Lotus ups the ante with Exige Race 380 race car, which sets new track record

The Lotus Exige is no longer sold in the U.S., but that didn’t stop Lotus from teasing U.S. car enthusiasts with a new racing version of the nimble little sports car. It’s called the Exige Race 380, and is based on the Exige Sport 380 road car sold overseas.

The Race 380 uses the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 used in some other Lotus models, tuned to produce 375 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. For this racing version, Lotus added an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission for faster shifts that is controlled by carbon fiber paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Other additions include an oil cooler, cassette-type plate limited-slip differential, and an optional titanium exhaust system.

Lotus says the Exige Race 380 will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, and will lap its Hethel, England, test track in 1 minute, 23.5 seconds. That’s the fastest time ever for the Exige at that track, which is saying something, because Lotus seems to come out with a new racing or road-going variant of the Exige every week.

That lap time is due to not only the powerful engine, but also the copious downforce produced by the car’s modified bodywork. Lotus says the Race 380 generates 240 kilograms (529 pounds) of downforce at 170 mph, proving the flamboyant bodywork isn’t just for show. Lotus added vents to help reduce pressure in the wheel wells, a rear grille to help circulate air through the engine compartment, and a new front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler.

The Exige Race 380 also features upgraded suspension and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that are mounted on lightweight forged alloy wheels. As in all race cars, the interior is short on creature comforts, but has everything a driver needs, including a lightweight seat, six-point harness, fire extinguisher, and a thin film transistor, or TFT, instrument display.

The Lotus Exige Race 380 is available to order now at a U.K. price of 99,500 pounds (about $120,000). Lotus hasn’t discussed U.S. availability or pricing. Road-going versions of the Exige and related Elise are expected to arrive here in 2020, after Lotus updates their safety equipment to meet U.S. standards as part of a comprehensive redesign.

Cars

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).
Cars

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.
Cars

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Cars

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.