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speedyK
Nice idea, but the styling doesn't convince me.

Huge rear threequarters blind spot and cluttered rear panel


Hardly winning looks at the front either...


I've wanted a mid-engined V6 targa for nearly 30 years – but I bet that this Exige still has the "leave the hardtop on, or leave it at home" design of the very first targa of over half a century ago, the 1960 Triumph TR4.


Considering that Porsche's targa had a two-section on-board stowable (but crap) hardtop in the sixties


and Fiat had the brilliant stow-in-the-front hardtop in the early seventies,


this is simply not good enough.

This primitive Lotus construction is due to the fact that the original Elise was not even going to have any roof, just a roll hoop

1995


The Heath Robinson contraptions that Lotus sold as soft tops and hardtops for the Elise and Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220 were pathetic. The hardtop was worse than the original TR's. I speak as an ex-owner of both cars. That roof used to drive me crazy after the delights of owning an X1/9. The Lotus hardtop takes about 10-20 minutes to fit/remove depending on how quickly you can work out which bits go where and how handy you are with a Torx screwdriver rolleyes.gif

Looking at the pics, the Exige cabrio seems to still have exactly the same hopeless system thumbs_down.gif thumbs_down.gif thumbs_down.gif


Where is the innovative thinking? It's 17 years since the Elise was launched but zero progress from Lotus on targa roof solutions! My Smart Roadster has a superb electric roof that can even be opened and closed at three-figure speeds. That is an absolute delight to use.
At least the F458 spyder can take its hardtop with it - even if it can't be opened on the move.

Sadly, I think a 991 with the big sunroof will be a better buy than the Exige S cabrio.
clarkma5
Best targa storage is the Honda Del Sol/CRX! Too bad the rest of it is a front-drive Civic. I mean, it's a good little car, but it's not a sports car.

This does seem a little half-ass. I mean, it's a big step up in refinement from the old Exige-Elise I'm sure, but if Lotus is seriously trying to take on Porsche at their own game, they have to do better than this. They would be smarter to have stuck with their lightweight niche philosophy and own their market segment instead of try to beat a company with 60 years of history doing what they do backed by the largest global auto conglomerate man has ever known. Bahar is a really stupid guy for doing that (fucking hate Bahar), particularly because he's trying to swim upmarket and into bigger, heavier, more powerful vehicles just in time for the market to appreciate light weight, low cost, and efficient performance.
Synesthesia
Hmm... I'm going to need to learn more about the new Exige before passing judgement. It doesn't look bad... the real test will be how it drives.
Bjorn
Forgive my ignorance, but if this is the Exige cabrio, where is the Elise going to fit in?

Will that be the sub-1,000 kg, 4-banger we know and love?
moe
I read somewhere that they're going to discontinue the Elise. I hope that isn't true. I think having the Elise as an entry-level, four-banger would be great. That leaves room further up the range for an Exige roadster.
speedyK
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Mar 7 2012, 11:40 PM) *
if Lotus is seriously trying to take on Porsche at their own game, they have to do better than this.

Lotus factory performance claims are always over-stated.

They claim Vmax for the Exige S cabrio is 233km/h = 144 mph. That is so pathetic – they would be laughed off the track or autobahn if they tried to compete with Porsche. Why the hell is it so slow?
clarkma5
I don't even care about the performance figures, 0-60 and top speed are kinda inconsequential for a good sports car. I expect lotuses to have a low vmax because of their generally low weight/low power/high drag/high downforce approach. And that's fine. I mean that in order to beat Porsche at their own game, they're going to have to do an exceptional job of mixing refinement, livability, reliability, feel, outright speed, economy, and overall quality like Porsche does. And I don't think Lotus has it in them.
speedyK
QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Mar 8 2012, 08:39 PM) *
I don't even care about the performance figures, 0-60 and top speed are kinda inconsequential for a good sports car. I expect lotuses to have a low vmax because of their generally low weight/low power/high drag/high downforce approach. And that's fine. I mean that in order to beat Porsche at their own game, they're going to have to do an exceptional job of mixing refinement, livability, reliability, feel, outright speed, economy, and overall quality like Porsche does. And I don't think Lotus has it in them.

Inconsequential? OK, I really love my Smart Brabus Roadster-Coupé with its ca. 900 kg, 101bhp and 0-60pmph in 9.8 secs – but it is really not something to take to the track. It gets a bit demoralizing if you are blown away on any straight. Even my Bemani-supercharged Exige with around 273bhp struggled – yet it was faster than 244 km/h. I never had the chance to run it to Vmax, but saw an indicated 250km/h – and I'm sure that there was more to come if traffic hadn't stopped play on the german unrestricted autobahn. In view of this, I suspect they've geared it really low to get decent acceleration with all that extra weight.
clarkma5
Alright alright within reason, 10 seconds to sixty for a sports car is definitely slow, but a Miata does it in the 8s and is still a great sports car. I find anything that does 0-60 under 7 seconds to be adequately quick to be fun, and when you're talking about the difference between 5.5 and 4.5 it honestly becomes academic. Both are plenty fast enough to be serious sports cars.

But 0-60 only tells part of the story. Gearing, drag, the engine's power delivery, all play a factor both in outright performance and in performance feel. You can have an engine that has torque everywhere but peters out at the top end and make it fast but it'll be missing that last little bit of excitement IMO. But if you have something that spins and breathes freely at the top end and has the gearing to exploit it, it'll feel very exciting and enjoyable to wring its neck, which even if it's not any faster (or even slower) it'll feel more aggressive, more sharp, and more engaging.
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