Since its founding in 1952, the focus of Lotus has been on brilliantly lightweight cars for road and track. Compared to its competition, Lotus's road cars are usually underpowered, even when taking the vehicle's low weight into account. That does not in the least diminish how fun they are to drive, or the value of their more purist approach to sports cars.
At the same time, the company seems to be moving in the direction of offering cars with more power to weight. The Sport 380 with its 375 hp supercharged V6 is the company's fastest Exige to date, enough to allow a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.
Weight-saving measures in a high-performance Lotus go without saying, so the company made heavy use of visible weave carbon fiber on the front splitter, front access panel, rear diffuser, and rear wing, with a 6 lb weight savings. A polycarbonate rear window is used in place of glass, saving another 2 lbs in weight. The lightweight forged wheels, grooved disc brakes, lithium ion battery, and carbon race seats all combine for an additional 58 lbs of weight saving.
High on the coolness factor is Lotus's open-gate shifter design for its manual transmission. Using lightweight but sturdy aluminum parts, the visible shifter mechanism also reduces weight. It also benefits from a new oil cooler that can keep it from getting too hot even in heavy use. A 6-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel paddle shifters will be available in the spring of 2017.
|3.5 liter V6||supercharger||302 ft-lb|
|375 HP||107.1 HP/Liter||6.5 lbs/HP|
|Top Speed||0-60 mph||Range|
|178 mph||3.5 sec||--|