Lotus Exige S caught hot weather testing at the Dubai Autodrome[Not a valid template]
Summer in Dubai is a giant sweaty heat box that cooks cars without mercy and boils photographers to a salty mush. The motorsport season ends long before the furnace reaches its peak and the cars only return to track when temperatures reach slow cooker status. While the summer is not quite over yet, a positively mild 40ºC morning with a mere 52% humidity was enough to get a few track day dudes on circuit at the Dubai Autodrome.
Possibly due to temporary insanity, I decided I would join the hardcore crew and fire off a volley of Canon shots in practice for the upcoming motorsport season. The usual ‘breakfast of champions’ (strong black coffee and a few Marlboro) was consumed and I set off in the crankandpiston management fleet Lexus LX570 for the short drive to the ‘drome and almost immediately fell in behind a duo of cars I didn’t expect to see: a pair of Lotus. And they were going to the Autodrome.
With Lotus recently confirming that an official showroom will be opening in Dubai at the end of October there is a bit of a buzz about the brand. The ball-ache in selling a car in the region is obviously dealing with the high temperatures so, naturally, hot weather testing is a necessity. While the Evora S is currently a rarity in the region it was the Exige S that generated excitement within the gathered track-focused petrolheads and it is easy to see why. Even in the press release bumpf from Lotus it describes the new Exige S as “taking corners better than Pele”. I don’t know what a Pele is but I bet that is good stuff. What I do know is that watching the Exige S on track would make Colin Chapman proud.
That supercharged 3.5-litre V6 has the potential to scare a lot of folk when combined with the dynamic chassis and lightweight construction of the Exige S. Lotus, expect a call from crankandpiston around the end of October, let’s book a test drive. For now though, it is too bloody hot and I am going to go back to bed. I have been boiled to a salty mush.
|Engine:||Mid mounted, transverse 3.5 litre DOHC V6 VVT-i engine / HTV 1320 Supercharger|
|Power:||345hp @7000 rpm|
|Torque:||295lb/ft @4500 rpm|
|Transmission:||Six-speed close ratio gear box|
|Suspension:||Fully independent double wishbone suspension with front anti-roll bar / Bilstein high performance gas dampers, front and rear / Eibach coaxial coil springs, front and rear|
|Brakes:||AP Racing twin-piston front calipers (front and rear), with ventilated and cross-drilled cast-iron discs|
|Wheels:||17" front and 18" rear|
|Tyres:||Front Pirelli P-Zero 205/45 R17 / Rear Pirelli P-Zero 265/35 R18|
|Weight (kerb)||1176 kg|
Photographs – James Davison and Dave Benson