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This is the fastest manual we’ve ever tested

By Alex Rae, 30 Jun 2019 News

This is the fastest manual we’ve ever tested

Our independent testing reveals real-world 0-100km/h, quarter mile and 0-200km/h time of the 2019 Lotus Exige 410

Wheels has put the fastest manual it has ever tested down the drag strip.

Arriving this week into the car park was a Lotus Exige 410, and we thought we’d see what it does on the quarter mile at Heathcote dragway.

Weather conditions on the day were sunny and dry, with an ambient temperature of eight degrees centigrade. Almost perfect for a quick run down the strip.

Read: 2018 Lotus Elise Sprint 220: Celebrating driver's cars

The test car was a 2019 Lotus Exige 410, which uses a Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 engine with a supercharger and water-to-air charge cooler to produce 305kW at 7000rpm and 420Nm from 3500rpm. All that power is fed through a six-speed manual to the rear-wheels.

With a kerb weight of 1110kg the power-to-weight ratio equals 275kW per tonne, and Lotus claims the 410 will execute the 0-100km/h sprint in just 3.4 seconds.

It didn’t (tester Andy Enright is no suckling), but we did get it into the sub fours - an impressive feat from the lightweight sports car with a giant at the wheel.

Struggling for grip on a less than ideal surface and with skinny 215/45R17 front and 285/30R18 rear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, getting the Exige 410 to focus in a straight line was like constraining a wild toddler.

Wheels’ deputy editor Andy Enright conducted the testing with varying results. The best approach was to keep the Exige in normal mode; Sport and Race were too slippery and the car felt “like it was rolling on four casters.”

With mechanical sympathy in mind, Enright didn’t flat shift the slick aluminium open-gate manual gear shifter and lifted off the throttle between shifts. So there’s a few tenths to be gained for the keen driver.

Read next: Lotus Type 130 all-electric hypercar confirmed

Under around 4000rpm, the Toyota-sourced 2GR V6 doesn’t sound particularly special. Over that, the exhaust valve opens and the heavens erupt into a sumptuous aural delight that might be one of the greatest modern day road cars sounds you can hear.

Eyes shut, you’d think a racing car was whizzing past, such is the ferocity of the revs as they rocket to the 7000rpm redline.

Unlike many modern supercars that use superior grip and ridiculous rapid fire automatic gear shifts to hit the tonne in a few seconds, the Exige 410 squirms and roars with melodrama.

For the traffic light grand prix, 0-100km/h was dispatched in 3.9sec; pedal to the firewall, and you’ll pass 110km/h in 4.8s; 10 seconds later, 200km/h is on the speedo.

If you are thinking of heading to the drag strip with the 410, you can expect a timeslip of 12.3 sec @185.9km/h.

In-gear acceleration is impressive, with the Exige 410 recording 2.2 seconds for 80-120km/h - on par with the 992 911 Carrera 4S we tested.

As part of our comprehensive testing process, Wheels also conducts a 100-0km/h braking test, with the Exige 410 hauling itself to a stop in 2.6 sec, covering 36.4 metres in that time.

Check out the full performance figures for the 2019 Lotus Exige 410 below:

Lotus Exige 410 performance testing figures: 

0-10km/h

0.3 sec

0-20km/h

0.7 sec

0-30km/h

1.0 sec

0-40km/h

1.3 sec

0-50km/h

1.5 sec

0-60km/h

2.2 sec

0-70km/h

2.6 sec

0-80km/h

3.0 sec

0-90km/h

3.4 sec

0-100km/h

3.9 sec

0-110km/h

4.8 sec

0-120km/h

5.4 sec

0-130km/h

6.1 sec

0-140km/h

7.8 sec

0-150km/h

7.9 sec

0-160km/h

8.9 sec

0-170km/h

9.9 sec

0-180km/h

11.0 sec

0-190km/h

12.8 sec

0-200km/h

14.8 sec

80-120km/h

2.2 sec

400m

12.3 sec @185.9km/h

100-0km/h

2.6 sec (36.4 metres)