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Hi folks,

I'm a big fan of Lotus cars. Light weight, simple chassis design and double wishbone suspension front and rear.

They're born to be track machines.

However, the fastest production Lotus I can find is Exige Cup 380 with 7:48.13 on Nurburgring.

That's slower than some GT cars and even a FK8 type R.

With all those track focus designs sacrificing comfort and usability, it doesn't make sense to be slower than some daily sports cars.
 

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My completely uninformed guess is that, being in the range of 400ish horses, they're not able to bear down on the long straights there and reach comparable max speeds of other offerings...

Kevin
 

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Expanding on what @kestrou says, top speed is a function of drag and power whereas acceleration at lower speeds depends on weight and power. Lotus tend to have strong power to weight ratios, meaning they can accelerate well when drag hasn't built up. However, when drag starts building, the low weight starts to help less and less. A high speed track like the ring just doesn't reward such a car. Adding downforce just makes all this worse since it also adds drag. GT cars tend to be very slick (aerodynamically) and heavy, so a GT car with a similar power to weight is going to pull much, much harder at higher speeds
 

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Dreaming of Lotus
2005 Elise Sport Touring
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Supposedly slower than the the Honda Civic Type R at 7:43 :p
 

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Exige Cup 380 has a fairly significant amount of aero I believe. That Civic has none , I believe..............
 

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Dreaming of Lotus
2005 Elise Sport Touring
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Exige Cup 380 has a fairly significant amount of aero I believe. That Civic has none , I believe..............
Excuse my ignorance, so you're saying the aero is causing drag?
 

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Excuse my ignorance, so you're saying the aero is causing drag?
After some quick googling... S2 Exige has a Cd of ~0.44 and a frontal area of ~1.6m^2, Civic Type R has Cd of 0.26 and frontal area of ~2.0m^2 (couldn't find mfg values, so made an approximation to similarly sized vehicles).

At 100mph, the S2 Exige would produce 784N of drag as compared to the Civic 579N of drag. This assumes an air density of 1.1kg/m^3.
 

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I'd like to add, as a former Type R owner, they are good for 3-4 laps at a normal track on a warm-hot day. Sometimes not that many. Then over heating sets in. It can be fixed, with five figures worth of aftermarket parts + installation. Loads of other track problems as well, all baked in and hard to fix. I sold mine after 4 months. Great street car, but wilted under the rigors of hard track use.
 

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6.94915254 lbs/hp
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The other reason Lotus are slow, is that most sports car manufacturers shut down the Nurburgring and spend days or even weeks with professional race drivers practicing, fine tuning, and waiting for perfect weather in order to get a perfect lap. To my knowledge, Lotus isn't doing this.
 

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The other reason Lotus are slow, is that most sports car manufacturers shut down the Nurburgring and spend days or even weeks with professional race drivers practicing, fine tuning, and waiting for perfect weather in order to get a perfect lap. To my knowledge, Lotus isn't doing this.
Agreed, it's become a part of a manufacturer's marketing gimmick.
 

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Our cars, as other said, have horrible coefficient of drag and low power. However, they're so freaking fun!

I've had the opportunity to drive many nice cars on track (911's of several flavors, corvette, F458, F488, McLarens) while coaching. Except for the super high power mid engined cars I can't afford, the Elise was more fun to drive! The lightness changes the character of a car so much. The McLaren 650S and F488 that I drove handled so well without the lightness, and had so much freaking power, that they were more fun to me overall. In the Elise, I'm always yelling down the straights like Jeremy Clarkson, "More Powah!", but when the turns come, I forget about that.
 

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Ring times are not indicative of a car's performance potential. Considering that the test drivers are not consistent nor are track conditions, even within the same lap, ring times are like comparing the quality of french fries at Burger King to the salsa at Taco Bell.
 

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Ring times are not indicative of a car's performance potential. Considering that the test drivers are not consistent nor are track conditions, even within the same lap, ring times are like comparing the quality of french fries at Burger King to the salsa at Taco Bell.
I'll politely reply that ring times are a good indicator of a car's performance potential (averaging each car across drivers and track conditions) - but only at getting around The Ring, and that's not the kind of driving that Lotus is tuned for... :)

Kevin
 

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Maybe Lotus will drive the Evija at the ring and join the rest of the marketing giants.
The active aero should help manage drag thru the long straight.
 

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The Evija has been delayed for five months, according to a post I read earlier today.

San
 

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The Exige S2 has a top speed of 150 and the Exige S3 around 170mph; however neither
variants reach those speeds quickly. My Exige S 240 has about 260 whp and it struggles
to accelerate much after 130 mph due to all the drag and downforce mods I've done.
There is simply too much drag and downforce. The last model Viper ACR had a top speed of about 168mph
while the non-ACR Viper did around 200mph.
 

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The Exige S2 has a top speed of 150 and the Exige S3 around 170mph; however neither
variants reach those speeds quickly. My Exige S 240 has about 260 whp and it struggles
to accelerate much after 130 mph due to all the drag and downforce mods I've done.
There is simply too much drag and downforce. The last model Viper ACR had a top speed of about 168mph
while the non-ACR Viper did around 200mph.
You need active aero:)
 
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