Automotive

Lotus Exige Sport 380 leaves its siblings in the dust

Lotus Exige Sport 380 leaves i...
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 will hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 will hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds
View 17 Images
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 will hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 will hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h)
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h)
Lotus says the Exige Sport 380 is designed to compete with "six-figure supercars"
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Lotus says the Exige Sport 380 is designed to compete with "six-figure supercars"
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has blackened headlamp surrounds
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has blackened headlamp surrounds
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a carbon fiber front splitter
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a carbon fiber front splitter
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a carbon fiber front access panel
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a carbon fiber front access panel
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a polycarbonate rear window
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a polycarbonate rear window
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a modified supercharger, fuel pump, engine control unit and exhaust system
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a modified supercharger, fuel pump, engine control unit and exhaust system
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has two rear light clusters, compared to four on the Exige Sport 350
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has two rear light clusters, compared to four on the Exige Sport 350
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a carbon rear wing
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a carbon rear wing
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 rear wing produces produce 140 kg (309 lb) of downforce flat-out
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 rear wing produces produce 140 kg (309 lb) of downforce flat-out
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has highlighted side boards
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has highlighted side boards
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has highlighted side pod air intakes
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has highlighted side pod air intakes
The carbon front spoiler and rubber lip spoiler of the Lotus Exige Sport 380 have been designed to reduce pressure under the vehicle
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The carbon front spoiler and rubber lip spoiler of the Lotus Exige Sport 380 have been designed to reduce pressure under the vehicle
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has carbon sports seats
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has carbon sports seats
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 a six-speed manual gearbox with oil-cooled gears that allow for smoother changes
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 a six-speed manual gearbox with oil-cooled gears that allow for smoother changes
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has an entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity
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The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has an entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity
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Lotus has unveiled what it says is the fastest Exige it has ever made. The top-of-the-range Exige Sport 380 will hit 60 mph (97 km/h) from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds and maxes out at 178 mph (286 km/h). It has been designed to compete with what Lotus terms "six-figure supercars."

The British marque say it used the Exige Sport 350 as the starting point for the newest member of the Exige family, the 350 having already given the Exige a more performance-oriented slant and having already been further refined as the Exige 350 Special Edition. The Exige Sport 380, however, has more power, less weight and improved aerodynamics.

The Exige Sport 380 is powered by the same supercharged V6 engine as the Exige Sport 350, but it produces 375 hp (280 kW) and 410 Nm (302 lb.ft) of torque, compared to 345 hp (257 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb.ft). This is down to a modified supercharger, fuel pump, engine control unit and exhaust system.

Taking advantage of that additional power, the weight-loss program enacted by Lotus has seen carbon fiber components used wherever possible. These include the front splitter, front access panel, rear wing and rear diffuser surround. Elsewhere, a polycarbonate rear window, forged wheels and grooved two-piece brake discs all help to trim some fat away, resulting in a kerb-weight of 1,110 kg (2,450 lb).

The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h)
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 has a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h)

Indeed, it's possible to further reduce that even further to 1,100 kg (2,430 lb), with a variety of optional extras that includes a titanium exhaust system and a one-piece carbon roof panel with a carbon louvered tailgate.

Even more is squeezed out of the engine by way of aerodynamic refinements that give the 380 a remarkable 60 percent more downforce at its top speed than the 350. Front canard wings, a carbon rear wing and blades behind the rear wheels combine to produce 140 kg (309 lb) of downforce flat-out. A carbon front spoiler and rubber lip spoiler have been tweaked to reduce pressure under the vehicle, meanwhile, and the airflow into the front inlets and out of the horizontally-mounted hood outlets has been adjusted, too.

The 380 has a six-speed manual gearbox with oil-cooled gears that allow for smoother changes at an optimal temperature. A semi-automatic with flappy paddles is also available, but it adds a little weight to the car.

Lotus says the Exige Sport 380 is designed to compete with "six-figure supercars"
Lotus says the Exige Sport 380 is designed to compete with "six-figure supercars"

Drivers can use Lotus' Dynamic Performance Management system to select "Sport" and "Race" settings, which basically leave more room for driver control (and error) before the car's automated systems kick-in, while mechanical rather than electronic systems are aimed at creating a more driver-oriented experience. The use of carbon fiber for the bodywork, meanwhile, is said to have helped lower the car's center of gravity and improve handling.

The Exige Sport 380 is available in 10 different colors, with an optional accent pack for highlighting details in one of five other colors. The carbon fiber theme is pulled through to the interior sports seats and there's also a integrated entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity.

The Exige Sport 380 is available as a roadster or optionally as a coupe. Prices start from £67,900 (US$84,200).

Source: Lotus

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