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Exige Sport 350 vs Exige V6 Cup


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Nice write up comparison JP. Certainly seems like a positive nudge forward on the Exige , maybe the next Cup will be a modest power increase with further weigh loss.

Inthe meantime I'll try to look forward to getting my old runout model in Jan :) 

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Black n gold

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Cheers Stu,

Hopefully it's clear that I still believe that the Cup cars are a bit special, as you're soon about to find out. Much like the 4 cyl Cup 260 remains a very desirable car for me, I think the original Exige V6 Cup will be one of those that was greater than the sum of its parts. I have a strong feeling that it will be one of the cars I regret selling if I ever do, no matter how much horsepower the next one has or how light it is. It might sound a bit daft to some but both Trevor and I are quite glad the '400' is still a way off, if it happens at all. Another year with our Cup cars will be no hardship at all! Really looking forward to getting all our cars together next year. The epic one-upmanship opportunity of showing up in a 'men-in-tights' 360 Cup is mighty tempting though, plus I'd be confident I could sneak another MSG Exige past Mrs Pits unnoticed... :ph34r:

 

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Well that was a great write up Jonny and gives a good impression of both cars. My feeling albeit not having driven a "350 SPORT"!!!! is it's a good step forward from the V6S  but for me the raw Cup is yet to be equaled.

 

Trevor

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I'll get around to it at some point.

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Nice article, Jonny. I'd be keen to try the Sport 350 when the demos arrive, but honestly, the V6 Cup is such a special thing to cherish. Night-and-day special in comparison with my V6S. I simply can't wait to get stuck into things in 2016.

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43 minutes ago, Arun_D said:

Nice article, Jonny. I'd be keen to try the Sport 350 when the demos arrive, but honestly, the V6 Cup is such a special thing to cherish. Night-and-day special in comparison with my V6S. I simply can't wait to get stuck into things in 2016.

Looking forward to a 'before & after' review in due course Arun :thumbup:

I should really try a Sport 350 and a Cup at some point, but I don't want to risk spending more money!! I think for someone of my very average talent, it may be harder to detect the subtle differences between the versions. I know my Roadster has the ability to scare me senseless when fully opened up :)

Nice review of the 350 vs Cup by the way.

Neal.

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There's a greater difference in the way the cars feel than the numbers suggest. Even after driving the Sport 345 (just for you Trevor!) I would still pay the extra for a Cup. A decent lightweight battery and the rear louvred panel could save 15kgs from the rear of my car. I'd be very tempted by the Ohlins and full CupR aero kit if I was doing it again too...

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As Arun says I think mine and his are the last rhd Cups as I'd assume Motorsport need to start cracking on with the 3-11's .

Overall though I'll probably end up with the plastic rear just to help cooling and the wheels because I prefer the looks....any benefits in performance improvement will be lost on a man of my ability :)

Missed you on Sunday Arun as I was ogling Trevs GTE  bit too much, plus it started lashing down when I went for a nosey. 

We ought to get a Cup meet at Newlands in the new year as its a nice little venue.

 

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Black n gold

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I believe Lotus could still make you a 360 Cup. Lotus intended the 360 to replace the V6 Cup so with that but Stu and Arun must have asked very nicely.

That 138 number also includes the V6CupR race cars too I believe. Total number of road going V6 Cups must still be under 100 cars.

I'm quite taken by the design of the cast wheels, particularly in metallic red on the 360 Cup, and a bit underwhelmed by the look of the forged wheels. The weight saving isn't massive but a Cup car should really be wearing forged wheels if they are available. Fortunately, it's a conundrum that's keeping me from doing something daft!

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I've been following this quietly for a while, and can see no reason whatsoever for being unable to fit the forged wheels while maintaining your current geo-settings (assuming they're available). Therefore enabling you to swap wheel/tyres as the whim and/or application takes you. The only thing you'll be doing is changing the sidewall's angle of incidence to the ground (on both sides of the tyre's section) due to the bigger stretch associated with 12mm wider rims. The contact patch will remain the same to all intents and purposes. This assumes it's still possible to fit the regular cast wheels to the Sport 350 without spacers (i.e the mounting face on the hubs is in an identical Y position when comparing Sport 350 to previous V6's).

If you take "normal" cars as an example, they usually have a range of wheel and tyre size options. The range can be significant: From 17x7 (225/65/R17) to 21x8 (245/45/R21) in the example I have in mind, and the resultant dimensional differences are equally broad (Obviously ~25mm in rim width, 12mm in offset, and ~20mm in overall tyre sidewall width). All of this range is accommodated with one geo' setting. Of course I recognise that Lotus' are not normal.

Besides, if for any reason you don't get on with the forged wheels, I'll begrudgingly take them off you and struggle round on them for while..

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excellent piece JP ....:pizza:

but herein lies the problem for me. theres not enough differentiation in the 350Sport for  existing V6s and Cup owners to upgrade en-mass....

the thing is, the existing car is so good anyway - ECOTY joint winner w a pagani - your stating point is already 5 stars ...

is shaving a few kgs really moving the game forward ... your Cup did the weight thing nearly 3 years ago and for the saving offered by the 350 i would still take a nearly new Cup or a heavily discounted CR.......  

just a friendly debate thats all :) 

 

 

 

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Some good points highlighted there diego

I think that one problem is if they moved the game further on, would be the significant cost increase to buy a base Exige. The cost already moved on considerably from the S2 and the core buyers would struggle to afford one.

