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Lotus Sport Exige 240R

25th August 2006

Lotus releases details about its new bio-ethanol-powered Exige 265E, the most powerful road version of the Lotus Exige ever. It weighs just 930 kg unladen and is called the Lotus Exige 265E because the 265 indicates the approximate horsepower and the E indicates the environmentally favourable bio-ethanol E85 fuel containing 85 per cent ethanol alcohol and 15 per cent petrol. This is consistent with the Lotus naming strategy for other one-off and limited number variants, such as the Lotus Sport Exige 240R.

It uses a slightly modified version of the 2ZZ VVTL-i supercharged and intercooled 4-cylinder engine from the standard Lotus Exige S. It results in a claimed 0-60 mph in 3.88 seconds, 0-100 mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph.

Changes have been made to the fuel system, the engine calibration and the four fuel injectors mounted on the inlet manifold have been enlarged. Two additional fuel injectors have been fitted at the supercharger inlet to increase the amount of fuel being injected in to the engine under higher engine loads and to further cool the charge air prior to combustion.

Lotus considered a number of bio-fuels for this research project. E85 bio-ethanol was chosen because its characteristics allowed better engine performance. Ethanol has a high octane rating and with optomised ignition and time the fuel burns faster, increasing the efficiency of the engine.

The Lotus Exige 265E now produces 264hp at 8,000rpm, and 184lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm, up by 46 hp or 21 per cent and 25lb-ft or 16 per cent over the standard petrol powered Exige S. With the total weight of approximately 930 kg (unladen), the power to weight is approximately 283 hp / tonne. Ethanol has less stored energy per unit volume than gasoline so the fuel economy is less. E85 ethanol is 85 per cent sourced from renewable bio matter resulting in it being more carbon neutral.

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