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Lotus Exige Sport 380


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Yes we all know the 991 GT3 is faster in skilled hands. However, not many owners seem able to get the performance out of it which is another issue. The PDK means less skilled drivers can now drive a GT3 and it often shows on track.

As I've already said there is a tendency to compare cars in absolute terms but the speed differential between a 991 GT3 and an Exige V6 is a variable thing. Up to 100mph not much in it. As with the GTR, the bigger more powerful cars start to hit their stride beyond 100mph. 100-120mph the GT3 is a bit quicker. Over 140mph the GT3 is a lot quicker. At a track like Spa or the Nordschleife where you can access higher speeds the laptime advantage of the GT3 is much greater. On shorter circuits it's much less. If you only compare Spa times you are exaggerating the difference in favour of the Porsche.

The power to weight ratio of the Exige Sport 350 and V6 Cup are about the same. Just under 310bhp/ton.

The 991 GT3 comes in at 334bhp/ton and the new Sport 380 can beat that in its lightest spec as somewhere near 340bhp/ton. So I would honestly expect the Sport 380 to close the gap, especially on shorter circuits where the power/weight ratio really shows. I'm still not saying it's faster - I never have - but I believe it will be closer. On faster circuits like Spa, outright power vs drag comes into play. The GT3 doesn't make much downforce, only 110kg at 186mph, so it's very slippery. The Sport 380 is making 140kg at a lower top speed (178mph) but drag is the same as the Sport 350 which isn't great, they hit a bit of an aerodynamic wall at 140mph. My Caterham race car is much quicker than both of them to 100mph but hits a wall at 120mph, both Exige and GT3 are much faster after that point. Even so, it can still lap faster than a GT3 at Spa, even with me driving, but the laptimes are much closer there. The Caterham is a much quicker track car than a 1400kg Porsche road car in reality but the Spa laptime flatters the beetle.

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Jonny,

having driven both I would say that for the averrage driver it will be easier to be fast on track in a 991 GT3 than in the Exige. All the electronic nannies do wonders to make you quite fast ... our Exiges are still drivers cars that require much more skill to be fast ... and thats what I love about it... a much bigger challenge ...

When @Jokke Vlo has its 380 we will know if its on par with the 991 GT3 ... I sure hope so ?

Cheers

Norbert

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PDK makes it easy to drive for sure, finding the absolute limit not so much. I think you can feel the limit approach in the Exige much more clearly.

Having driven the Sport 380 now, I can't see how it will find another 5 seconds at Spa so I won't expect it to beat the best 991 GT3 laptimes. To be honest I would be impressed if it could beat 1.46 out of the box, that is a very fast time for a street car. We will see soon hopefully. Jokke is the ideal man for the job and will call it like it is.

:thumbup:

 

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Absolutely agree 2:46 is already a killer time for a street car ... you will leave most GT cars behind you on a track day if you can drive that time in an Exige ...

At the BMW M forum they celebrate you as a hero if you can break 3 min in Spa with an M4 ?

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2 hours ago, The Pits said:

Yes we all know the 991 GT3 is faster in skilled hands. However, not many owners seem able to get the performance out of it which is another issue. The PDK means less skilled drivers can now drive a GT3 and it often shows on track.

As I've already said there is a tendency to compare cars in absolute terms but the speed differential between a 991 GT3 and an Exige V6 is a variable thing. Up to 100mph not much in it. As with the GTR, the bigger more powerful cars start to hit their stride beyond 100mph. 100-120mph the GT3 is a bit quicker. Over 140mph the GT3 is a lot quicker. At a track like Spa or the Nordschleife where you can access higher speeds the laptime advantage of the GT3 is much greater. On shorter circuits it's much less. If you only compare Spa times you are exaggerating the difference in favour of the Porsche.

The power to weight ratio of the Exige Sport 350 and V6 Cup are about the same. Just under 310bhp/ton.

The 991 GT3 comes in at 334bhp/ton and the new Sport 380 can beat that in its lightest spec as somewhere near 340bhp/ton. So I would honestly expect the Sport 380 to close the gap, especially on shorter circuits where the power/weight ratio really shows. I'm still not saying it's faster - I never have - but I believe it will be closer. On faster circuits like Spa, outright power vs drag comes into play. The GT3 doesn't make much downforce, only 110kg at 186mph, so it's very slippery. The Sport 380 is making 140kg at a lower top speed (178mph) but drag is the same as the Sport 350 which isn't great, they hit a bit of an aerodynamic wall at 140mph. My Caterham race car is much quicker than both of them to 100mph but hits a wall at 120mph, both Exige and GT3 are much faster after that point. Even so, it can still lap faster than a GT3 at Spa, even with me driving, but the laptimes are much closer there. The Caterham is a much quicker track car than a 1400kg Porsche road car in reality but the Spa laptime flatters the beetle.

