Lotus continues to expand its lineup with the new Exige Sport 350.
As a product of the British automaker’s “Lightweight Laboratory,” the Lotus Exige Sport 350 weighs just 2,480 pounds, making it 112 lbs lighter than the previous model Exige S. In developing the Lotus Exige Sport 350, the company’s engineers painstakingly weighed every component on the previous Lotus Exige S to find where it could shed weight. That resulted in a louvered trunk panel, a lighter battery, lightweight engine mounts, a lightweight center console with an exposed gearshift mechanism, lighter HVAC pipework and the optimized use of sound insulation.
Powering the Lotus Exige Sport 350 remains a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine with 345 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to its weight, the sports car can go 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 170 mph. That time improves slightly when equipped with an automatic transmission.
To improve handling, Lotus also equipped the model with firmer dampers and revise suspension geometry to help deliver more responsive handling. Along with a lowered center of gravity and four-piston brake calipers, the Lotus Exige Sport 350 lapped the company’s test track 2.5 seconds faster than the Exige S. With a lap time of 1 minute 29.8 seconds, it is also the first production Lotus model to run the famous Hethel track in under 1 minute 30 seconds.
The Lotus Exige Sport 350 will only be available in Europe. It will cost £55,900 ($84,769) in the UK.
“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.'”
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