Lotus Launches Exige Sport 410: A Barely Civilized Track Monster

Taking some cues from the track-oriented Exige Cup 430, the new Exige Sport 410 is the newest road-oriented production car from Lotus. Retaining some of the hard-edged charm that made its track-focused sibling such a standout, the Exige 410 provides genuine track day performance with a level of usability appropriate for a road car.

The 3.5-liter V6, recalibrated for the conditions, now produces 410 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque to spit the 2,325-pound car down the country lane with a ferocity once reserved by racing cars. A sprint to 60mph takes a mere 3.3 seconds, and the slippery Exige continues to a top speed of 180mph. Mind you, this is the speed attainable by the Coupe only—I’m not sure I’d like to travel that quickly in a soft top, anyways. Those who appreciate country fragrances more than I do can opt for the Roadster variant—which has a lightweight, stowable, black removable soft top.

Seldom do such functional machines come in such pretty packaging.

Though a road car oriented for real-world conditions, the Exige’s racing pedigree shines through. With roughly 330 pounds of downforce — 40-percent of that generated at the front axle — the car boasts both beautifully incisive steering, and a reassuring rear axle; offering high-speed stability which made its siblings so effective at Hockenheim. This gain in aero grip comes from adopting some of the Cup 430’s styling cues, like a revised lightweight front clam panel incorporating wider grilles, carbon-fiber air curtains, and a larger front splitter — all of which have been extensively tested in the wind tunnel to retain that forgiving aerodynamic balance.

Enlarged front clam panel openings and wider apertures improve cooling.

Further adding to the amount of grip are a set Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (285/30 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front). Twenty mm wider at the rear, this strong stagger keeps the car usable and approachable on wet country lanes. Massive AP Racing four-piston calipers and performance brake discs make for a consistent pedal feel and more longevity over multiple hard brakes.

Obviously, the racing link is strongly represented in the Sport 410, but anyone who craves a hint of added raciness can spec their car with lightweight options. A full titanium exhaust is available, and it also trims some 22 pounds from the car. Less heft can be had with any number of carbon interior pieces: sill covers, barge boards, and roof, to name a few. Those who intend to take their Sport 410 to the circuit regularly, a long list of racing options like electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion, a non-airbag steering wheel, 4-point harnesses and a dealer-fit, FIA-compliant roll cage are available. As suggested by track-oriented optioning, it’s safe to assume this car is just a slightly softer, slightly more comfortable version of a car with very sharp teeth. Consider this one fitted with a muzzle — albeit one made from a thin layer of velvet.

Though the interior is all business, it still retains a hint of swank.

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About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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