Lotus has launched what it calls the "ultimate" series production version of the Exige sports car, the new 410 bhp Exige Sport 410, which has been developed from the range-topping, track-focused Exige Cup 430 using the chassis, suspension and powertrain from that car.
Reflecting its Sport nomenclature, the new model treads that fine, and sometimes difficult to negotiate balance of cars that retain a keen focus on road driving, but at the same time remain supremely responsive and agile and ready for a blast on the track. Although the Lotus Cup variants are developed with circuit driving very much to the fore, Sport models like this one are tuned to deliver a harmonious balance of performance, agility and power delivery for the road.
Under the hood is a recalibrated version of the engine from the track focused Exige Cup 430, which produces 410 horsepower (416 PS) at 7,000 rpm and 420 Nm (310 lb.-ft.) of torque between 3,000 rpm and 7000 rpm. The high-performance 3.5-liter, supercharged and charge-cooled V-6 powerplant combines with a dry weight of just 1,054 kg to deliver what is a class-leading power to weight ratio of 389 horsepower/tonne, and therefore makes the Exige Sport 410 the lightest V-6 Exige produced to date.
The Group Lotus plc CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, says of the car: "With every new Lotus we look to move the bar higher and apply technology and development ideas drawn from top-of-the-range models. Our agility as a company means that the lessons learned today can quickly be incorporated into the cars of tomorrow and the Exige Sport 410 is a perfect example of this. We have taken the Exige Cup 430, the ultimate track-centric Exige, and developed it into the perfect road orientated sports car, ensuring that we stay ahead of rivals when it comes to cars that deliver a truly engaging analogue driving experience."
Lotus is claiming a 0-62 mph time for the Exige Sport 410 of 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 180 mph that matches that of the more powerful Cup variant.
Both coupe and roadster versions of the new Lotus will be offered, with prices in its native U.K. starting from £85,600 (equivalent to about US$116,110).