In top form, both technically and visually: Volkswagen presented the…
The Lotus Exige is one of the coolest, most unique sports cars on the market. Things have changed since it was first introduced in 2000, and companies like Alfa Romeo launched direct competitors, but the Lotus Exige continues to evolve. The latest is the Sport 380 which runs from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 178 mph. The Sport 380 weighs in at 2,425lbs which includes a bunch of lightweight options. They add up to £67,900 but who cares because you can’t buy one here anyway.
So assuming you live in Europe or Japan, you get an awesomely exposed-gear-change linkage, tons of carbon-fiber and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres(265/35 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front) as standard.
But the real fun starts with the hand-made, high-gloss visible weave components as standard to deliver a weight saving when compared to the Exige Sport 350. This includes the front splitter, revised front access panel, new rear wing and rear diffuser surround, which together save 2.7 kg. A lightweight, transparent polycarbonate rear window saves 0.9 kg over the glass equivalent in the Exige Sport 350. In addition, the carbon race seats (-6 kg), lithium- ion battery (-10.3 kg), ultra-lightweight forged wheels and grooved two-piece brake discs (-10 kg) combine to cut a massive 26.3 kg. A new design of rear transom panel now has two rear light clusters, rather than the four on the Exige Sport 350, with reversing and fog lights now mounted inboard, cutting weight by a further 0.3 kg.
In addition to the twin pairs of front canard wings, mounted forward of the front wheels, there is a carbon rear wing and air blades behind the rear wheels which raise downforce to a massive 140 kg at maximum speed – a 60% gain over the Exige Sport 350, which generates 88 kg at its maximum speed. The cool part is that drag remains the same as the Sport 350 meaning you get the extra down force for free.
There’s also full titanium exhaust system which improves the car’s overall balance, by removing 10 kg from beyond the rear axle. There’s also an optional Track Pack which provides Nitron two-way adjustable dampers and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars.
The optional Carbon Exterior Pack contains a one-piece carbon roof panel and a distinctive carbon louvered tailgate. The carbon roof panel is 2 kg heavier than the standard soft-top but this weight increase is offset by the carbon louvered tailgate which saves 2 kg.
The Exige Sport 380 is sprayed and hand finished in one of ten individual colors. The optional exterior accent pack is also available in one of five key colors.
The Exige Sport 380’s styling is highlighted by blackened headlamp surrounds while a new rear transom features two lamp clusters rather than four.
The interior gets carbon fibre sports seats trimmed with either Alcantara®, leather or tartan, with all featuring contrast stitching.
The final option allows you get the Lotus Exige Sport 380 is as a roadster or as a coupe for a little more cash. Again, it doesn’t look like we will get these stateside, so these pictures are about as close as you will get.
Here are the performance stats in detail for those counting.