Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Power-to-weight ratio in the Lotus position

Edmunds Inside Line has the inside scoop on the Lotus Exige, a thinly disguised racing vehicle that barely crosses into street-legal territory

There are a lot of triggers for pure driving endorphins, and each of us is certainly entitled to his or her preferred sources thereof. When the road or circuit to be tamed is a technical one on limited real estate and there's (ideally) a crowd of small-displacement competitors having at it, the Lotus Exige is very difficult to shake off. The fact that so few modifications are needed to make the midengine Lotus track-worthy also makes it an instant favorite...

We spent most of our time — as we normally spend most of our time whenever we show up at the Lotus doorstep on Potash Lane — happily perfecting our cornering strategies on the 2.3-mile test track in back of company HQ. It's almost meditative out there as we get further and further into the Lotus Zone and start hitting most of the drifting sections spot on. With the 2009 Lotus Exige S 260 Sport, nirvana is possible.

...Take the proven riveted and bonded all-aluminum 111S-type chassis for this generation Exige and then add 84 pounds of lightness, as it were, in the assembly of this car versus the 2008 Lotus 260 Exige (sold only outside North America). This gives the taut and low-lying 257-horsepower Exige S 260 Sport (the "S" is for supercharged) a curb weight of just 1,962 pounds and a weight-per-hp ratio of 7.63 pounds per horse. This pretty simply demonstrates why the compact midengine Exige is such a terror... A Porsche Cayman S hauls 9.45 pounds per pony and the Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works coopers around 12.77 pounds for every cooper.

This Exige is a veritable dart; just point and shoot...

Daddy like.

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