Since its founding in 1952, the focus of Lotus has been on brilliantly lightweight cars for road and track. Compared to its competition, Lotus's road cars are usually underpowered, even when taking the vehicle's low weight into account. That does not in the least diminish how fun they are to drive, or the value of their more purist approach to sports cars.
At the same time, the company seems to be moving in the direction of offering cars with more power to weight. The Sport 380 with its 375 hp supercharged V6 is the company's fastest Exige to date, enough to allow a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.
Weight-saving measures in a high-performance Lotus go without saying, so the company made heavy use of visible weave carbon fiber on the front splitter, front access panel, rear diffuser, and rear wing, with a 6 lb weight savings. A polycarbonate rear window is used in place of glass, saving another 2 lbs in weight. The lightweight forged wheels, grooved disc brakes, lithium ion battery, and carbon race seats all combine for an additional 58 lbs of weight saving.
High on the coolness factor is Lotus's open-gate shifter design for its manual transmission. Using lightweight but sturdy aluminum parts, the visible shifter mechanism also reduces weight. It also benefits from a new oil cooler that can keep it from getting too hot even in heavy use. A 6-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel paddle shifters will be available in the spring of 2017.
|---- Specifications ----|
|Engine||3.5 liter V6||Weight||2,425 lbs|
|Aspiration||supercharger||Torque||302 ft-lb @ 5000 rpm|
|HP||375 HP @ 6700 rpm||HP/Weight||6.5 lbs/HP|
|0-60 mph||3.5 sec||Top Speed||178 mph|
Lotus Exige Sport 380: Supercar Killer
• Fastest Exige ever: 0-60 mph in 3.5 secs
• 375 hp and 352 hp per tonne
• Weighs from 1,066 kg dry and 1,100 kg kerb
• Aerodynamic downforce of 140 kg at top speed
• Nose-to-tail carbon components as standard
High powered, highly evolved, and ferociously fast, the Lotus Exige Sport 380 is the most aggressive iteration yet for the Exige model line up.
Taking the fight straight to six-figure supercars, this new, top-of-the-range model carries over the lessons learnt in the development of the acclaimed Exige Sport 350, launched last year, but with significant revisions lowering weight, boosting power and enhancing aerodynamics. Rather than relying excessively on electronics, or allow sterile interfaces to dull the experience, the extreme Exige Sport 380 offers a pure, undiluted drive that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Unrivalled in its class: faster, sharper, and more direct than adversaries, the Exige Sport 380 is definitely not for the timid. With a dry weight of just 1,066 kg with lightweight options, and boasting a potent power-to-weight ratio of 352 hp per tonne, the new, pure-bred Lotus has been conceived to out perform and out manoeuvre so called supercars. The new Exige is blisteringly fast off the line, dispatching 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 178 mph. From the intricately engineered exposed-gear-change linkage, to the swathes of carbon-fibre components and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as standard, every inch of the Exige has been carefully cultivated. Firmly defined as a Lotus for the enthusiast, the car can be seen as an expression of intense engineering - challenging accomplished drivers to extract the car’s true potential.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “We’ve saved something special for our last new car of 2016. We have built upon the foundations of the excellent Exige Sport 350 and developed a perfectly proportioned, intuitive and attainable supercar for real roads. The cut in weight is nothing short of drastic and, combined with the hike in power and its enhanced agility, we’ve created something exceptional - far greater than the sum of its parts. The Exige Sport 380 is so good, that it is no longer the best in class, it’s now in a class of its own.”