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Lotus Exige Sport 380


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Lotus' photography leaves a lot to be desired. The cars aren't always as photogenic as they should be (Evora in particular is a bugger to photograph) but the angles and backgrounds they choose do themselves no favours

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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Finally arrived at the dealer. Now waiting for pick up on 26/3 (business trip  ) Union Jack needs still to be placed as well as alcantara steering wheel and titanium exhaust. This is sent seperat

Well, almost there. No delivery date but I have to say this is looking like the dogs wotsits... Not sure what the net thing is in the boot? haven't/don't recall seeing that before.. And I ev

Ok here are my thoughts...please excuse writing style /ramblings.  I'd turned into a stuttering idiot by the time I'd got out of the car    Lotus Exige Sport 380   As I'm

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Jonny,

you summarized it well... nothing more to add... wont make me want to upgrade ... maybe some it bits and pieces... the front canards - but I doubt they will be road legal in Germany anyway...

Cheers

Norbert

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The rear gloss louvre is interesting - it's very flexible so wonder what paint they've used.

As I dislike my satin panels, I'm looking to have them all painted.

'....it makes every other roadster look just a little bit cissy...'

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While I think it's great that Lotus is healthily launching new versions, it's a bit overdone IMO. The 2015 CR was introduced for less than a year, subsequently replaced by the Sport 350, and now that as well is replaced by this Sport 380. They'll probably release the Cup 400 next year... Appreciate the extra 30bhp, 1cm lower sill, and like the canards. The rest? Not so much. Unfortunately, it's essentially a mildly souped-up Sport 350, albeit not necessarily in a nice way. As someone who is new to Lotus cars, honestly the upgrades aren't very appealing, and frankly a bit confusing.

Interestingly, they have raised the price a little with each introduction, and this car has gradually moved from being a 52k car to a 70k+ car in a few short years. That's almost 50% more for what is essentially the same car - more margin of course for the factory, but boy is it getting expensive to own one.

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Are there any prices published for the options yet?

I, like many, was expecting a new cup car, not a standard road car, well they got me there! I cannot see why they bothered when the sport 350 has not been out long.

I am sort of pleased in a way as there is zero temptation for me.

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1 hour ago, NW76 said:

Jonny,

you summarized it well... nothing more to add... wont make me want to upgrade ... maybe some it bits and pieces... the front canards - but I doubt they will be road legal in Germany anyway...

Cheers

Norbert

+1 Even for me, Jonny, ve summed it up well ... I'm not so excited ...

 

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Have decided it's not worth it for me to change, given the likely noise issues as well. No doubt it will sound awesome at the showroom though and I am envious of the transmission oil cooler. And the carbon tat! At the optioned up price it makes an Evora 400 appealing, particularly if the 380 is not available on 50:50...

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As someone who hasn recently purchased a 350 I was worried about this launch - thankfully I wouldn't be able to afford this with a reasonable spec anyway. 350 prices will no doubt soften but in fairly comfortable with what I paid for mine. 

 

Few inmediate thoughts on the car in no particular order.

Cup 2 tyres are interesting 215/45s on the front will raise ride height 4.5mm - 680 for all 4 corners on tyreleader.

Bigger tank obviously a very sensible move.

Shame the engine changes are just pulley and ecu. No heat management improvements when the current charger is already seeing high intakes I think is an oversight. Can't see it being any quicker than a 350 once it's hot on track.

Do like the new transform/lights and the rear winglets - not keen on the canards - Looks like it's trying to hard.

Can't help thinking if you got a decent deal on a 350 with the right spec and threw the £10-15k saving at - TVS Charger / Nitrons / Light Battery / Exhaust / Cup R Aero you would have a 'better' car? 

 

 

 

 

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I  think it looks stunning.

But I am more interested in when I could get hold of the engine upgrade for my car :). The supercharger pulley wheel and ECU update, then fit my SSC induction kit which is sat on a shelf in the garage :whistle:

I presume in the next 18 months or so the dealers will be able to supply a kit as they did with the S2 Exige to make a 260. Certainly would be a cheaper option.    

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Makes adding a Komotec Ex460 to my two year old "S" a no brainer....

Very nice tinkery bits,  but not +70K nice.

Mark

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I was hoping for a new cup and when I first saw the photos I assumed it was. Assuming they do eventually get round to a new Cup it will have to top this, which should make for a great car. The fact this has the Cup Nitrons and alternate Aero makes we wonder if the "Cup" branding is going and now replaced with "Sport" and this will be the equivelent going forwards?

