The 2016 Lotus Exige Sport 350 is the lightest and fastest version of the famed two-seater sports car to date. In the lexicon of Lotus, “Sport” designations are rare and this particular model joins the Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 as the next one in a strong line-up of high-performance cars.
Power comes in the form of a 3.5-litre V6 engine. It delivers 345 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. Matched to a manual transmission, 0-100km/h takes just 3.9 seconds. Top speed reaches a pulse-pounding 274 km/h. The optional 6-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel mounted paddle-shifters provides a slightly quicker 0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds.
In an effort to maximize performance, every opportunity has been taken to reduce overall mass. Weighing a stocky 1,125 kg, the new Exige Sport 350 sheds 51 kg from the previous Exige S. Lightweight materials define the louvered tailgate panel, chassis, engine mounts, battery, center console and HVAC piping.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented earlier this year, “The Lotus Exige is already regarded as one of the world’s best sports cars and a benchmark for performance and handling both on road and on track. With the Exige Sport 350 we took an already phenomenally quick car and made it even faster, more dynamic and more pure, perfectly demonstrating our Lotus design philosophy of ‘lighter and faster’.”
Aerodynamic styling plays a key role in how the car was designed. The new Exige Sport 350 generates 42 kg of downforce at 160 km/h. This is due in large part to the design of the rear wing and flat underbody, both of which help manage airflow.
The 2016 Lotus Exige Sport 350 is first Lotus production car to go under one minute and thirty seconds at the famed Hethel race track where Lotus tests their cars to the extreme.