With the end of summer comes the chance for Meany Greeny to stretch her suspension arms. But first, Sean‘s got a Lotus launch to attend…
|Date acquired:||July 2012|
|Kilometres this month:||N/A|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||N/A|
Well it’s been a long, hot summer (stand easy, I say that every year) but in the last couple of days it’s started moving towards the mid 30s and lower humidity. Time to dig out Meany Greeny.
I’m feeling really guilty that I’ve not used my 111S for months, but it’s just been too hot to use this wee funster without air conditioning, hence the hiatus. Ironically, when I tucked the Elise away for its summer holiday it was raining, so I had to put the hood up, which is always palaver albeit a funny one. So much so, passersby stopped during the downpour to ask if I needed a hand. However I’ve not been completely meany to poor Greeny, as every month I’ve taken the old girl out for a quick spin, pumped up the tyres and given her a mini check over. What’s really thrown me into action is seeing a cheeky red frog-eyed Sprite this morning, out for some Friday fun. So that’s it: from next month, Meany Greeny‘s back in action.
So what does a Lotus Loony do whilst his Elise is out of action? Well I still have my Exige Cup 260. It’s advertised for sale, so I’ve been trying not to use it, but it’s very hard not to grab the key and go for a blast. Luckily this month there has been a distraction in the shape of the Middle East Exige V6 launch, which has been a long time coming (Lotus used prototype V6-engined Exiges as test mules as far back as 2008 to help develop the Evora). Most of the world got its hands on the production ready Exige V6 two years ago and it’s currently Lotus’ best selling model. Still, we’re better off than our friends in America who can only buy it as a track car. For the GGC, various cooling/insulation/AC components were upgraded for our climate, similar to what was done on Gulf specification Exiges since 2009.
There are three big differences between the Exige V6 and previous iterations: The drivetrain is now a 3.5-litre supercharged engine, whereas previous versions stuck with 1.8-litre four pot, so to accommodate the larger engine, everything else has been scaled up: wheelbase, width, brakes, wheels, you name it. Inevitably mass has increased to nearly 1200kg, which although still lightweight is easily heaviest Exige yet.
Electronics is the next key change, Lotus teaming-up with Bosch to develop a sophisticated chassis system called Dynamic Performance Management, allowing the driver to select different modes depending on road or track conditions. Finally, there’s a soft-top version sans the Exige trademark spoilers and coupe silhouette (maybe they should have called this one the Elise V6 instead of Exige Roadster?). Methinks the collection may be getting bigger again soon…
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