Move over Lotus Sport 350, the Exige Sport 380 is now the fastest Exige on the block. Lotus revealed the latest version of the Exige, one that's faster, lighter, and more aggro than before.
The newly tweaked Sport 380 weighs in at only 2,425 pounds, 55 pounds lighter than the svelte Sport 350, which made its debut last year.
"We've saved something special for our last new car of 2016. We have built upon the foundations of the excellent Exige Sport 350 and developed a perfectly proportioned, intuitive and attainable supercar for real roads," said Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus CEO, in a statement.
"The cut in weight is nothing short of drastic and, combined with the hike in power and its enhanced agility, we've created something exceptional — far greater than the sum of its parts. The Exige Sport 380 is so good, that it is no longer the best in class, it's now in a class of its own."
Powering the little beast is the familiar 3.5-liter V-6, now tuned to deliver 375 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque. It will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 178 mph.
The Exige 380 is still mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with its cool open-gate design. An optional six-speed automatic transmission with shifter paddles will go on sale in the spring of 2017, according to the automaker.
Lotus' latest two-seater gets lots of carbon fiber bits, a front splitter, revised access panel, and a new rear wing to drop a few extra pounds compared to its predecessor. Aside from the weight drop, Lotus says the power increase comes from a revised supercharger pulley that increases charge pressure, an upgraded fuel pump, recalibrated ECU, and a revised exhaust system from the Evora 400 and Evora Sport 410.
There's an optional full titanium exhaust available as well as a track pack that includes two-way dampers, and adjustable front/rear anti-roll bars. Plus, there's also a carbon exterior pack that features a one-piece carbon roof panel, instead of the standard soft top, and a carbon louvered tailgate.
The Lotus Exige Sport 380 retails for around $85,000 in the U.K. and is available as a roadster or coupe. It's available in 10 colors and the interior features carbon fiber sport seats that are trimmed with Alcantara, leather, or tartan. Alloy wheels are available in a choice of silver or black, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are standard.
Lotus still can't sell street versions of the Elise or Exige in the U.S. market due to the expiration of an airbag exemption, so don't expect to see the Sport 380 on this side of the pond. A next-gen Lotus Elise is slated to arrive by 2020. Insert a big sigh here.