Lotus Exige Sport 380
Hot off the heels of Lotus revealing they are finally making a profit comes their fastest car yet, the Exige Sport 380. It is a more powerful and lighter version of the Exige Sport 350 (which is a lighter version of the original Exige V6).
The new car is easy to spot compared to the standard car. It has more wings and aero devices than ever before. It also has quite a bit more carbon than before. It’s everywhere. The front splitter, front ancillaries cover, rear engine cover, rear wing and rear diffuser are all made from shiny carbon fibre. This all helps contribute to make this the lightest V6 engined Exige yet.
Lotus have fiddled with the Toyota sourced V6 engine and now it produces 375hp. This drops the 0-60 time to a staggering 3.5 seconds. Remember this is with a manual gearbox. No super-fast flappy paddles here. Just the new, taught 6-speed manual that debuted in the Sport 350.
The boost in power also has raised the top speed to 178mph despite having more downforce. This has elevated the Exige into serious supercar baiting territory.
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.”
The keen eyed amongst you will also notice that the rear lights have changed slightly. This has given the rear end a slightly awkward look from some angles. One I’m sure we’ll get used to. To my eyes at least, the whole presentation of this car is a little awkward though. The new ‘eye-liner’ around the headlights is a little fussy and the silver/red/black/carbon colour combo is not the most flattering for this car. Luckily Lotus will probably make it almost any colour you like if you pay them enough.
Inside there is more carbon, more red detailing and lots of lovely alcantara. It’s basic in a very Lotus way and just like every Elise and Exige before it, it takes a bit contortion to get your body into the cabin. Once you are in though, it is like wearing your favourite trainer. You basically become one with the car. The carbon backed seats help with that feeling and will hold you in place no matter how hard you drive the Exige.
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 is available as a roadster as standard and as a coupe as an option. Prices start at £67,900 which seems pretty good value given the performance on offer. We’ll just have ours in another colour please.