Golden Gate Lotus Club

News - Lotus Sport Exige

  • Sport Exige GT3
  • Limited Edition Sport Exige
  • Sport Exige Announcement

  • The Lotus Sport Exige GT3
    Lotus Sport Exige GT3 undertakes testing for FIA GT3 European Championship
    December 16, 2005

    A prototype of the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 race car was unveiled at the annual FIA GT Championship presentation ceremony outside the world famous Casino in Monte Carlo, Monaco on 02 December, 2005. The following day (03 December 2005), the first test for the car took place at the high speed Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in Southern France under FIA supervision, the first stage in the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 becoming eligible for FIA GT3 competition. This latest FIA series, which will start in 2006, is for race cars that have an equal power to weight, and that have a direct lineage to their road going versions.

    The Lotus Sport Exige GT3 entrant has been developed by Lotus Sport, the performance arm of Lotus Cars and is a derivative of the standard Lotus Exige coupé model. Weighing in at approximately 750 kg, it stays true to the “performance through light weight” core Lotus philosophy. The car uses a race prepared 1.8 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine with a Roots type supercharger and air to air intercooler which utilises the Lotus T4e Engine Control Unit to produce 285 hp (289 PS) at 7,800 rpm. This gives an impressive power to weight ratio of 380 hp/tonne or 2.6 kg/PS.

    Following a brief shakedown programme at the Lotus Test Track at Hethel, factory test driver Gavan Kershaw carried out final chassis set up work on wet tyres in the morning session at the Paul Ricard official FIA test. This was followed by an outing on slick tyres on a drying track by FIA nominated test driver Christophe Bouchut.

    Commenting on the encouraging test session, Chris Arnold, General Manager of Lotus Sport, explained: “We were delighted to attend the official FIA test session. Considering the car was still on the drawing board two months ago it’s a fantastic achievement by the team to complete the build in such a short time. We knew this test would be a first shakedown for the car on slicks and I’m very pleased with the results. Our winter development programme starts with a wind tunnel test just before Christmas followed by further work in preparation for the next FIA test in March.”

    The FIA has announced a five race European championship for the new GT3 class with rounds in the UK, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. Various national GT Championships are also considering amending their regulations to include a GT3 class.

    Basic prototype specification
    Like the standard Exige, the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 comes complete with the award-winning light weight bonded aluminium chassis. This is complemented by low weight 5-spoke forged alloy wheels, carbon body panels, and a revised high downforce aerodynamic package incorporating a race front splitter and adjustable carbon fibre rear wing.

    An FIA 6-point roll cage, ignition kill switches, and uprated braking and suspension systems including Öhlins 3-way adjustable dampers also feature on the new race car. A 6-speed sequential transmission system, and full data logging system have been fitted to the singleseater prototype vehicle.

    Availability, full specification, and price of the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 will be announced in early 2006.



    Limited Edition Lotus Sport Exige 240R
    Highest Performing, Limited Edition Exige:
    February 24, 2005

    Lotus Sport, the performance division of Lotus Cars Ltd., has developed the Lotus Sport Exige 240R, a limited edition high performance sportscar with total global build volumes kept strictly to 50 cars.

    Lotus Sport will build the Lotus Sport Exige 240R within its facilities at the Group Lotus Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk. This facility, located in the centre of the famous Hethel Test Track, has a great history of producing bespoke versions of Lotus products and can list the Lotus Sport Exige 400 hp racecar and over 100 Elise and Exige racing cars in its portfolio.

    With a supercharged and intercooled high revving engine producing over 240 hp and over 170 lbft of torque, the Lotus Sport Exige 240R reaches 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and 100 mph (160 km/h) in less than 10 seconds before topping out at 155 mph (249 km/h). At this top speed the advanced aerodynamics produce 113 kg of downforce increasing grip, stability and safety.