Agree !

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Olivier the road surface was very greasy so sadly I was not able to meaningfully assess the tyre. This was a shame, it was really interested to see how the Michelins felt but it was always going to be difficult in January.

I can say that they were not terrible despite the conditions but neither were the Avon ZZRs that I have on the V6 Cup. I have heard that they are not good in heavy rain but for such a track focused tyre they are OK in January, which is amazing really. Modern tyres never cease to amaze me. Not many months ago my Avon ZZRs were cornering at 130mph on track. I think there is a more feedback coming through the V6 Cup wheel but strangely the physical effort to turn the steering wheel at low speeds is less on the 215 front Michelins. I was expecting the wider front tyres to feel even heavier at parking speed. I think this is a reflection on the more aggressive Cup set up.

Sorry I don't have more to say. It is interesting though that Lotus have moved away from bespoke 'LTS' compound tyres and made the car work on off the shelf Michelins. I'm guessing that Michelin don't do a 205 front tyre so Lotus developed the 380 around the 215 front. They certainly look higher profile parked next to a V6 Cup. Ultimately this must be a cost saving measure, it's a shame Lotus don't do bespoke compounds anymore but I guess not many buyers really cared about this and from all I have read about the Cup2s it's a great tyre so perhaps no great loss?

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  • Gold FFM

Oh my!  I'm half expecting Michael Keaton to jump out the back of that picture chasing the penguin.  It does look rather nice to be honest.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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Here's the thing. I've updated the article accordingly but for those who haven't read it recently, it appears that you get the carbon front access panel and carbon wing as standard. This is good, a carbon Nismo wing for your GTR costs £4k on its own.

However as you can see on the above picture, carbon fibre panels are dark grey so will be the lightest panels on a black car. Something to bear in mind when speccing although I imagine painting them is an option. It does also mean that the 'carbon pack' is really just a carbon roof panel and carbon engine cover panel - unlike with the Cup 250 where the carbon pack means getting all the aero parts in carbon fibre. So you get a lot more carbon fibre for your £4k on the Cup 250.

Annoyingly, carbon fibre does look really good against a metallic grey car so I would be tempted by the red accents to give the whole thing a lift if I was going that way. They cost a horrendous £3000 so I guess it's a fairly painstaking process to paint them. Makes the 360 Cup look good value though as it had them in for the price.

My current spec is Sport 300 Mica Yellow, soft top, sound deadening, air con, full alcantara, yellow stitch, no stereo, no carbon pack, standard exhaust. I'd love some retro 380 Sport badges if Lotus would do some up for me. Would be a nice finishing touch for a Mica Yellow car.

As long as the paint isn't something ridiculous that should come to £69,730.

What's yours?

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Don't forget the 'On the road' charges on top of the £68500 which would bump the base price to around £70k plus the cost of your extras.

Still good value considering the specification and performance.

Carbon front splitter, rear diffuser surround and exterior side sills are also standard.

We have two in the showroom at the moment and let me tell you the quality of the carbon fibre work is stunning !

Simon

Oakmere Lotus

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350 rear is a classic. One for the ages.

To think that many moaned about it when it first came out.

But it makes sense to remove two redundant rear lights (the inner ones are just reflectors).

380 rear has really grown on me, wouldn't be a deal breaker now.

 

 

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I prefer the rear with two lights. The new rear seams a wall.

Over the years ... 1999-2001 Toyota Celica 1.8 ~ 2001-2004 Audi TT Quattro 225 hp ~ 2004-2005 Audi A3 2.0 TDI ~ 2005-2008 Honda S2000 ~ 2008-2014 Lotus Exige 240S ~ 2008-2012 Toyota Aygo 1.0 ~ June 2014-January 2015 Subaru WRX STI my 15 ~ 2013-November 2016 Lexus CT200h ~  June 2015-December 2018 Lotus Exige S V6 ~ NOW ~ January 2019 Lotus Exige 410 Sport ~ December 2016 Honda Civic Type R FK2

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so, my feedback, having seen it in the flesh ... very good looking carbon fiber parts, but matt plastic parts look dull then ! in my opinion, roof and rear panel should be upgraded to CF as well, to match and enhance the whole look of the car... JPS deco is a bit too much, with JPS logo on doors and roof, but stripes are fine. regarding the new rear panel with single lights, I definitely prefer the former one !

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