Test Drive: Lotus EXIGE 350 Sport – V6 350Hp

Pilot – Writer | Özgür SUNAY ISTANBUL / Road Test
Photo Editor | Can AYDENİZ

Updated to stay ahead of the competition for 2019 and beyond, the ever-popular Exige Sport 350 continues to deliver driving excitement in its purest form. A lesson in the value of a high power-to-weight ratio, the combination of potent, torque-rich, 3.5 litre supercharged V6 in a rigid, lightweight chassis provides thrilling acceleration and instant response. Pure, unassisted steering offers exquisite feedback and vivid communication at all speeds.

The Exige benefits from its own, bespoke version of the pioneering, bonded aluminium chassis, a unique rear subframe and forged aluminium double wishbone suspension at the rear. Available as both Coupe and Roadster, the latest Exige Sport 350 benefits from a revised, lighter, front clam design. Sculpted for greater aerodynamic efficiency, it brings the Sport 350’s styling in line with the rest of the Exige range. It also works with the rear wing and diffuser to generate more downforce for greater high-speed stability, without any increase in drag.

Each Lotus Cart is handmade and only 2000 vehicles leave the famous factory in Hetel Norfolk each year. Taking pride in its heritage, Lotus combines British craftsmanship with superior design to deliver a unique experience to its customers. After all, the best way to understand a Lotus is to use it. Only then can you truly understand the focus and precision that make Lotus one of the best car brands in the world.

Lotus manufactures the world’s most respected and highest performance sports cars. Today, the Lotus line is made up of the game-changing Lotus Evora, the iconic Elise, the respected Exige and hypercar 3-Eleven cars, each delivering a pure and spacious ride. The Lotus approach continues to offer a pure, undiluted driving experience, and the models perfectly reflect Lotus’ core principle of “Accuracy is Lightness”. Not only does it improve straight track performance, but also lowers the vehicle’s curb weight, ensuring accurate calibration of the suspensions.

The overall weight reduction also provides a more optimized weight distribution, which significantly contributes to the sports car’s posture and stability during fast cornering. Lotus rewards its driver with unmatched sharp handling, enormous speed and undiluted driving experience like no other car. Lotus cars are the pure driver’s tools. Raw performance, agility, unmatched ride and handling are available on the Lotus Exige Sport 350 we tested.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 345bhp (350PS) horsepower, 295 lbs ft (400Nm) of torque. It has a Toyota, Japanese engine with fuel injected and overcharged. When we first look at our test vehicle Lotus Exige from the outside, it looks like a super sports car. I compared the exterior design of the vehicle with the Pagani and slightly Audi R8. The rear is reminiscent of Ferrari construction. When I looked at the interior cockpit structure from the outside before I got into the vehicle, I saw that the comfort and interior material structure was slightly lower than the super sports road cars.

The production and operating structure of the Exige 350 Sport vehicle was not, of course, providing comfort to the driver, as stated by the CEO of Lotus. Therefore, sitting in the Lotus Exige 350 Sport is not as easy as you think. Based on my previous experience, I compare this slightly to sitting in an F16.

When we sit behind the wheel of Lotus Exige 350 Sport Un, you are pretty close to the ground. I had vents and radio tape caught in my eye before. After hearing the sound of the engine, I am not too interested anymore. The steering structure is the same as an F1 car or Karting vehicles. It fits well in the hand, is solid, sharp and feels like a racing car. This feel is unlike any other super sports car. I am testing the version of the Lotus Exige 350 Sport with automatic transmission.

As you know from other tools that are very simple and easy to use, -D- When you switch to driving mode, you move. It is ideal for my arm muscles although initially difficult to steer at very low speeds. Although the Lotus Exige 350 Sport is designed in a structure that touches the ground very closely, I see that I move with a much shorter chassis structure than the Audi R8 I tested before and the low gold does not affect me much while driving…

I test this vehicle, similar to F1 and Karting vehicles produced for the track, on the streets and roads of Istanbul in all road conditions. Our Lotus Exige 350 Sport car has two different driving mode buttons. These are Sport and Racing keys. With these keys, our vehicle has a much more aggressive structure and accelerates with a predatory engine sound.

Our Lotus Exige 350 Sport test vehicle also has a small button on the left side of the steering wheel. This button is useful to turn the exhaust sound on and off, which makes the rear engine sound stronger and more ferocious, which gives you driving pleasure. When I select Sport or Race mode, Lotus calibrates the engine to reflect the dynamic system changes activated. When I want a sportier experience, the optimized gear selection and response gives me faster, versatile performance. It offers you driving with a greater swing by turning off the ESP and the safety system. However, I prefer to use the safe mode, ie the standard vehicle, in rainy weather conditions. Another sporty aspect of our Lotus Exige 350 Sport is the F1 gears on the steering wheel. When I use the vehicle as a manual gear with the help of F1 gear levers, it cuts the throttle at high revs. While I warn me to shift up, I can’t shift whenever I want. The reason why I cannot lower the gears at high revs and speeds in manual operation is the safety of Lotus to protect the engine. Engineering and software prevented the driver using Lotus from making mistakes and unnecessarily risking the engine in this way. If you are driving a different super sports car such as the Lotus Exige 350 Sport, it sure feels different. We can say that it is a purebred performance vehicle designed for pure drivers and real people who can use this vehicle. Of course, using our Lotus Exige 350 Sport daily can be a little tricky to get in and out of the vehicle. You can get used to it somehow, even having this experience once a week will offer you a different pleasure and excitement.

This means you can use every day associated with a Porsche, offers options such as comfort or feeling that you want to use in all conditions of Turkey. If some automotive editors abroad compare the Lotus Exige 350 Sport with Porsche as a competitor, it would be a mistake … Because Porsche is a very good car that you can easily use in every road condition in daily life. It has a much better quality and comfortable interior. Lotus Exige 350 Sport, on the other hand, is a full track monster …

There is a lot of comfort and usage difference between the 1997 model Lotus Esprit and the 2018 model Lotus Exige. Lotus manufactures lighter and performance-based super sports cars with its engineering experience and experience in aircraft technology, adhering to its experience in this field and in its own line. Lotus manufactures fully handmade and custom built world class, high performance sports cars with the craftsmanship that they can only offer their customers in the best way. Our test vehicle, the product of such a performance, can reach 0-100 km in just 3.8 seconds thanks to its V6 engine and its refreshing acceleration feature.

If we talk about the other features of our Lotus Exige 350 Sport vehicle; There is no luggage compartment on the front hood of our vehicle. At the back, there is a section where you can put your belongings such as a small bag or suitcase under the fully levitating engine cover. The rear bonnet is opened by an inside pull handle, next to the driver’s seat. In fact, the engineers who designed the Lotus Exige 350 Sport model equipped the front of the vehicle with high-protection steel bars, creating a safe cage inside for the driver and passenger. This is of course a very important element in terms of driver and single passenger safety in a super sports car. You can get up and down from a somewhat narrow area as you have to sit completely inside this safety cage while getting on the vehicle. Because there are thick steel bars around you. Lotus Exige actually consists of two different consoles. Another steel console second cage is the rear of the vehicle. The rear and front two separate steel bodies were linked by Lotus engineers as the chassis structure of the vehicle. Beneath the Lotus Exige 350 is a full underbody protection steel wall found on the same track and WRC race cars. You can also see this flat protection structure when you look under the vehicle.