Late last year, Lotus unveiled the Exige Sport 380, the quickest Exige ever built. That title didn't last long, because now, it's built a quicker one.
The Lotus Exige Race 380 is a track-only version of the Exige Sport 380, if the name didn't immediately give that away. It packs the same engine as the Sport 380 -- a supercharged, 3.5-liter V6 good for 375 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. The only available transmission is a proper sequential racing gearbox.
Whereas the Sport 380 reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, which is supercar territory, the Race 380 will do the same sprint in just 3.2 seconds. That's because Lotus dropped even more weight from the Race 380, bringing its curb weight down to just 2,200 pounds.
At the same time, it will out-handle the Sport 380 thanks to aerodynamic upgrades that produce approximately 529 pounds of downforce. It's 1.5 seconds faster around the Hethel test track than Lotus' previous track-only Exige, the Cup R. In racing terms, 1.5 seconds is a lifetime.
Being a race car, the Race 380 includes a few parts that the Sport 380 lacks, including a full roll cage, a FIA-compliant carbon racing seat with six-point harness, a fire extinguisher and matte black covers that replace the unnecessary headlights. Don't expect any airbags on this one, either.
The Exige Race 380 might be the closest you get to any hopped-up Exige. The Sport 380 proved so popular that the next four months' worth of production is already spoken for. The Race 380 won't be cheap, though -- it's priced at £99,500 before tax, which converts directly to $121,450.