High powered, highly evolved, and ferociously fast, the Lotus Exige Sport 380 was the most aggressive Exige model for 2016.
The Exige Sport 380 carries over the lessons learnt in the development of the acclaimed Exige Sport 350, launched in 2015, but with significant revisions lowering weight, boosting power and enhancing aerodynamics.
Rather than relying excessively on electronics, or allow sterile interfaces to dull the experience, the extreme Exige Sport 380 offers a pure, undiluted drive that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Unrivalled in its class: faster, sharper, and more direct than adversaries, the Exige Sport 380 is definitely not for the timid. With a dry weight of just 1,066 kg with lightweight options, and boasting a potent power-to-weight ratio of 352 hp per tonne, the new, pure-bred Lotus has been conceived to out perform and out manoeuvre so called supercars.
The Exige 380 is blisteringly fast off the line, dispatching 0 – 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds before reaching a top speed of 286 km/h.
From the intricately engineered exposed-gear-change linkage, to the swathes of carbon-fibre components and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as standard, every inch of the Exige 380 has been carefully cultivated.
Firmly defined as a Lotus for the enthusiast, the car can be seen as an expression of intense engineering – challenging accomplished drivers to extract the car’s true potential.
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.Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus, comment at the car launch
Unashamedly analogue and unfiltered
Lotus’ approach to developing the perfect sports car has allowed the Exige Sport 380 to lay claim to the title of the best sports car under 100,000 euros.
A true supercar car for the road, the Exige focuses on the three key attributes that have made the company a firm favourite with driving enthusiasts: reduced weight, higher performance and honed aerodynamics.
Raised on the roads around Hethel, and exercised on the company’s famous test track, the car can trace its lineage back to the very first Exige, launched in 2000. Now this car, sitting above the Sport 350 model, is instilled with Lotus’ DNA and packed with a potent 375 hp engine into Lotus’ acclaimed two-seater.
While employing some of the high-performance components premiered on the Exige Sport 350, Lotus returned to the Lightweight Laboratory in order to cut kilos from the kerb weight.
Infused with carbon fibre from front to back, the Exige Sport 380 features 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 line with its illustrious lineage, the Exige Sport 380 employs Lotus’ lightweight extruded and bonded aluminium structure, as the company continues to lead in the field of advanced automotive construction techniques.
Lotus is working continuously to engineer out the excess mass from its cars, and the company’s chassis technology remains the benchmark.
The company’s powertrain division has left its mark on the car, with the uprated 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine generating 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 410 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. Refined from extensive testing and development, it’s a design that’s proved its mettle by powering some of Lotus’ latest supercars, including the track-focused 3-Eleven and the Evora Sport 410.
The power boost comes from a revised supercharger pulley, which increases charge pressure, an uprated fuel pump, a recalibrated ECU and the introduction of a revised exhaust system – as used in the Evora 400 and Evora Sport 410.
Providing faster, cleaner changes, the Exige Sport 380’s six-speed manual gearbox uses Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate design. Eliminating lateral movement, by precisely aligning components, it features light-weight machined and cast aluminium parts. Aesthetically appealing, the open transmission mechanism also helps contribute to the car’s reduced weight. The manual gearbox has been further enhanced through the introduction of a new oil cooler, ensuring the gears operate at the optimal temperature no matter how hard they are performing.
As with all Lotus cars, aerodynamic efficiency plays a key role in the Exige, helping it to drastically expand its performance envelope. Extensive CFD modelling work has allowed Lotus’ design team to fine tune specific areas, in order to deliver a substantial overall improvement. The revised front access panel modifies the air flow exiting the car’s horizontally mounted radiators, before it travels over the car, while the carbon front spoiler and rubber lip spoiler combined with the carbon barge boards reduce pressure under the vehicle.
In addition, twin pairs of front canard wings, mounted forward of the front wheels, a carbon rear wing and air blades behind the rear wheels, all work to help raise downforce to a massive 140 kg at maximum speed. This increase in downforce does not come at the penalty of drag which remains the same as the Exige Sport 350.
The extensive use of carbon fibre on the bodywork has lowered the centre of gravity, helping contribute to the Exige’s exemplary steering feel and precision handling characteristics.
Making the most of its performance potential, the Exige Sport 380 is fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as standard (265/35 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front). Selected for their tenacity, and 10mm wider at the front that on the Exige Sport 350, the increased mechanical grip is complemented by the car’s ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels.
Either option is complemented by AP Racing forged, four-piston brake callipers and grooved performance two-piece brake discs.
Opting for the full exhaust system in titanium improves the car’s overall balance, by removing 10 kg from beyond the rear axle. For customers who frequently go to the track, the optional Track Pack 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.
Distinctive blackened headlamp surrounds provide a more aggressive demeanour, whilst to visually accentuate the width of rear of the car, a new rear transom features two lamp clusters rather than four.
The hand finished detailing continues inside, with the carbon fibre sports seats trimmed with either Alcantara®, leather or tartan, with all featuring contrast stitching.
The optional lightweight carbon fibre sill covers provide a motorsport theme when entering or exiting the Exige Sport 380 and, thanks to their lower profile and contoured finish, aid ingress and egress.
The Interior Colour Pack provides contrasting surrounds to the transmission console, HVAC surround, carbon seat eyelets and electric window bezels in one of four colours.
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 was available as a roadster as standard and as a coupe as an option.