S3 Exige S V6 - Slow at the Ring?

S3 Exige S V6 - Slow at the Ring?

Author
Discussion

SarlechS

Original Poster:

266 posts

140 months

Monday 22nd June
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Can anyone let me know why the Exige S is so slow at the ring when compared to a 981 Cayman GTS?

Exige S
Power - 345 BHP
Weight - 1130 KG
Time - 7:53

981 Cayman GTS
Power - 335 BHP
Weight - 1360KG
Time - 7:53

Now i know there's more to a cars performance than seeing how quick it laps the ring but i find its a good barometer for all round performance , when i was looking at the two cars i'm considering as my next car i was expecting the Exige S to be so much quicker than the 981 Cayman GTS, 230kg lighter, more power, it should be an easy win?

Does anyone know why the Exige struggles with the Ring? It may be something simple like Lotus don't send their cars to the ring and that time i found on the Exige is an amature time vs a Pro time from Porsche? I just found it interesting...

Keen to hear your thoughts!

CTE

1,351 posts

196 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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Its an interesting point and I can only give my thoughts...

I think it is pretty clear Porsche hone/tweak/set up their cars at/for the ring and will have the factory presence to optimise the car for the lap time...tyres make a massive difference etc.

Lotus do not have a factory presence at the ring (who knows if they on the quiet take cars there?). Obviously Lotus have their own test track and apart from anything else didn't have the budget to take and test cars at the ring, why would they...so yes the time you have identified is likely a privateer.

There`s more to performance and lap times than simple power to weight...pretty sure the Cayman will have a bigger torque spread and its not clear if the Cayman had a PDK gearbox compared to a manual...every gearchange can loose half a second...how many of those around the ring.

Much of the ring is relatively high speed stuff and German cars are obviously built for the Autobahns where weight is less of an issue and can be a benefit. I think you`ll find the Lotus would be measurably quicker round a more typical English race track and better suited for spirited driving on UK B roads...although both are way too quick for modern road conditions really.

I know the Exige is massively more engaging and fun to drive anywhere, but the Cayman offers better day to day practicality.

MarkM3Evoplus

511 posts

156 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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The driver that set the lap isn't too great with manuals he doesn't rev match and therefore doesn't balance the car great.

The standard Exige S set up was also set very safe promoting understeer - they need a Geometry change for faster circuits like the ring.

Komotec (German Lotus specilist) change the standard settings, stiffening them up a bit (as standard they can go from understeer to roll oversteer on lifting) and they go substantially quicker round quicker circuits.

Porsche do set up there road cars very well for circuit work out of the box, but German manufacturers are well know for tweaking their car for the mag 'ring tests.....Mercedes even fitted a car with a magnesium roof!!

gareth h

2,327 posts

186 months

Tuesday 23rd June
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If these are production car figures the Exige S didn’t run on Cup2s like some of the later cars do, I think the limiting factor will be driver in either car.

james_gt3rs

4,767 posts

147 months

Wednesday 24th June
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Driver confidence is a big factor at the Ring. And it also has huge straights so things like aero and engine temps are more apparent (e.g the factory v6 with no chargecooler suffers from heatsoak and ramps back power). Not to mention the Porsche is a bespoke platform with low engine, good weight distribution etc.

ecain63

10,088 posts

131 months

Thursday 25th June
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The Exige V6 requires a lot more effort and concentration to drive fast on track than more modern machinery. The Porsche has power steering, easy to manage braking and traction control systems. The Exige is very much back to basics and although it probably feels much faster and more raw on the track it's not.

I love my 410 but when i'm on track with GT3RS, GT4's, Maclarens etc its obvious where they have the advantage. I 100% prefer the Exige experience though and invariably come off the circuit sweating and exhausted laugh


giveitfish

3,382 posts

170 months

Thursday 25th June
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ecain63 said:
I love my 410 but when i'm on track with GT3RS, GT4's, Maclarens etc its obvious where they have the advantage. I 100% prefer the Exige experience though and invariably come off the circuit sweating and exhausted laugh
It will be very interesting to see how Lotus develop over the next few years. There's a growing feeling from listening to journalists podcasts that the power wars have gone too far (Chris Harris, DriveNation etc) and Lotus have always kept a loyal core by not pandering to this and going for feedback and excitement instead.

But at the end of the day they can't grow their sales like that, and the customers they need to attract are sadly going to judge them on pub bragging rights.

MarkM3Evoplus

511 posts

156 months

Thursday 25th June
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Ecain, your 410 has fully adjustable suspension I believe, so you can make it much quicker than the standard Lotus setup.

I also agree with an earlier comment, the V6 engine looks mounted quite high in an exige, I bet the Porsche has a significantly lower CoG with flat 4 & 6 engines.


Denno B

743 posts

161 months

Thursday 25th June
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I read on one of the forums, possibly Seloc that owners of the v6 weren’t getting the claimed 345 bhp on the dyno, nearer low 300’s in reality. Where as Porsche tend go the other way and down play how much power they have from factory.

ecain63

10,088 posts

131 months

Thursday 25th June
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410 and 430 tend to be accurate or above spec

Olivera

3,970 posts

195 months

Thursday 25th June
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There is one very large elephant in the room:

Many Exige models (< Exige 410?) have no intercooler at all, so they will heatsoak massively on a long lap, causing the ECU to retard the ignition and drop power.

