As a follow-on from posting in this thread https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/...e-huge-468776/
... I decided to step into action for North American LTers
In a sheer act of self sacrifice, I trekked over to my local Lotus showroom (walking distance from home) & casually mentioned I recon the Exige 410 was the pick of the Lotus range. 5 minutes later, the demo car's key was in my hand & I was told to come back after Iftar.... it was only mid-day, so that was enough time to drive coast to coast via the Hajjar mountains, to the Omani boarder.... that's Lotus country !
So whats it like ?
In a word ‘WOW’ ! Really, really liked it. Step change improvement over the 2015 Exige S & 2014 Evora S' I’ve extensively driven . Lotus really got the whole drivetrain : chassis sorted.
Even as a long-term, multi Lotus owner, I’m smitten. Its rare to have this much power in a light weight Lotus.... but the steering & chassis control are to die for... simply the best, totally keyed-in to the road without being hyper. The 'hot-rod' nature of the Exige V6's design & weight distribution indicates it should be a pig to drive.... goodness knows what Lotus could do from a blank sheet. And remember, this isn't a modified aftermarket car, its factory spec, 3 year warranty, fully compliant (in the Gulf)
So why is the Sport 410 so good, why is it the sweet-spot & where have Lotus improved over earlier Exige V6's ?
In no particular order :
1) Drivetrain mounting has been tightened-up. Very slight vibration at idle, allows for way better control during load & stop-start throttle.
2) Super slick gear change & clutch - the best I've every tried in a Lotus. Never a missed gear & smooth from cold to high speed hot. The gearbox oil cooler must be helping, as its 45+ C here now.
3) The BHP & torque to weight (1100 KG) ratio is sweet. Most Lotus' are momentum cars, you need to carry speed - great for the track, not always ideal for the road. They often get up to 200 KPH pretty quick if you rev to the max, 240 KPH (if you're lucky) takes its time. The Exige 410 rips to 270+ KPH without hesitation. In a car this light & compact, you really feel that speed compared to a full sized supercar.
4) The whole rolling chassis of handling / steering / ride / braking is tip-top compared to pretty much anything I've driven on the road... that includes GT4s, GT3s, Speciale, Macca MP4 etc. Unless you're a professional racing driver, I dont know what more you need.
Why the sweet-spot? The lower Sport 350 misses too much (lacks CC SC, oil cooler, power, 3 way Nitrons) the higher Cup 430 only has a touch more power & some cosmetic changes, yet costs way more. Given equal drivers / conditions, a Cup 430 wouldn't pull away from a 410 in my view.
Downsides ? Its still cramped inside, tricky to get in/out if your above average height. Cabin noise builds at speed. Radio is crap. Rear disability letterbox. Side mirrors fold in at high speed. You dont buy one for the expensive materials or some-such. But you guys knew all that.
Hope the piccies capture some of the fun. PS, the colour is Air Force Blue.... handy for low speed flying