The coupe version of the Lotus Elise, the Lotus Exige debuted a while ago. The variant Exige Sport 350 is now the upgraded version of the Exige S, which debuted in 2012. The difference between them wasn’t too big, until the 4-cylinder replacement in the Exige for a Toyota-sourced supercharged 3.5 L V6 found in the Evora put the end in the bond between the Exige and Elise.
Aesthetically both are pretty similar, but they have their unique array of features. The 2016 Exige Sport 350 earn a weight improvement with a reduction of 112 lb with a total weight of 2480 lb.
If you put a 3.5 L V6 engine in such a lightweight car, the result is an extremely fun and joyful car to drive. The bad news about this exciting sports car is that it can’t be driven in U.S because it isn’t a road-legal car according to the North American standards, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t own one. In fact, you can buy one and use it on track and race it in the Lotus Cup U.S.A. So, if you still want to have an Exige Sport 350 and drive it in circles, squeezing every single horsepower of this agile beast, is up to you. Doesn’t sound that bad now, right?
The pain is momentary and if the idea of racing the Exige Sport 350 don’t like to you too much, you need to consider ask for medical help. Lotus is planning to deliver new models of the Elise and the Exige for road-use for 2019 and 2020 models.
Let’s review this beast of power and handling.
Powertrain and Performance
The 2016 Exige Sport 350 has a Toyota-sourced 3.5 L supercharged V6 delivering up to 345 horsepower ad 295 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a tuned six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic, drivers can change gears manually via forged aluminum paddles behind the steering wheel or a classical stick, depending on the driver’s preferences. All these specs launch the car from standstill to 60 mph in impressive 3.7 seconds and reach a max speed of 170 mph.
The suspension with firmer dampers has been enhanced to deliver a more responsive handling in combination with its ultra-low center of gravity. Also, three modes are available by Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM): Drive, Sport, and Race, which increases levels of traction slip threshold, allowing wider drift angles. Plus, the system opens the engine exhaust bypass valve at mid-to-high engine speeds. In the meanwhile, Sport and Race modes increase and enhance throttle responsiveness as usual.
Design Line and Interior
The exterior look of the car is simply beautiful. The small chassis and low center of gravity make the car looks like a really agile and fast car. The front fascia with those huge air intakes in the bumpers and hood really emanates that sporty and athletic stance. The side panels are full of curves, and with a black-colored air intake, this car looks even tinier. The rear demonstrates its incredible spoiler that fits properly with the dimensions of the car, and those stop headlight with the centered positioned twin exhaust outlets along with the black air diffuser elevates the level of sexiness from behind.
The interior is small, and there is not too much space to be comfortable. Nonetheless, that is not the concept of the 2016 Exige Sport 350. The seats are comfortable with low-slung and thinly padded. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust, and the manual gear looks incredible with that rude look.
The Bottom Line for the Exige
The 2016 Exige Sport 350 is an amazing car with an exhilarating acceleration and overall performance. Also, the car has an incredible handling and the driving feeling is totally positive and premium.
Starting price at US$60.550.