For example, see top speed on Dottingher Hoe towards the end of these videos. All Sport Auto laps.

Exige 380 struggles to get past 240kph:

https://youtu.be/_KDaXMRvuKE

New Supra (335bhp) hits 255kph:

https://youtu.be/aIflu3L5Cd8

Alpine A110 manages to go 6-7kph faster with 150bhp less:

https://youtu.be/eYAn8t0rW44

ecain63

10,088 posts

131 months

Thursday 25th June
quotequote all
Olivera said:
There is one very large elephant in the room:

Many Exige models (< Exige 410?) have no intercooler at all, so they will heatsoak massively on a long lap, causing the ECU to retard the ignition and drop power.

For example, see top speed on Dottingher Hoe towards the end of these videos. All Sport Auto laps.

Exige 380 struggles to get past 240kph:

https://youtu.be/_KDaXMRvuKE

New Supra (335bhp) hits 255kph:

https://youtu.be/aIflu3L5Cd8

Alpine A110 manages to go 6-7kph faster with 150bhp less:

https://youtu.be/eYAn8t0rW44
Yup. Cooling is the Achilles heel.

Venisonpie

854 posts

38 months

Friday 26th June
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ecain63 said:
Yup. Cooling is the Achilles heel.
As someone who is now Lotus less and looking for a replacement, how much of an issue is this on Exige 350'S? I only use a car on road and not track but is the performance still compromised?

Arun_D

2,167 posts

151 months

Friday 26th June
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Venisonpie said:
ecain63 said:
Yup. Cooling is the Achilles heel.
As someone who is now Lotus less and looking for a replacement, how much of an issue is this on Exige 350'S? I only use a car on road and not track but is the performance still compromised?
Not really something to worry about with road use. Get yourself a test drive and enjoy!

CTE

1,351 posts

196 months

Friday 26th June
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You`ll definitely not notice it on the road or even most UK tracks as the straights just aren't long enough...it could well be an issue on the ring of course. For track use the tyre pressures need to be dropped and further alterations to handling balance can be made with suspension geometry adjustments as previously noted.

I`ve been neck and neck with a well driven GT3 RS round Snetterton in my 430Cup so they`ve got plenty of performance. I was quicker under braking and cornering speed but the GT3 had the edge under acceleration due to a PDK gearbox, no surprise. As has been said previously, I got out of the car sweating and I knew I`d had a drive...I am also lucky enough to own a 12c which is quicker again and contrary to the rubbish spouted in the media it is a very rewarding car to drive especially on track, however I let the gearbox do the changing of gears as its quicker and better judged than I am and as a result ultimately the car is not as involving also it is satisfying obliterating everything else on track!

MarkM3Evoplus

511 posts

156 months

Friday 26th June
quotequote all
I did see a 350 lap N Ring and they had intake temp listed - didn't much change throughout the lap. Granted, not pro driver, but sub 9 mins, so decent.

They don't run much boost and run so rich a WOT to keep cylinder temps down


Olivera

3,970 posts

195 months

Friday 26th June
quotequote all
CTE said:
You`ll definitely not notice it on the road or even most UK tracks as the straights just aren't long enough...
If it's not an issue on the road why does almost every turbocharged/supercharged car, including 1.0l superminis, come equipped with an intercooler/chargecooler? In fact performance cars from the late 70s/early 80s regularly came with intercoolers!

ecain63

10,088 posts

131 months

Friday 26th June
quotequote all
MarkM3Evoplus said:
I did see a 350 lap N Ring and they had intake temp listed - didn't much change throughout the lap. Granted, not pro driver, but sub 9 mins, so decent.

They don't run much boost and run so rich a WOT to keep cylinder temps down
Nurburgring isn't a track that demands a huge amount from the cooling. 9m isn't that quick either. Most decent Exige drivers will get into the 8m mark after a few laps so long as traffic is light. The heat soak issue will be a factor only on the main straight, but even then the straight is out of bounds on TF and rarely pushed on a track day.

410 and 430 are chargecooled so no heat issues at all.

CTE

1,351 posts

196 months

Saturday 27th June
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Of course a charge cooler is an improvement and will provide a power increase and the power should remain constant.

The comment was that the V6 Exige is a very lively car and given the restrictions due of traffic, camera`s etc etc on the road, it`ll be unlikely you`ll get the thing hot enough, and even if you did you'd need some sort of data logging set up to determine the drop in performance...

tonyg58

66 posts

155 months

Wednesday 8th July
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Olivera said:
If it's not an issue on the road why does almost every turbocharged/supercharged car, including 1.0l superminis, come equipped with an intercooler/chargecooler? In fact performance cars from the late 70s/early 80s regularly came with intercoolers!
Simple, It does what it says, it cools the charge, hence it's denser, hence you effectively get more fuel/air in to the cylinders which results in a bigger bang.