No price increase for the Roadster version of Lotus' nimble Exige S - but it's still not coming to the US.
When Lotus unveiled the Exige S Roadster over a year ago at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, we were a little puzzledL If the Exige is essentially a fixed-roof Elise, what purpose would an Exige roadster have? Wouldn't that be like Porsche slotting in a Cayman convertible alongside the Boxster? While we're still trying to wrap our heads around that notion, Lotus has officially released the specs and pricing for the Exige S Roadster. And what would you know, it costs the exact same as the fixed-roof version.
While other convertibles need to be braced and reinforced once the roof is chopped off, the Elise platform already started off without one, so the Exige S Roadster doesn't just weigh the same as the coupe, it's actually 10 kilos lighter without the roof and spoiler. But with the same 3.5-liter supercharged V6 driving the same 345 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, Lotus quotes the same 3.8-second 0-60 time. With poorer aerodynamics, though, the Roadster tops out at 140 mph instead of the coupe's 170. It's otherwise mechanically identical to the coupe version, with adaptive chassis, AP Racing and Pirelli PZero rubber.
So just what is that identical price, you ask? That depends where you live: in the UK, it's £52,900 (with VAT), €55,378 in Europe (before local taxes) and ¥8,500,000 in Japan (tax-in). If you're wondering how much it will cost in the US, we've got some bad news: it won't be offered here. In fact Lotus has pulled the entire Elise and Exige lineup from North America, where it currently offers only the Evora. Which is a bit of a shame, because while the Evora may be an excellent sportscar, the Elise and Exige are some of the sweetest-handling cars on the road. Just not ours.