    The 50 versions of the Lotus Sport Exige 240R will be built as post registration official factory conversions of new Lotus Exiges. Up to 40 of these cars will be sold in the EU and the balance is intended to be predominantly sold in Japan. The suffix of 240R indicates the approximate horsepower of the engine, conservatively rounded down from the actual figure of 243 hp (181 kW, 247 PS). The total unladen weight is approximately 930 kg and the power to weight is approximately 261 hp / tonne (195 kW / tonne, 266 PS / tonne).

    All 50 cars will be built to order and to further identify and maintain the exclusivity of the Lotus Sport Exige 240R, they will only be available in Sport Yellow or Sport Black - both unique and exclusive colours specifically blended to denote the brand colour scheme of Lotus Sport.

    The Lotus Sport Exige 240R will be sold at a Recommended Retail Price of £43,995 (62,000 Euros).

    The Lotus Sport Exige 240R also has a unique interior trim in black with Lotus Sport Yellow highlights in leather. A unique numbered Lotus Sport build plate is fitted to the aluminium chassis member on the passenger side. The interior also includes sports seats, driver and passenger four-point harnesses which are fitted to a cross bar that is part of the motorsport specification T45 roll bar.

    New lightweight five spoke forged alloy wheels are of a slightly wider section to the standard Exige wheel to accommodate the optional extra track only specification slick tyres as well as the Yokohama A048 tyres, which come as standard. These wheels are painted in "Satin Black" for the Sport Yellow painted version of the Lotus Sport Exige 240R and "High Power Silver" for the Sport Black painted version.

    In addition to the powerful four-cylinder engine, the Lotus Sport Exige 240R also includes specially developed Lotus Sport parts including upgraded brakes, stiffer springs and 2-way adjustable Ohlins dampers with ride height adjustment, an adjustable front anti-roll bar, twin oil coolers and an Accusump.

    Clive Dopson, Managing Director of Lotus Cars Ltd. is very enthusiastic about the new Lotus Sport Exige 240R: "The Lotus Sport Exige 240R is a classic example of Lotus' focused attitude to performance through lightweight. We believe that this car, even though it will be built in small volumes, is a very significant addition to the Lotus product portfolio and will go down in history as such. I am sure that the fortunate fifty customers of the car will agree."

    Chris Arnold, General Manager for Lotus Sport comments: "The Lotus Sport brand has been around for a number of years, and in that time has developed a number of performance upgrades for customers. The Lotus Sport Exige 240R is probably the most complete in-house Lotus Sport product that has been developed. It is a testament to the capability of the Elise platform and the competence of the standard Exige that we haven't had to make any structural changes to the car to accommodate the power of a 3 litre engine, albeit in the guise of a 1.8 litre engine."

    Chris Arnold continues: "These fifty cars are unique, both in appearance and in equipment levels. After we have made these fifty cars, we will not be building any more to this complete specification. Lotus Sport has the Lotus product experience to be able to chose the right components for the Lotus Sport Exige 240R so if customers want the ultimate road going Exige, I recommend that they do not delay and contact their nearest Lotus dealer as soon as possible!"

