Automatic for the Exige
With all the talk of supercars like the Ford GT and the Acura NSX, the Lotus Exige S, which was introduced in November 2013, seems to have been lost in the shuffle.
This is a notable car in as much as its chassis is aluminum-intensive and it has a carbon-fiber body, which makes it on par with other vehicles. Its construction results in a rather mass-efficient vehicle: it weighs just 2,600 lb.
So what’s Lotus to do?
Offer the Exige S with an optional six-speed automatic transmission. Previously, the 345-hp, 3.5-liter V6 was mated to a six-speed manual.
What’s interesting about the deployment of the manual transmission is that it actually improves the performance of the car.
That is, an automatic-equipped Exige S (available in both coupe and roadster versions) reaches 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, which is 0.1 seconds quicker than the vehicle with a manual transmission.
What’s more, there is an environmental benefit, too.
The Exige S manual produces 235 grams of CO2 per km. The Exige S automatic comes in at just 222 g/km.
Fast and green(ish).
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.
How carbon fiber is utilized is as different as the vehicles on which it is used. From full carbon tubs to partial panels to welded steel tube sandwich structures, the only limitation is imagination.
Honda is an engine company.