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Lotus Exige S Roadster Becomes Brand’s Fastest Drop-top Ever

Lightweight Convertible Runs from 0-60 in under 4 Seconds

Charles Krome
by Charles Krome
May 23, 2013

Lotus’ commitment to lightweight construction has seen some wobbles in the recent past, but the company is once again going in the right direction with the 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster. With a curb weight of just more than 2,570 lbs., the drop-top Exige S is actually about 22 lbs. lighter than its Coupe counterpart. Needless to say, that makes for an interesting contrast with convertibles like the 2013 BMW M3 as a semi-random example. The M3 Convertible is an eye-opening 441 lbs. heavier than the Coupe, and that shows up in the cars’ performance disparity: The M Convertible is .4 of a second slower than the Coupe, regardless of transmission.

Now, it is true that the Lotus drivers have to make do with a manually operated soft top as opposed to the BMW’s refined and power-retractable hard top, and the Exige has two fewer seats, and the car is—in Lotus’ own words—“More raw than a Japanese tasting menu.” But the 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster also is exactly as fast as its hard-topped stable mate. In fact, with the ability to sprint from 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, the car is both the fastest convertible ever produced by Lotus and more than a second quicker than the open-air M3.

(Although, to be fair, engineers have limited the top speed of the 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster to “only” 145 mph, leaving it 10 mph shy of the M3 Convertible and 25 mph under the terminal velocity of the Exige S Coupe.

It’s also worth noting that because the Lotus is so light, it gets the job done with a relatively small 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s been supercharged to make 345 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission-wise, the 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster will launch solely with a six-speed manual transmission, although a paddle-shifting automatic “will be considered subject to demand.”

Drivers can expect to pay about $72,000 for the 2013 Lotus Exige S Roadster and are urged to contact their local dealers for availability.


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