In 2005 Lotus Sport, the performance division of Lotus Cars Ltd, developed the Lotus Sport Exige, a direct motorsport derivative of the successful Lotus Exige.
The Lotus designed and engineered racecar was manufactured by RTN, the term responsible for the Le Mans winning Bentley, 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 2 mile Hethel test track in mid January.
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 partner and staff at Lotus who have worked so hard on this fantastic project.Chris Arnold, General Manager for Lotus Sport in 2005 explains the philosophy behind the Lotus Sport Exige