Lotus has announced that it will bring its Exige--a rebodied, hardtop version of the Elise--to the United States this fall. Mechanically, the Exige will be identical to the U.S. Elise, which means a 1.8-liter four making 190 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. (We won't see the supercharged, 243-hp engine from the Europe-only 240-R.) The Exige will use the firmer suspension tuning of the Elise with the optional sport package, but the hardtop Lotus will have a cornering advantage over its open-topped counterpart because the Exige's unique bodywork creates so much additional downforce--80 lbs. more at 100 mph to be exact. All the Exige's body panels, save the doors, are unique. The increased downforce comes chiefly from four factors: the longer, reshaped nose; the front wind splitter; the rear wing; and the covered roof. The aerodynamic tweaks help the Exige scoot around the 2-mile Lotus test track two seconds faster than the Elise. Other changes for the Exige are limited to reshaped seats (bigger bolsters and cut-outs to fit a racing harness) and black wheels (either cast aluminum or the forged wheels from the Elise sport package). Only 200-300 Exiges will come to the States annually--against 2000-plus Elises--at a price estimated in the low- to mid-$50,000 range.
aty probably posted this in another thread but oh well. I would prefer it over the elise. still sadly too hardcore for me as a daily driver