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Lotus turns Exige S into focused Club Racer. Image by Lotus.

Lotus turns Exige S into focused Club Racer
Less weight, more downforce, £57k - the Lotus Exige S Club Racer is here.
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2015-08-14: Exige 360 Cup is new, hardcore Lotus

What's all this about?

Lotus has made the rapid and focused Exige S slightly more rapid and slightly more focused by giving it the Club Racer treatment.

Has Hethel dolloped in a load more power for the Club Racer?

Nope, it makes the same 350hp and 400Nm from the supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine, equating to identical pub-boasting Exige S stats of 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds dead and 170mph flat out. However, the Club Racer develops 42kg of downforce at 100mph, thanks to the body addenda (front splitter, rear wing, flat undertray) and it weighs 15kg less than an Exige S at 1,161kg, so you can bet it will be quicker on a twisting road or when monstering everything going at a track day.

How have they got rid of the weight?

There's a lightweight battery, the body-coloured centre console within is lighter, kilos have been shaved out of the doors and the sports seats are thinner items. You can lop out more lard by opting for two-piece brakes for £1,850 (good). But you can also injudiciously add it back in by fitting air conditioning (£1,250) and/or a CD/radio with USB and NVH Pack (£1,200). So don't.

Can I easily identify one of these CR models?

Aside from the gigantic rear spoiler? Yes, if you're eagle-eyed. Small Club Racer decals are positioned above the side indicators (and in the cabin, on the dash and the stereo blanking plate), while a lot of the detailing is matte black - the front splitter, rear wing, front access panel, roof, wing mirrors and rear transom are all finished in this colour. However, you can have the entire car finished in matte black if you want, although you'll lose the contrast effect and £2,000 from your wallet.

What are my choices for standard colours?

Metallic White, Exige Orange or Metallic Yellow. Whichever one you pick will not only clothe the centre console inside, but will also be picked up by the stitching on the leather or Alcantara seats and on the door cards. Oh, and it'll be on the roll hoops, too. Additional standard kit is a sports steering wheel, with Lotus claiming £4,500 of added value over an Exige S for a mere £2,400 list price premium.

How much, therefore, is the Club Racer?

A not insubstantial £56,900 and you can order it now. It joins the Elise 220 Cup and forthcoming Evora 400 in creating a new niche of particularly focused Lotuses (Lotii?).

Anything else you'd like to add to try to part me from my cash?

The three-mode (Drive, Sport and Race) traction control can be adjusted by a driver select switch that's now standard fit, with Sport and Race both sharpening throttle response as well. And the Exige S Club Racer can return 28mpg and emits 235g/km CO2. As if that matters in the slightest.

Matt Robinson - 20 Mar 2015    - Lotus road tests
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