    Lotus Sport Exige 240R Technical Specifications
    March 2005
    Vehicle Description Technical Specifications
    Engine Mid-mounted, transverse, 1796 cm3, 2ZZ-GE engine, Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) & aluminium lightweight and compact construction
  • 4 cylinders in line, water cooled, with double overhead camshafts exploiting a Variable Valve Timing & Lift - intelligent (VVTL-i) system, hydraulic tappets
  • 4 valves per cylinder Rocker arms with low friction followers, multipoint sequential fuel injection and electronic ignition.
  • Supercharger (Roots-type)
  • Lotus Sport intake manifold, plenum and induction system
  • Lotus Sport belt drive system
  • Lotus Sport Air to air intercooler - cooling air enters via the roof scoop
  • Accusump
  • Sports Exhaust
  • Max Power 181 kW (243 hp, 247 PS) @ 8000 min-1
    Max Torque 236 Nm (174 lbft, 24 kgm) @ 7000 min-1
    Power to weight ratio 195 kW/t ( 261 hp/t, 266 PS/t )
    Specific power output 100.78 kW/L (136.97 hp/L, 137.4 PS/L)
    Emissions control Three-way catalytic converter
    Euro IV emissions compliant with full On-Board Diagnostics (OBD)
    Transmission C64 Gearbox, aluminium lightweight construction, 6-speed, close ratio, constant mesh helical gears and open differential
    Suspension Fully independent sport suspension utilising unequal length wishbones, 2-way adjustable Ohlins dampers with ride height adjustment, adjustable front anti-roll bar, Eibach coaxial coil spring at each corner and front anti-roll bar.
    Chassis Lotus designed lightweight structure of epoxy bonded Aluminium alloy extrusions with integral steel seat-belt support structure and lightweight steel rear subframe
    Steering Solidly mounted mechanical rack and pinion steering box with 2.8 turns lock-to-lock.
    Brakes Servo-assisted, track tuned 4-channel Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Lotus/AP-Racing twin-piston fixed aluminium alloy front brake calipers, Brembo single-piston sliding rear calipers and 282 mm diameter, 26 mm thick front and rear cast-iron ventilated & crossdrilled discs.
    Wheels Unique black lightweight eight spoke wheels (16” front and 17” rear)
  • Front - Yokohama A048 tyre LTS (rated W) 195/50 R16
  • Rear - Yokohama A048 tyre LTS (rated W) 225/45 R17
  • Gear ratios First 3.116:1
    Second 2.050:1
    Third 1.481:1
    Fourth 1.166:1
    Fifth 0.916:1
    Sixth 0.815:1
    Reverse 3.250:1
    Final drive 4.529:1
    Performance Figures
    0-60 mile/h 3.9 s
    0-100 mile/h 9.9 s
    Maximum speed 249 km/h (155 mph)
    Fuel consumption - urban TBA
    Fuel consumption - extraurban TBA
    Fuel consumption - combined TBA
    C02 emissions TBA
    Weight distribution 42% Front – 58% Rear
    Fuel tank capacity 40 L ( 8.8 gal (UK) )
    Luggage capacity 112 L - 50 kg
    Wheelbase 2300 mm
    Track – front 1457 mm
    Track – rear 1507 mm
    Overall length 3797 mm
    Overall width (door mirrors excluded) 1727 mm
    Overall width (door mirrors included) 1850 mm
    Overall height - midladen (as per unladen with 2x 75 kg occupants) Adjustable: 1149 mm to 1159 mm
    Overhang – front 805 mm
    Overhang – rear 692 mm
    Ground clearance – midladen (as per unladen with 2x 75 kg occupants) Adjustable: 120 mm to 130 mm
    Vehicle mass - unladen (running order, full tank of fuel, no occupants, no luggage) 930 kg



    12 January 2005
    Hethel, UK

    Lotus Sport Exige

    470 hp/tonne Race Ready Sport Exige Debuts at Autosport International Show Lotus Sport, the performance division of Lotus Cars Ltd., has developed the new Lotus Sport Exige, a direct motorsport derivative of the successful Lotus Exige.

    The Lotus designed and engineered racecar was part manufactured by RTN, the team responsible for the Le Mans winning Bentley, using the latest motorsport techniques and procedures to produce a lightweight yet strong carbon-fibre bodywork structure around the standard road-going Lotus Exige Aluminium extruded and bonded chassis.

    The Lotus Sport designed fully adjustable suspension system with double wishbones all round was fabricated and manufactured by Pilbeam. Power is provided by a 400 hp Swindon Racing Engines tuned GM 3 litre V6 racing engine linked to a Hewland sequential six-speed gearbox, with AP-Racing providing the braking system.

    This one-off racecar has been built for a South East Asian client and is expected to race in selected sportscar races in Asia. There are no plans as yet to build further examples of the Lotus Sport Exige but the base structure has been carefully designed to comply with key motorsport regulations around the world. Adhering to the key Lotus philosophy of performance through lightweight, the Lotus Sport Exige weighs in at just 850kg.

