It was just less than two months ago that Lotus unveiled its super lightweight Exige Sport 380. Now, the British sportscar maker has taken the wraps off an even leaner, track-only variant. Dubbed Exige Race 380, the racecar is lighter than the road-going version by around 100kg. At 1,110, the road-legal Exige 380 was not exactly bulky itself, but the engineers at Hethel have managed to bring the overall dry weight down to a measly 998kg, which can be dropped even further by 10kg if you opt for the full exhaust system in titanium.
Power comes from the same Toyota-sourced supercharged 3.5-litre V6 that puts out 375bhp and 410Nm of torque, but the transmission is different. While the Sport 380 comes equipped with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional six-speed auto ‘box, the Race 380 features an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission, to “extract every ounce of performance.” And talking of performance, the Exige Race 380 sprints from 0-60mph (96kph) in just 3.2 seconds, and laps the Hethel track in 1 minute 23.5 seconds; making it the fastest Exige at the circuit, even faster than the Exige Cup R.
“By setting its weight below 1,000kg, its power to weight is unsurpassed in its class. When lapping Hethel, it’s a phenomenal 1.5 seconds faster than the previous Exige Cup R - a massive performance gain. It’s an unparalleled race car that follows the philosophy of Colin Chapman and we can’t wait for customers to experience its capabilities,” says Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.
It produces downforce of 240kg at 274kph, thanks to vents incorporated into the front bodywork and rear bumper to reduce pressure around the wheels, while a grille mounted at the rear aids air circulation through the engine bay. Meanwhile, a new front splitter reduces pressure beneath the Exige, whilst the rear diffuser and larger motorsport rear wing help modify airflow at back. It also comes with a full, integrated roll cage, lightweight FIA Carbon driver seat, a six-point harness, and ultra-lightweight polycarbonate side windows. The Exige Race 380 is priced at £99,500 (Dh445,251) in the UK.