One idea might be to keep the 350 Sport as is and move the game forward with a Cup car, which they could then sell at 15-20k  more than the 350 Sport.

That would keep both types of owners happy and Lotus a way to develop the cup.   

 

 

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A new cup should be easy for them without venturing into the 400 power train world .

Start with the 350Sport; lose 15-20kgs, increase power by 20/30 ps, sharpen the chassis, bit of aero etc keep it under 70k . Low capital cost/investment while they work in the other projects.

have a great Christmas !

A new cup should be easy for them without venturing into the 400 power train world .

Start with the 350Sport; lose 15-20kgs, increase power by 20/30 ps, sharpen the chassis, bit of aero etc keep it under 70k . Low capital cost/investment while they work in the other projects.

have a great Christmas !

Black n gold

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21 hours ago, The Pits said:

Always up for a debate.

Good news, let's have one ;)

No, not really. Just wanted to say that I found your post interesting because it addresses some of the questions I had whilst reading the Sport 350 vs Cup article. Just with a different point of view to mine. That's what's interesting to me: sharing views.

As a brand new Exige S owner (just a week) and longtime Porsche owner, I am stunned by the addictive nature of the Exige. I just want to keep driving it, and enjoying that mix of pure steering, and power you can really feel thanks to the low weight. I also love the fact that the car is so focussed on just being a very precise instrument. It looks the works and feels like a race car on the road.

And that's just the thing. I wouldn't want my car to feel anymore race car than it does. I want to use my car on the road, get a special feeling every time I do, but still be able to do long trips 2-up and go touring somewhere. I'm not after a track-day car, I'm after a mountain road car. One that allows me to get to that mountain road without having to endure the journey, but rather being able to enjoy it.

So for me, the Exige S has got the balance just about right. Sure, a little bit more luggage space would be nice (I'm still convinced Lotus could engineer a little space in the front as well), but would I want a harsher gearbox or less creature comforts? No. I've read so much about the Lotus gearboxes that I should probably consider myself very lucky, but mine is perfect. I agree with you that the PDKs of this world are not necessarily a step forward in this regard. Yes they are much easier to live with, but they are also much less engaging to drive. I really enjoy the manual 'box on my Exige, be it just driving up the high street, or gunning it down a country lane.

So reading about the 350 Sport, it doesn't sound like it's the right direction for a Lotus customer like me. I don't want to get closer to the Cup. If anything, I'd appreciate a Touring version of the Exige S.

Lotus has some tough questions ahead of it. It is no doubt working on an Exige 400, which will take more significant changes than just a gear lever assembly and some geometry work. Does it stay as extreme as it is now, or does it risk offering a slightly softer version of the Exige in addition to a more track oriented one, thereby putting itself on the radar of buyers like myself, who may feel less hesitant to make the switch to Lotus if they see a little more comfort on the spec sheet? I've been thinking about Lotus for 5 years and it took me that long to take the plunge. The Exige S turned out to have just the right mix of extreme, pocket supercar, performance and usability to get me there...

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Hi steph.... i think the v6s was the softest version of the exige we will see. 

Now.... for me its the best all round car (even car)  the company has made. 

Nothing feels like one and you cant get them out of your system once in. Try going back to a porsche after this! Sure more confort but its that exige magic....

Thats not to say it cant be improved after i suppose what is now nearly 3 years...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sport 350 is only closer to the V6 Cup in performance, if feel it's more like the current Exige S. I had hoped that would come across in the write-up. The best variant for mainly road use, in my opinion, is the Roadster which will also be available in Sport 350 form. But they would both be just as capable on longer journeys as the 'S'. To be honest the trip over to the Nurburgring was no hardship in the V6 Cup and the Sport 350 has much better NVH, less extreme seats, stereo and so on.

As far as the press is concerned they are all to extreme to be taken seriously and many of their critics don't consider them 'proper' daily useable cars and that we are all masochists. But I think the three variants cover the bases for this type of car quite well. I think they should continue broadly along the same lines, with varying degrees of extreme all the way up to the 311.

I will say that since Matt Becker's departure there has been a subtle shift in the set-up of the cars launched by the factory. Both the Evora 400 and Sport 350 share keener steering and reduced understeer which many will consider an improvement. It might have come at the expense of the nth degree of ride quality and perhaps even a tiny degree of steering feel but in both cases the cars had this to spare. I happen to be a huge admirer of Matt Becker's work and loved the way Lotus had a unique approach to setting up cars. Clearly 'the market' had other priorities and bought vast numbers of rival sports cars with inferior ride and handling. The newer cars feel more conventionally 'sporty' (loathesome word that it is) you might say, firmer, sharper more aggressive. The difference is so subtle few would be able to tell without a back to back drive. But I hope Lotus keep a 211, Evora S and a 220 Cup Elise just as reference points for the Lotus approach to going fast.

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