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Lotus’ Exige Increases Performance through Extensive Use of Composite Components

  • Friday, 4th September 2009
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The 2010 Model Year Lotus Exige Cup 260 incorporates innovations used in the Lotus Exige GT3 racing car and combines these with improved, “class leading emissions”, according to Lotus.

Lotus say that this improved model takes the design and aerodynamic changes first introduced on the Exige S earlier this year to enhance the look and improve aerodynamic performance.

At the rear, the lightweight, unpainted carbon chord composite rear wing is based on the design from the Exige GT3 concept car. Manufacturers claim that this version has better stiffness and through a redesign it increases stability, reduces drag and improves downforce.

The front end includes a larger, more angular air intake to help funnel more air through the radiator, to improve the efficiency of the engine. Ahead of the front wheels on either side of the main aperture, two larger air intakes increase the airflow to the twin oil coolers. Horizontal vanes, made from lightweight carbon fibre bisect these oil cooler air-intakes to stabilise the airflow to further increase the cooling efficiency.

Mounted below the three air intakes is a new aerodynamic splitter for the 2010 Model Year Exige. Once again made from lightweight carbon chord composite, the splitter is extended to wrap around the whole of the front end and chiselled side lips are raised to deflect air around the tyres to reduce drag.

The use of Carbon Fibre composite has achieved an overall weight saving of 12kg. It is featured in the following areas:
▪ Roof Panel
▪ FIA and HANS compliant driver and passenger seats
▪ One piece carbon fibre dash top panel
▪ Rear tailgate
▪ Centre tunnel
▪ Front access panels
▪ Front splitter (carbon chord)
▪ Side air intake ducts
▪ Rear spoiler (carbon chord)

Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering for Lotus said, “The Lotus Exige Cup 260 is the epitome of the Lotus brand philosophy of performance through lightweight. Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus, once said ‘Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere’ and the Exige Cup 260 totally proves this, being one of the most exhilarating, focussed and pure sportscars on the road today.”

22kg of weight savings were made elsewhere in this design, subtracting weight from areas such as the battery, the wheels and the subframe.

Recommended retail price for the 1010 Exige is £45,000.


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