British lightweight sportscar manufacturer Lotus has officially revealed the automatic version of its hardcore Exige S. It’s not only more fuel-efficient but also faster than its manual sibling.
The Exige S automatic is powered by the same supercharged 3,5-litre V6 that produces 258 kW and 400 N.m of torque, but its six-speed paddle-shift transmission (capable of shifting ratios in 240 milliseconds), allows for zero to 100 km/h sprints of 3,9 seconds and top speed of 261 km/h. The system also features a sport mode, which sharpens throttle response, lets out a raspier exhaust note through the opening of an exhaust valve and allows for less intervention by the Exige’s Dynamic Performance Management system.
Despite the performance potential, Lotus claims the Exige S sips just 9,6 litres/100 km on the combined cycle, and emits 222 g/km of CO2.
“Expanding the Exige range, with a new automatic gearbox, opens up a new market for those who prefer using a paddle shift with the alternative of an automatic gearshift,” says Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.
“We expect that the Exige S Automatic will account for over a third of the total global sales for the Exige S range as many drivers will appreciate the involvement of a manual paddle-shift and the convenience of an automatic,” Gales added.