2018 Lotus Exige Sport 410 – Last of Its Generation & Certainly Not The Least
Final Iteration of the Third-gen Exige
Revealed in May 2018, the new Lotus Exige Sport 410 set out to become the “ultimate road-going Exige”. The Sport 410 – not available in North America due to safety regulations – replaces the Sport 380, which replaced the Sport 350 before it.
According to Group Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 will conclude the current-generation Lotus Exige – crushing any hopes of a Sport 440 being released in the future.
This should give us even more reason to be excited over the new Sport 410, which has ended up becoming more of a detuned, daily-driveable version of the hardcore motorsport-focused Cup 430, than merely a refreshed Sport 380. It can be said that Lotus is closing this chapter of the Exige with fireworks at the ending.
Lotus Exige Sport 410
The Lotus Exige Sport 410 boasts a recalibrated version of the ubiquitous supercharged Toyota 3.5L V6 engine, which has stood the test of time and been receptive to revision and innovation. In sharing chassis components with the Cup 430, the Sport 410 delivers a class-leading power to weight ratio of 389 hp/tonne, while also making it the lightest V6 Exige in the lineup.
Jean-Marc Gales further states about the new Sport 410, “We have taken the Exige Cup 430, the ultimate track-centric Exige, and developed it into the perfect road orientated sports car, ensuring that we stay ahead of rivals when it comes to cars that deliver a truly engaging analog driving experience.”
Available in both coupe and roadster configurations, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 has all the requisite DNA to be proclaimed as the ‘ultimate road car’.
Features and Highlights
Engine & Chassis
The Edelbrock-supercharged engine produces 410-horsepower @ 7,000 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm. It is essentially a slightly dialed-down version of the 430-horsepower engine used in the Cup 430 – which itself, is borrowed from the Lotus Evora GT430. Mated to the mid-engine layout is a perfectly matched, close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission with exposed-gear-change linkage, delivering power to the rear wheels.
According to Lotus, the Sport 410 achieves 0-60 mph in a remarkable 3.3 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 180 mph in the coupe version.
Nitron dampers, Eibach adjustable anti-roll bars, AP Racing four-pot calipers and J-hook rotors, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires – complete the harmonization of chassis and engine to provide the car with the balance, agility, performance, and feedback befitting of the ultimate road-going Exige.
Interior & Exterior Design
Lotus has the credentials to rightfully refer to itself as the “leader in lightweight design”, and the new Sport 410 is a spot-on amalgamation of that claim.
At just 1,074 kg, the Sport 410 is distinctive in its appearance thanks to a plethora of carbon fiber adornments from front to back – the front splitter, air curtains, side pods and a large high-mounted rear wing among the beneficiaries of this treatment.
Wider aperture grilles in the new ‘front clam panel’ and an aggressive aluminum rear diffuser help to reduce turbulence caused by airflow under the chassis, also while minimizing drag. The overall aerodynamic configuration enables the Sport 410 to generate 150 kg of downforce (60kg at front, 90kg at rear).
The interior, like the rest of the car, remains focused on weight reduction and performance, but still provides adequate consideration for the quality of fit, finish and functionality. Alcantara finishings come standard on the steering wheel, center console, and dashboard, while the carbon fiber backed sport seats can be upholstered in either an Alcantara/leather combo or full leather.
Also available are a variety of motorsport-centric options which include fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion, non-airbag steering wheel, 4-point racing harnesses and an FIA-compliant roll cage.
In my opinion, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 has proven to be exactly what it has set out to be – the ultimate road-going Exige.
The fact that it is easily manageable on both street and circuit – while providing a deeply driver-involved experience – is what makes the Sport 410 such an inspiring car. In an age where even the most hardcore, one-off production cars are still expected to roleplay to the demands of daily driving, the Lotus Sport 410 pulls off this difficult feat with class.
That doesn’t mean that the car has become soft, dull or mainstream by any means; after all, it is still a Lotus, and it is still an Exige, and the engineers ensured that this remained apparent in every regard. What this means is that you get a car that is ultimately diminutive, difficult to get in and out of, and nothing short of mental on the racetrack – and now, more accommodating than ever for your runs to the grocery store or trek to the office.
Like fireworks at the end of a celebration, the Lotus Exige Sport 410 sets the stage for a fitting finale to one of the greatest driver’s cars ever made.
Specifications and Performance Summary
Pricing and Model Info
2018 – Present
Coupe or Roadster
Series Production Car
Base Price (UK)
Chassis and Powertrain
1,074 kg (1,054 kg with all possible lightweight options)
Lotus-tuned, Nitron three-way dampers, adjustable for rebound (24 click adjustment settings) and low-speed compression (24 click adjustment settings) and high-speed compression (16 click adjustment settings) and Nitron springs