Lotus has just announced the release of a new Exige variant, and according to the automaker, it's available "globally." Now, it's understandable that this news—and quite honestly, the fact that Lotus is still actually making cars—could take some American enthusiasts by surprise.

So obviously, there's a catch.

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Chances the British brand's Exige S Club Racer will be road-legal across the Pond are nil. No current versions of the Elise or Exige currently are. So if you happen to live in the U.S., any ideas about taking one and tearing up your local set of twisties are pure fantasy.

That said, this weapons-grade featherweight will make a formidable track machine.

Power comes from a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 producing 345 horsepower, but a loss of 33 pounds from the standard Exige S means it has just 2,593 lbs to propel, allowing it to sprint from 0-60 mph in four seconds flat and achieve a top speed of 170 mph. Given the power-to-weight ratio, you can be assured those straight-line specs would be even more impressive, save for the 93 lbs of downforce created by the front splitter, rear wing and flat underside, which are designed to give the Exige S grip like a cat on carpet.

Prices start at $85,300, and in minimalist Lotus style, options are few. Only two are predictable creature comforts: air conditioning and a stereo. The others are lightweight brakes and matte-black paint. That's it. You can pick Metallic White, Exige Orange, and Metallic Yellow for no charge.

While the Evora—the USA's sole road-going Lotus—is a rare site here, the Exige S Club Racer is a perfect example of what the company's hardcore ethos can bring to the performance party.

Here's hoping we see more of it soon.


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