Lighter, faster track-only version of Lotus Exige Sport 380 announced
Lotus will begin producing a track-only version of the Exige Sport 380 it unveiled in November. Unsurprisingly named the Lotus Exige Race 380, the stripped back track car will land ready to race in March.
Lotus says the nearest comparison for the Exige Race 380 is the Exige Cup R, which bounded around the company's Hethel test track at a pretty fair clip. Yet the Race 380 did it 1.5 seconds faster thanks to its weight savings and track-focused nature.
The Lotus Exige Race 380 uses the same 3.5-liter supercharged V6 found in the Exige Sport 380, outputting 375 horsepower (280 kW) and 302 foot pounds (410 Nm) of torque. These come at 6,700 rpm and 5,000 rpm, respectively. The drivetrain changes at the gearbox, though, which becomes an X-trac six-speed sequential transmission for faster shifts and more control. An oil cooler, cassette-type plate limited slip differential, and carbon fiber paddles behind the wheel accompany this transmission.
The Exige Race 380 uses a 2-way adjustable Ohlins damper system on its suspension, along with front and rear anti-roll bars. The driver-adjustable traction control system allows for fine-tuning in varied race conditions. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, at 215/45 ZR17 and 265/35 ZR18 (front, rear) clad the Race 380's ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, complemented by AP Racing forged four-piston calipers with grooved two-piece brake discs.
Lotus reports the 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) speed of the Exige Race 380 to be just 3.2 seconds, about three tenths faster than the Sport 380 model. This is largely due to the better gearbox and the Race model's much lighter weight, which comes in at just under 1,000 kg (2,205 pounds) – about 110 kg (242 pounds) lighter than the Sport.
Other race-ready components that come standard on the Exige Race 380 include an integrated roll cage, lightweight FIA carbon fiber driver seat, six-point harness, and ultra-lightweight polycarbonate side windows. Competition-spec fire extinguisher, battery isolator, and towing eyes are also included. An ultra-lightweight carbon fiber motorsport specific louvered tailgate panel is fitted over the engine and carbon fiber air intake pods are fitted forward of the rear wheels. Matt black covers replace the headlamps and airbags have been deleted throughout the cabin.
The Exige Race 380 has a thin-film-transistor (TFT) display for the instrument cluster, allowing full customization of screen configurations. A track data logger and GPS unit are standard, but the cluster can be upgraded to include software with professional data analysis included.
The Exige Race 380 can be ordered now and is priced at £99,500 excluding VAT (US$121,220).