The first Lotus Exige S sports cars are set to roll off the Hethel production line later this month the company has announced.

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Announced at the Frankfurt motor show last year, the 170mph model was unveiled at the opening of Group Lotus’ flagship shop in London’s West End earlier this week.

The company said the new shop opening and sports car unveiling marked a new chapter for both Lotus and its parent company PROTON after being taken over by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM earlier this year.

Group managing director of Group Lotus parent company DRB-HICOM Khamil Jamil said: “With a future of increased productivity and cooperation ahead, Lotus is destined to join the ranks of the great luxury performance brands of the world.”

He said: “We can derive many synergies between DRB-HICOM, PROTON and Lotus; and we reaffirm our full and long-term commitment to raise Lotus to the next level of success.”

Lotus chief operating officer Aslam Farikullah said: “The car represents the very best of Lotus. Its aerodynamic appearance is race-track inspired, as is the interior. Every detail from the racing twin-piston front caliper brakes, to the glossy black wheels and lightweight aluminum bonded structure has the Lotus mark of excellence about it.”

The board of DRB-HICOM met with British Trade Secretary Dr Vince Cable on Wednesday, shortly before the store was officially opened by Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK, Zakaria Sulong.

He said: “Lotus is such an iconic brand, not just in the UK but internationally as well.

“It represents a heritage that has impacted the world’s automotive industry and a brand that holds so much more potential and relevance in the automotive industry and motorsports today.”

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