    The whole project, conducted in complete secrecy has taken less than 6 months and the car will run for the first time at the 2½ mile Hethel test track in mid January. Chris Arnold, General Manager for Lotus Sport explains the philosophy behind the Lotus Sport Exige:

    "The Lotus Sport Exige is a competition car developed directly from the road going Exige. The racecar uses the existing tub with only minor modifications, and careful design has enabled Lotus Sport to package an upgraded powertrain assembly whilst maintaining an equivalent weight to the existing road car. When this package is combined with further improvements to suspension and bodywork, it produces a fantastic looking car with great track potential. The car has been taken from concept to reality in only six months and I thank all our engineering partners and the staff at Lotus who have worked so hard on this fantastic project."

    As the Lotus Sport Exige is, at present, a one-off racecar, a price cannot be given for the racecar package.

    The Lotus Sport Exige in more Detail:

    Chassis and suspension systems
    The Lotus Sport Exige is directly developed from the road-going Lotus Exige that was unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow in 2004. The heart of the Sport Exige is the bonded and extruded Aluminium Chassis, the technology for which was first introduced in the Lotus Elise in 1995.

    The Exige chassis, which is also used in the Lotus Elise 111R, is the latest development of this award winning structure and weighs 68kg and has a torsional stiffness of 10500 Nm/degree. Made up of 25 separate extrusions, and bonded with an epoxy adhesive, the chassis in the Lotus Sport Exige is an exceptionally stiff, strong and lightweight structure. This Lotus technology is so world-leading that it has been used on other non- Lotus products including high performance production front-engined V12 and V8 GT cars.

    An FIA approved 8-point roll cage has been bolted to the chassis, prior to the bodywork being fitted.

    Double wishbone front suspension is mounted to the same suspension hard points as the road-going Lotus Exige, whilst the rear suspension picks up to a revised rear subframe. However, being a full racecar, there is adjustment for ride height, camber and castor, as well as adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars. Coil springs are mounted over Ohlins ST44 3-way adjustable dampers front and rear.

    The Body
    Lightweight "Z-Preg." carbon fibre bodywork was specially manufactured for Lotus by RTN, the team responsible for the Le Mans winning Bentley. These panels (front clam, "A" panel, body side and sill, roof, engine cover and rear clam) have been made using an innovative low temperature curing process. The moulds were taken directly from the Sport Exige styling "clay" and the resulting carbon fibre panels are race-ready without having to rely on the costly tooling process used in current carbon fibre technology. This is thought to be the first time that this technology has been used on such large carbon fibre panels.

    An aerodynamically developed front splitter, carbon fibre rear diffuser and an adjustable carbon rear wing provide increased levels of downforce. The interior of the Lotus Sport Exige is similar to the standard Exige, but the standard roadcar wiring harness is replaced with a full Raychem 25 system incorporating Mil-spec connectors from Beru Formula 1 Harnesses. Conventional fuses are replaced with circuit breakers, and a Stack display with integrated data recording is fitted as standard.

    A racing bucket seat (driver side only) is mounted as right hand drive to optimise weight balance through right hand corners (most circuits run clockwise). A six-point seat belt, prepared for using HANS Safety System, and a removable steering wheel (with quick-connect coupling) is included in the interior package.

    The composite energy absorbing crash structure used on the standard road cars is also carried over to the Lotus Sport Exige. This glass fibre composite structure, around five times more energy absorbing than the equivalent steel component, also houses the larger water radiator and provides efficient cooling and air ducting over the carbon front clamshell. A 100 litre FT3 safety fuel cell (with quick refuelling system) is mounted behind the driver and in front of the engine (as with the road-going Exige). A fully plumbed in electrical fire extinguishing system completes the body package.

    AP Racing provides the non-ABS braking system, which includes the pedal box (with brake balance bar and cylinders). AP Racing also provides the powerful six piston brake calipers at the front and four piston brake calipers at the rear. These calipers are mated to vented discs (344 mm diameter at the front and 330 mm diameter at the rear).

