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Lotus hots up the stands

Clad in vinyl and leather, the dozen girls on the stand could not avert (too many) eyes from the sculpted bodies of the two new Lotus recruits.

Today saw the World debut of the Sport 240, a tricked-up Exige S with every racing modification a production car could offer.

Specced by Lotus Cars Australia but built in Lotus Sport’s Hethel plant in England, only six bespoke 240s will make the southern journey for a landed price of $149,990.

Three cars are branded with orange highlights on a black body, and the inverse is also available as an orange car with black splitter, spoiler and wheels.

The supercharged Exige S powerplant is tuned further to produce 179kW, or 10 per cent more than the standard car. It is also given a limited slip diff (LSD), AP racing brakes, forged OZ alloys, launch control, and some go-fast body bits befitting a track-pack production car.

The Sport 240 features another first for a car in this category; an 18-stage traction control system similar to those found in Formula One machines. While the theory is borrowed from F1, the actual technology is taken straight from Lotus’s newest track car, the 2-Eleven

This is an extreme car, even for Lotus. Underneath it all, the wedge-on-wheels is actually also an Exige S; but without a roof; doors; even a windscreen. What it does have is 9kW more than the Sport 240 at 188kW, but even less weight at 745kg.

It shares much of the same race-bred goodies, from the LSD to the brake package to the two-tone sports seats.

The figures on paper are almost as impressive; 188kW at 8000rpm, 242Nm at an equally high 7000rpm, 0-100km/h in 3.9seconds (claimed), and a top speed of just under 250km/h.

The 2-Eleven is not as exclusive as the Sport 240, with 100 cars built every year for a global market. But it is more affordable at $127,500. Bring the credit card; or make your significant other take it from you before you visit the Australian International Motor Show.