Lotus Exige Sport 380 revealed 24 | 11 | 2016

    LOTUS HAS UNVEILED its fastest, lightest and most powerful Exige model. Powered by a 375bhp Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 engine, the Lotus Exige Sport 380 will hit 62mph from standstill in 3.5sec and carry on to a max of 178mph.

    Based on last year's Exige Sport 350, the new model tips the scales at just 1066kg (25kg less than the lightest Exige Sport). To help maximise its near-supercar performance, it also boasts new a aerodynamics package which significantly improves downforce.


    Weight has been shaved off across the car, including the lightest forged alloy wheels on the market, carbonfibre sports seats, a polycarbonate rear window instead of glass, new rear wing and diffuser with airblades, new rear light designs, a lithium ion battery and a new access panel.

    The buyer can maximise the weight saving by purchasing additional lightweight options such as the removable carbonfibre roof panel in place of the standard soft top, and the titanium exhaust.


    While the chassis remains untouched, Lotus has fitted Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres — 10mm wider at the front than on the Exige Sport 350 — to further increase grip. High-performance brakes with grooved discs have also been sourced from AP Racing.

    Standard fit includes a six-speed manual gearbox with an open gate design; an automatic version will arrive next spring, though the take-up of it will be small. The transmission is fitted with an oil cooler to allow for extended track use.


    The new aero package adds a large fixed rear wing and the diffuser, barge boards, and a new front splitter with lip spoiler. Look carefully and you’ll also spot a number of additional aero-improving styling tweaks on the rest of the body.

    At maximum speed, the car generates 140kg of downforce, marking a 60% improvement over the Exige Sport 350 but without increasing drag.

    Interestingly, despite the eye-watering performance and track capability, Lotus says the Exige remains usable and compliant as a road car. This has been helped no end by an improvement in the quality of the fit and finish, build and attention to detail.


    Ease of access to the cabin has also been improved: Lotus has lowering the sills by 1cm. Inside, Alcantara trim is standard and there’s a first for the Exige — new infotainment system that includes Bluetooth.

    For those keen to take the new outs on-track, there’s an optional Track Pack, which includes two-way adjustable Nitron dampers and adjustable Eibach front and rear anti-roll bars.


    "We've saved something special for our last new car of 2016,” Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented, said. “We’ve 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."

    Available to order from Scotland’s Lotus dealer, with first deliveries scheduled for early next year, the Lotus Exige Sport 380 starts at £67,900. That’s around £11,000 more than the Exige Sport 350.

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    Jim McGill

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