2015 Lotus Exige S and Roadster launched in the UAE
The Lotus Evora had so far been the only flag-bearer for the British sports-car brand in the UAE since its debut late last year. But yesterday evening, local dealers Al Futtaim Automotive’s Trading Enterprises have just launched the Exige S and Exige Roadster models in Dubai.
We were apparently the only media there at the potential-customers-only launch event, and while we didn’t get to drive the cars, we did take a close look at them.
Both the Exige S and the Exige Roadster are small 2-seater mid-engined rear-wheel-drive sports cars, fitted with a 345 hp 3.5-litre supercharged V6, a manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive. And automatic version will come later. Both cars are capable of 0-100 kph in less than 4 seconds, with a top speed of around 270 kph. Who would’ve thought a Toyota-sourced V6 engine could be tuned to do work in a raw sports car?
The S has a fixed top, while the Roadster has a removable cloth top. Both cars look identical, except that the S has firmer suspension, a front lip and a tall rear spoiler. However, both cars are customisable, with three different wheel designs and several different interior combinations.
The GCC-spec versions are special to the region, with a full leather-clad interior, floor mats, rear a/c vents and extra engine cooling as standard. There’s also power windows and a proper stereo system, in what is otherwise just a barebones race-car. Even the glove-box is missing, replaced by a metal beam that doubles as a shelf. Two passengers can sit side-by-side very close together. And there’s a leather strap hanging from a metal ring, which is apparently the single cup-holder.
Allocations for the UAE are limited to single digits every few months, so it will remain an exclusive car. Also, the fact that getting in and out of the car requires the dexterity of a gymnast means that it will mostly go to well-heeled younger buyers, priced at around Dhs 300,000. We’re told the aftersales service is second to none, thanks to a boutique-style dealer experience, and running costs are competitive. The first batch is already sold out.