    Rims and Tyres
    Ultra lightweight OZ Racing Chrono single-piece cast magnesium rims (8.8J x 17 ET40 at the front and 11.25J x 18 ET50 at the rear) are shod with Yokohama tyres (250/610-17 at the front and 280/650-18 at the rear).

    Powertrain: Engine and Transmission
    A narrow angle V6, 2,998 cc Swindon Racing Engines tuned GM racing engine is mounted longitudinally in the Lotus Sport Exige. The naturally aspirated 32-valve engine produces 400 hp (296 kW or 405 PS) at 7,750 rpm and 294 lb.ft (398 Nm or 40.6 kgm) of torque at 6,500 rpm and has a maximum engine speed of 8,250 rpm. When the light weight of the Lotus Sport Exige is taken into consideration, the power to weight ratio is a phenomenal 470 hp / tonne (0.351 kW/kg or 476 PS/tonne). The engine itself weighs 157 kg.

    Breathing is via an F1-style airbox and air snorkel from the roof panel of the Sport Exige directly into the six carbon fibre air trumpets. The dry-sump engine, with a bore of 89.0 mm and stroke of 93.7 mm is water cooled and also uses an oil-water heat exchanger to efficiently cool the oil. The whole engine is controlled by a Motec M600 electronic engine management system fitted inside the cockpit. The power is transferred from the engine to the rear wheels via a single mass stepped flywheel, AP Racing twin-disc cerametallic race clutch and Hewland NLT sequential six-speed dog type transmission (with in-line shift mechanism). The gearbox itself is cooled through an oil-water heat exchanger. A limited slip differential (separate power and brake ramp angles) completes the powertrain package.

    The one-off racecar has been designed by Barney Hatt (Principal Designer for Lotus Design), under the direction of Russell Carr (Chief of Design). Taking the already aerodynamic road going Exige, Hatt designed the Lotus Sport Exige with the requirements to carry the design of the Exige and the brand attributes of Lotus into a competitive racecar. Russell Carr explains the work needed to design the Lotus Sport Exige: "The objective was to create a dramatic design and to take into account aerodynamic criteria to produce a race car that was not only competitive but also stunningly good looking. General motorsport regulations also had to be adhered to so the fact that the resulting racecar looks like a natural competition evolution of the road going Exige is a testament to the purity and effectiveness of the original design."

    The Lotus Sport Exige is slightly longer (350 mm) and wider (100 mm) than the road-going Exige to accommodate the larger engine, wider track, longer wheelbase and to optimise the aerodynamics. The length is mainly from the cockpit rearwards but the short rear overhang design of the road-going Exige is maintained.

    Lotus Sport Exige Technical Specifications

    • Narrow (56°) angle V6 engine, water-cooled
    • 2,998 cc, stroke 93.7 mm, bore 89.0 mm.
    • Max. power: 400 hp (296 kW or 405 PS) at 7,750 rpm
    • Max. torque: 294 lb.ft (398 Nm or 40.6 kgm) at 6,500 rpm
    • Max. rpm: 8,250 rpm
    • Four valve technology
    • Oil-cooler (oil-water heat exchanger)
    • Dry-sump lubrication
    • SRE Multi-roller barrel throttle bodies
    • F1 style airbox and air snorkel
    • Motec M600 electronic engine management system
    • Required fuel quality: 98 octane super unleaded
    • Race exhaust: multiple pipe manifold, open exhaust
    • No catalytic converter


    • Hewland sequential six-speed dog type transmission, straight cut gears
    • In-line shift mechanism
    • Gear ratios: Crown wheel & pinion gear 9:35
      • 1st gear 12:36
      • 2nd gear 15:33
      • 3rd gear 18:30
      • 4th gear 20:26
      • 5th gear 24:26
      • 6th gear 26:24
    • Oil-water heat exchanger
    • Single-mass flywheel
    • AP Racing twin-disc cerametallic race clutch
    • Limited slip differential (separate power and brake ramp angles)
    • Rear-wheel drive


    • RHD race vehicle developed from Lotus Exige road car
    • Lotus bonded aluminium chassis and composite crash structure
    • Bolted on 8-point roll cage (in accordance with FIA-Regulations 2004)
    • Three-point AP Racing air jack system


