The new Lotus Exige 350 Special Edition is the latest incarnation from the Hethel-based Sportscar makers. The Lotus Exige 350 SE represents one of the special editions to mark the marque’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Based on the most extreme Exige to date, the Sport 350, the new special edition adds a number of lightweight, performance-enhancing features, as well as unique paint and interior options as standard.
Weighing just 1099 kg, the Exige 350 Special Edition has shed an impressive 77 kg, when compared to the previous generation Exige S. The result of a thorough re-evaluation, every component has been scrutinized in order for the car to possess the purity of drive and benchmark handling which all Lotus cars are renowned for.
Long regarded as the enthusiast’s favorite, the new Lotus Exige 350 Special Edition takes the model’s benchmark handling and raw performance and adds a sense of occasion. Packing a supercharged 345 hp, V6 3.5 liter engine, and weighing 26 kg less than the Exige Sport 350, the new Exige 350 Special Edition accelerates to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds before reaching a top speed of 274 km/h.
To reflect its enthusiast-orientated personality, the Exige 350 Special Edition is only available with a slick, six-speed manual gearbox. Aesthetically appealing, as well as technically accomplished, the distinctive exposed gear-change mechanism perfectly embodies Lotus’ lightweight ethos. Employing machined and cast aluminium components, the linkage uses precision engineering to deliver faster, more precise gear changes. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing four-piston brake callipers, front and rear.
Complementing this class leading performance, the car receives a revised front access panel cover, as first seen on the Exige Cup 360, lightweight carbon-fiber sports seats, lightweight forged alloy wheels, and a Lithium ion battery as standard to keep kerb weight at a minimum. The interior offers the choice between black leather or Alcantara upholstery with bespoke contrast stitching.
The Exige 350 Special Edition also features Lotus’ Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) which, selected via a dashboard switch, provides ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings. Proportionally increasing throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, it allows enhanced control before the system intervenes. DPM also utilizes an engine exhaust bypass valve at mid-to-high engine speeds, increasing throttle responsive in both ‘Sport’ and ‘Race’ settings.
The new car retains the Exige Sport 350’s excellent suspension setup, including firmer dampers and optimized geometry to deliver more responsive handling. Key weight-saving features, including the louvered tailgate, not only cut weight but also lower the car’s center of gravity, contributing to its sharpened dynamics.
Helping to celebrate the company’s 50 years in Norfolk, the special edition coupe is limited to 50 examples, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Like the already sold out Evora 400 Hethel Edition and Elise 250 Special Edition, this Exige is built to mark 2016 as this anniversary year. Available in four of Lotus fans’ favorite colors, the new Exige 350 Special Edition comes in Essex Blue, Old English White, Dark Metallic Grey, or Motorsport Black, all finished with contrasting racing stripes. The car’s bright red brake calipers are offset with black forged alloy wheels and, as standard, the front splitter, wing mirrors and rear transom are finished in matt black; the rear wing, front access panel and roof panel finished in body color.
In addition to the special interior, the Exige 350 Special Edition includes cruise control and floor mats as standard. An integrated in-car entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod connectivity and Bluetooth along with full carpets and enhanced sound insulation.