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Lotus Exige S To Race In Dutton Rally Victoria

August 28th, 2007

Factory fast Exige S to challenge for Dutton Rally grand final honours.

A Lotus Exige S will tackle this weekend's final round of the 2007 Alphera Dutton Rally in Victoria.

The factory standard 2007 Exige S will be entered by Lotus Cars Australia to showcase the sporting nature and motorsport prowess of the Lotus brand.

Lotus Cars Australia Sales and Marketing Manager Jonathan Stretton said: "As a company steeped in motorsport history we feel it's only natural that enter into some events in Australia.

"Given the Dutton Rally's focus on factory performance cars without the requirement for heavy modifications, we thought it was a perfect fit for the Exige S.

"The Exige S is ultimately produced as a road car, but one that excels in a track environment and can outperform cars two and three times its price. It is also one of few cars that can be driven to a circuit, compete against the best metal at the track and then be driven home. The Dutton fills the criteria perfectly," surmised Stretton. The Lotus Exige S retails for $114,990.

"As the most powerful model in our range, the Exige S is a pure performance car with a supercharged engine, adjustable suspension and racing tyres. Lotus has always been known for its light weight and outstanding handling," reinforced Stretton, "but a supercharger never hurt."

Developing 163kW from its supercharged and intercooled 1.8-litre four cylinder, the Exige S runs from 0-100km/h in just 4.3 seconds. It weighs just 935kg.

The Exige S is also fitted with Yokohama Advan A048R competition tyres as standard equipment: 16-inch on the front, 17-inch on the rear.

Entered as driver two, Stretton added: "The Exige S finished second outright in Wheels magazine's recent Handling Olympics 2007 behind a German thoroughbred more than twice its price. With the nature of the Dutton's motorkhanas and handling tests, we're looking forward to beating a few this time around! I think the only hindrance will be my driving skills, it certainly won't be down to the car."

Stretton will be joined by experienced racer and motoring journalist Dean Evans, who has a successful history with Lotus, dominating a 2005 Bathurst one-make Lotus race. In the 2006 Lotus Trophy series, Evans earned two pole positions, lap record and two race wins from two rounds.

Evans enthused: "I did the Victorian Dutton two years ago in an Elise 111R and I know how tough this round can be. I'm thrilled to have the semi-slick Yokohamas and the supercharger this time around. There will be some heavily tuned cars out there, and though we're in a standard production car, we hope to be up near the pointy end."

Dutton Rally organiser Anthony Moss welcomed Lotus into the Victorian round. "We're always keen to see manufacturers involved with our rally and we're glad Lotus has seen the Dutton Rally as a place to showcase its cars. It is the perfect motorsport event for factory performance cars as no modifications are required more than a fire extinguisher and first aid kit."

The Dutton Rally starts August 31 around Shepparton and Winton Raceway before moving to Sandown Raceway on Sunday Sept 2.

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