Do you feel that? That extra spring in your step? That pleasant scent in the air? Does your hair look especially good today? Well, news flash, it's not because today is a lovely spring day. It's because Lotus has released another new variant of the Exige. Yes, you read right, a new variant of the Exige, a car that you can't get for road use in the US, is having an appreciable impact on your quality of life today. What a world!
The new variant in question is the Exige Sport 410. As you may have guessed, this is an Exige with 410 horsepower from its Toyota-sourced 3.5 liter V6. This car, which essentially takes the place of the Exige Sport 380 in the lineup, is derived from the brutal and manic Exige Cup 430, which is more of a hornet nest than a car.
But this is not a track car that can occasionally drive on roads, like the Cup 430. Subbing the word "Cup" for "Sport" is Lotus's way of specifying that a car is more for road use than track use. That doesn't mean the Sport 410 would be a wonderful family car, it just means that you value road use over track use.
A different ECU means that it has 20 fewer horsepower than the Cup 430, but it weighs just 2,323 pounds, meaning it's still blindingly quick. The 410 gets to 60 in 3.3 seconds, just 0.1 slower than the Cup 430. The Nitron three-way adjustable dampers remain, but with a more forgiving tune intended for road use (you can firm them up for track duty).
The big difference is downforce. The Cup 430 made 485 pounds of the stuff, the Sport 410 makes just 330. A big drop, though downforce isn't really needed on a road car. Dig it? But the 410 is available as a coupe or roadster, which the Cup is not. It bears repeating, no version of the Sport 410 will be sold in the USA. Sorry.
Don't let that impact your mood. Another new Lotus variant is a good thing for all of us. So smile, jump up and down, and go eat some ice cream. You deserve it. We all do.