport Green and Motorsport Black colours respectively.
The Evora has received a wide range of improvements for the MY12 cars, with a total of more than a 140 updates and improvements made to the car.
The base trim level of the car has been increased slightly, with the addition of Bi-Xenon lights, body coloured door handles and the all important Close Ratio Gearbox to the list of standard equipment list.
Elsewhere there has been a major focus on improving the finish and quality of the car, with changes ranging from improved door seals and latches to an increase in leather quality, a wider range of interior colour schemes, and a new Premium Sport interior option which adds some stunning looking new seats.
It’s not all cosmetic either. The gear-change has often been picked up on as the Evoras only dynamic failing, and this has been worked upon with respecified shift cables and a redesigned gear lever, while elsewhere the exhaust has been tinkered, including a new by-pass valve to help produce a more rousing note in Sport Mode.
The Evora S IPS also joined the Evora line-up, as expected—adding the option of the paddle shift automatic which was first introduced with the regular Evora IPS at the Paris Motor Show last year. We tested the standard Evora IPS recently, and you can find our thought on it here.
After all that for the Evora, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Elise platform was going to remaining unchanged, but you’d be wrong.
The entry level Elise and Elise CR gain a new option in the form of the Lotus Serial Precision Shift (SPS) gearbox—a system which utilises the EC60 gearbox fitted to the Elise and Elise CR as standard, and adds hydraulic automation of the gear-shift and clutch, seemingly similar to the system fitted to the Evora GTE.
Fortunately for those who feel a paddle shift Elise is blasphemy there’s also the new Elise S, a replacement for the Elise SC which was dropped at the end of last year due to a change in engine regulations.
The Elise S combines the 2ZR-FAE engine with a Magnuson R900 supercharger, giving the same 217bhp as the previous Elise SC but with a 30 lb/ft increase in torque and lower emissions.
Unlike the previous generation supercharged 2ZZ-GE engines in the Elise SC and Exige S, the new Elise S includes a charge-cooler, which will hopefully bring an end to the heatsoak and associated loss of power which some people experienced on track with the old engine.
Lotus are yet to announce official weight, performance or emission figures for the Elise S, but a 0-60mph time of well under 5 seconds and emissions in the region of 179g/km CO2 seem likely.
The Elise S won’t be available with the SPS gearbox initially, but it uses the same EC60 gearbox as the existing Elise and Elise CR, so it’s possible it may be made available in the future.
Finally, the much anticipated Exige S V6 was shown, bringing the Exige back to the European market since it’s discontinuation at the end of last year.
Matching up the classic Elise chassis with a new rear sub-frame to accommodate the supercharged V6 from the Evora S—giving a class leading 345bhp. Combined with a 1080kg kerb weight this gives the Exige S a total of 319bhp/tonne.
The Exige R-GT rally car was also shown and will be competing this year in various tarmac rally events in 2012.
The Elise S will be priced, starting at £36,200, the Exige S at £49,900 and prices for the MY12 Evora range from £51,550 for the Evora 2+0 up to £62,450 for the Evora S 2+2.
For more information on specification and pricing on the Lotus Range 2012 you can visit the TechWiki page, discuss things in our forum thread, visit our YouTube channel for videos from the show, or watch the full unveiling video below…