Lotus Register - https://www.lotusregister.com

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Spec says Bilsteins as standard. PH article I read says Nitrons as part of a track pack with adjustable ARBs, but I can't see this on the options on the Lotus site. Lotus state A-frame as standard though.

I would assume Cup would remain as a parallel tier alongside Sport, as per the Elise range.

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To be honest without a Motorsport department I hope they don't use the Cup badge. It would devalue it.

With carbon body panels and a polycarbonate rear window I'm not sure what more a Cup model could do to reduce weight besides remove the airbags and mud flaps!

Lotus won't release a power uprate kit for the 350 but perhaps they should it would be a high margin add on and desirable to be a factory kit.

I think this is what you get for buying so many Porsches. It's all about increasing margins and no-one does that better than Porsche. Incremental improvements over the previous, expensive extras and flagships being 'protected'. I loved that Lotus just shoved the Evora S engine in the Exige at the first time of asking. Those days appear to be over.

I was curious as to why it's not lighter than the Hethel Edition, here's why:

"but the saving is actually 40kg, with Lotus adding in an extra 15.2kg of kit once all the stripping out has been done to get to that 25kg figure. That extra comes from new barge boards (weighing 3kg) to improve the aero, new transmission oil cooler (4.2kg) to improve track durability, and a new fuel pump and a larger 48-litre tank (8kg) to boost power and improve range."

Alloy fuel tank anyone?

So the fastest Exige ever built is launched to a damp squib. Again as a replacement for my V6 Cup it can't justify the cost to change. But as a 375bhp Roadster for Euro trips and noisy trackdays it suddenly becomes VERY appealing.

Imagine that Evora 400 noise roof off in tunnels! :shock:

I really don't get the 'Roadster as standard' thing. Totally brilliant car but nobody bought them!

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Question:

Are Lotus squishing their models too close together? There seems to me to be not enough for the average non-enthusiast punter to distinguish what's going on with all of these cars. The names are a bit all over the shop and the whole Lotus range pretty much occupies the space from £40k to £80k - not enough seems to be done either to really prove why they are different models. Obviously those of us familiar with the brand know the differences, but I'd be concerned going into the brand with the rate at which they're introducing "new" cars.

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James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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I guess the 8kg additional weight for the fuel tank is due to Lotus idea of a wet weight including 90% full tank of fuel.

I think the problem this time Mark is that too few of the Lotus fan boys like it!

Bugs me that the wing is still mounted on the engine cover (which moves) unlike the Cup 250 where it's mounted directly onto the rear clam.

I have seen some photos of the carbon weave up close and I have to say it's lovely work. The weave meets in the middle of the panels, herringbone style.

I'm a bit conflicted with the 380 whereas I feel more clearly approving of the Evora 410 Sport. There are just fewer things I'd like to change.

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The more I think about and look at the Spec ... and becomes clearer and clearee: this is the Cup replacement... I doubt there will be another Cup on top of that ... for the forseeable future ...

should increase value of the V6 Cups out there ...

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6 hours ago, The Pits said:

Damn. I had very high hopes that this would be my next Lotus.

Not keen personally. I was hoping it would be a Cup car. Maybe there won't be any more Cup cars?

They can't seriously have a Sport 350 and a Sport 380 can they?!

I'm not keen on the eyeliner but that can be easily removed. I don't think the new 311 style rear treatment is in any way better. Maybe that won't look so bad in reality but I love the signature rear of the current car. The new wing just doesn't look as good to my eyes and is still mounted into the engine cover. A proper rear wing would be mounted into the chassis like the CupR/311. I was dearly hoping for that which would also produce some proper downforce. The Elise Cup 250 still produces a fair amount more - 155kg at 150mph and is a much more cohesive design to my eyes. I like the idea of carbon parts as standard but it's a very complicated and confusing spec. Matt black panels here, gloss black panels there seems indecisive. Evora 410 exhaust will sound immense as we know, titanium option is amazing but we also know there are serious issues for track use. Who is going to buy an Exige just for road use? I think the Evora Sport 410 is more convincing.

"The Lotus Exige Sport 380 is available as a roadster as standard and as a coupe as an option."

WTF? So I can have a Sport 380 Roadster Auto? It just seems all over the place.

As always I will reserve final judgement until seeing it in the flesh and hopefully driving it.

Right now though an Evora Sport 410 or a full Aero pack and 1900cc charger on my car is much more appealing.

 

I agree with everything you pointed out. 

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2 hours ago, LukeH said:

 

Can't help thinking if you got a decent deal on a 350 with the right spec and threw the £10-15k saving at - TVS Charger / Nitrons / Light Battery / Exhaust / Cup R Aero you would have a 'better' car? 

 

 

 

 

Most probable yes

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