One of the world's best sports cars meets one of its most challenging road courses.
The Lotus Exige has been around in its current form since 2012. It’s the British marque's most hardcore car (not counting the roof-less 3-Eleven track special), designed for people who want both lightweight and a big dollop of power to play with. Sadly, this latest generation isn't available in the United States, depriving Americans of one of the purest driving experiences out there—a mid-engine, stick-shift sports car with no stereo and a power-to-weight ratio on par with a Porsche 911 GT3.
British Racing Green Lotus Exige
Depending on spec (from 345 hp to 430), the Exige is either 'quite angry' or 'incredibly miffed', with various wing and spring configurations to suit pretty much any driver from the road-going enthusiasts to the track types. There’s a sweet spot in the range, though: the 410 Sport. Producing 410 hp (thank you for making a numeric name matter, Lotus) from its mid-mounted, supercharged 3.5-liter V6, it’ll crack a 0-60 mph run in 3.3 seconds if you’re quick enough with its six-speed stick on its way to 174 mph.
The Lotus Exige 360 Cup has been engineered using cutting-edge racing design. Enjoy near perfect weight distribution and suspension handling characteristics that reward fast driving. The Lotus lives for the race track!
Racing Lotus Exige V8
That's because the mightiest Lotus sports car is a track special, with technology that's not intended for simple drag racing. No, a big wing doesn't make you faster in a straight line. But as a result, the Exige Cup 430 is priced at almost £120,000, almost as much as the Audi and Porsche combined. You could start a small car collection with that kind of cash.
Let's look at the specs first. The Cup 430 has a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 making 436 PS and 440 Nm of torque. At 1,093 kg or 2410 lbs, it's over half a ton lighter than the Audi. The quattro car compensates by having two turbochargers and the only all-wheel-drive system in this race, plus a hefty 450 HP and 600 Nm of torque.
The quattro, combined with the torque of the 2.9 TFSI makes the RS5 much faster off the line. But just before the end of the quarter-mile runway, the lighter Lotus edges ahead. We think the Lotus even got a bad start here, as it's got supercar-like 0 to 60 times.
The big loser here is the Cayman GTS. It's still about 400 kg heavier than the Lotus but features a much less powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It's completely outclassed by both of its rivals. Hopefully, Porsche is watching and does something about this before the 718 series becomes totally irrelevant.
Exigence Racing Lotus
Racing Lotus Exige Gt
The Lotus Exige is basically a Go Cart made sreet legal. An aluminum chassis with a light weight high revving engine; some seats bolted in and some fiberglass on top makes the Exige a fast and agile combination – Volk Racing TE37V on Lotus Exige Volk Racing TE37V in staggered widths and diameters are a perfect upgrade to the light weight Exige. The 2008 racing season brought the team from Evonik Industries and RED-Motorsport four impressive class victories for their Lotus Exige S. Two class wins in the Dutch Super Car Challenge and one each in the AvD 1000 km race and the legendary 24-hour Brit Car Race in Silverstone add up to a considerable achievement.