For those who follow motorsport, Lotus Cars Australia has an enviable position as the leading manufacturer in the local Targa Championship.
Having won the Australian Targa Championship outright in 2018 and absolutely dominated in the four classes for which its cars were eligible last year, Lotus is on a roll.
To celebrate, the company has brought to life the limited special edition Exige Targa Edition for the Australian market.
Limited to just 10 units, the Targa Edition is based on the Exige 410. As such, it’s powered by a 3.5-litre V6 sourced from Toyota, but then supercharged to deliver a healthy 305kW of power and and 420Nm of torque.
Priced from $174,990 before on-road costs, it’s only $5000 more expensive than the standard car but gains roughly $12,500 worth of equipment – not including the unique factor.
Outside, there are ‘Targa Limited Edition’ decals, as well as side air intakes and a rear wing made of carbon fibre for a touch of extra presence.
Meanwhile, inside there’s a numbered build plate to show you which of the specials you’ve snagged. Add to that a set of lightweight carbon fibre race seats, the interior colour pack, a harness bar and fire extinguisher, a towing system, and the Exige Targa edition comes well equipped for track days or entry to the Targa Tour category.
With a six-speed manual as the only option, the Targa Edition Exige 410 has a power-to-weight ratio of 290kW/ton. It weighs in at as little as just 1054kg with all the lightweight options ticked.
The 100km/h sprint is achieved in just 3.4 seconds and, from experience with the standard Exige 410, that number is not over-estimated. That’s impressive for a manual car.
Given the consistent braking requirements for Targa, the Exige is equipped by AP Racing with forged, four-piston calipers and high-performance two-piece J-hook brake discs that take care of repeated abuse.
As the cars are built to order, they can be had in any colour from the Lotus range.
According to the boss of Lotus Australia, the decision around the Targa Edition cars was based on the brand’s history in customer motorsport.
“Some of our customers have been doing Targa for a long time, but our relationship with Targa at a manufacturer level really started in 2015 when we supported four cars competing in Targa High Country,” said Lotus Cars Australia CEO, Lee Knappett.
“Since then, our involvement has expanded to include an official Lotus Tour group, and we regularly have over 25 cars in the field at each event.
“Targa is a great fit for our customers. It offers numerous different classes, including a non-competitive tour group that allows first timers to dip their toe in.”
The Lotus Exige Sport 410 Targa Edition is available to order now from Lotus dealers across the country.