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Exige set for Toyota V6 upgrade

2010-06-02 07:22

The and the new, a Lotus Elan and Exige, both with four-cylinder blocks. Will this tradition soon change in favour of a V6 configuration?

A Lotus Exige test car with widened rear fenders (rudimentarily riveted in place) has been spotted near the company’s Hethel factory, increasing speculation concerning a possible new V6 powered derivative.

Plainly, the supercharged Lotus Exige hardly lacks in terms of urge - it weighs around 900kg, depending on specification, and has 163kW/215Nm. The company’s very healthy balance sheet has allowed it to encourage engineers to explore methods of upgrading the Exige with more power.

The easiest way to boost power is simply transplanting the Evora’s 3.5l Toyota V6 engine, which boasts outputs of 225kW and 376Nm. There is a mass penalty to consider with the 3.5l V6 engine, as it’s sure to bloat the Exige V6 past the psychological 1 000kg mark.

Further changes expected courtesy of the Exige’s new V6 engine transplant are an increase in tracking width and a longer wheelbase. 

Lotus has been denying rumours of the V6 Exige for a while, yet trackday enthusiast would seemingly prefer the naturally aspirated output symmetry of the larger capacity engine to the current (more frantic) blown four-cylinder 1.8l.

Admittedly the idea of increasing engine sized and weight does grate against the Lotus design philosophy, especially as the company’s cars boast some of the lowest emission/performance ratios around. A change to V6 power, both in terms of added mass and driving dynamics, might negatively alter the balance of the Exige experience.


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