    • Weight optimised and widened Exige
    • Lotus Design RTN "Z-preg." carbon fibre bodywork
    • Aerodynamically developed front splitter and rear diffuser
    • Adjustable carbon rear wing
    • Racing bucket seat (driver side only)
    • Six-point seat belt, prepared for using HANS Safety System
    • Removable steering wheel (with quick-connect coupling)
    • Electrical fire extinguishing system
    • 100 litre FT3 safety fuel cell with quick refuelling system
    • Total weight of bodywork excluding doors ~ 44 kg


    • Double wishbone front suspension with spherical bearings
    • Adjustable front anti-roll bar
    • Non-PAS
    • Double wishbone rear suspension with spherical bearings
    • Adjustable rear anti-roll bar
    • Ohlins ST44 3-way adjustable dampers
    • Coil over damper springs front and rear
    • Suspension adjustable for ride heights, camber and castor

    Braking system

    • Non-ABS system
    • AP Racing pedal box with brake balance bar and AP Racing cylinders
    • Aeroquip style brake lines
    • Front AP Racing six piston brake calipers
    • AP Racing vented discs diameter: 344 mm
    • Aluminium disc bells, race brake pads
    • Rear AP Racing four piston brake calipers
    • AP Racing vented discs diameter: 330 mm
    • Aluminium disc bells, race brake pads


    • OZ Racing Chrono single-piece cast magnesium rims:
      • F - 8.8J x 17 ET40
      • R - 11.25J x 18 ET50
    • Yokohama tyres
      • F - 250/610-17
      • R - 280/650-18
    • Single central wheel nuts with locking devicep

    Electrical System

    • Motec M600 engine management
    • Stack display with integrated data recording
    • Raychem 25 system wiring looms and Mil spec connectors
    • Red Top battery: 12 Volt, 50 Ah
    • Twin Bosch fuel pumps with change over switch
    • Floor mounted carbon fibre centre switch console
    • Circuit breaker switches (no fuses)
    • 120 Ah Alternator


        Lotus Sport Exige Production Lotus Exige
      (Road Specification)
      Wheelbase 2500 mm 2300 mm
      Track - front 1545 mm 1457 mm
      Track - rear 1528 mm 1507 mm
      Overall length 4142 mm 3797 mm
      Overall width (door mirrors excluded) 1840 mm 1727 mm
      Overall width (door mirrors included) 1850 mm 1850 mm
      Overall height 1125 mm 1159 mm (mid-laden)
      Overhang - front 950 mm 805 mm
      Overhang - rear 692 mm 692 mm
      Vehicle mass - unladen
      (running order, full tank of fuel, no occupants, no luggage)
      850 kg 875 kg (no options)

    About Group Lotus plc:
    The main operating subsidiary of Group Lotus plc is Lotus Cars Ltd., which has two operating divisions - Lotus Cars and Lotus Engineering: Lotus Cars builds and commercialises Lotus sports cars, Elise and Exige; builds sportscars for General Motors and manufactures the advanced composite front and rear crash structures for Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Lotus Engineering provides comprehensive and versatile consultancy services to many of the world's OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, offering a full engineering service from initial concept and project design through development to full production prototype build.

    Lotus Sport
    Lotus Sport is the performance arm of Lotus Cars Ltd and is located at the Norfolk Head Office next to the famous Hethel test track. The department designs and builds modified versions of the standard Lotus road cars with special emphasis on upgraded performance, improved ride and handling packages and race specific safety equipment. Individual performance parts to customise or upgrade a vehicle are available via Lotus Sport and its workshops can service, repair, restore or upgrade a standard road or competition Lotus. In addition, Lotus Sport provides a range of driving packages using the renowned Hethel test circuit, including driver training and corporate days, as well as offering enthusiasts a guided tour of the Lotus factory.


    2003-2005 Golden Gate Lotus Club - All rights reserved

    PO Box 117303, Burlingame, California 94011