Earlier this year Lotus unveiled its “Final Edition” Elise and Exige models for the U.S., marking the end of the lightweight sports cars’ run in one of the world’s biggest markets.

In addition to an aging platform, a key reason for the demise of the Elise and Exige in the U.S. was due to an expiration of a "smart" airbag exemption that left the models on the wrong side of government regulations.

That, coupled with the fact that Toyota was no longer supplying the 2ZZ-GE four-cylinder engines that powered them meant Lotus was forced to halt production of U.S.-spec Elise and Exige sports cars.

However, Lotus then went and unveiled the striking new 2012 Exige S at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, a bigger, and meaner version of the Exige packed with the Evora S’ supercharged 3.5-liter V-6. Sadly, Lotus never mentioned any U.S. launch for the car at its Frankfurt debut but the guys at the duPont Registry claim it will be coming, but as a track-only model.

This means that it should come standard with a full roll cage, racing seats and harness, electrical cut-off switch, and other race car paraphernalia. Expect a pricetag in the vicinity of $85,000 to $90,000 and the vehicle to land sometime next year.

As mentioned, the Exige S packs the Evora S’ supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 and all 345 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that comes with it.

With only around 2,380 pounds in total mass, 200 pounds up on the previous four-cylinder model, we think you’ll quickly realize why we’re so excited about Lotus’ latest addition. Expect 0-60 mph acceleration of just 3.8 seconds and a top speed in excess of 170 mph. Race settings should include adjustable suspension, launch control, and a number of accessories lifted from the Exige R-GT rally car.

Lotus Exige R-GT rally car

Lotus Exige R-GT rally car