Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Better power to weight ratio can actually be more fun

I know, I just made the point yesterday, that extra horse power doesn't straight away create more excitement. And I think it still holds true. But (yes, there's always a but ...) additional power output can bring more fun of course, especially when it's not coming with extra weight. The Lotus Exige Cup 260 delivers exactly to this promise combining an unladen vehicle mass of 890 kg with an engine power output of 260 HP. While 260 HP may sound like not a lot for a Porsche 997 driver, the power to weight ratio actually means serious track capabilities. Few cars can match the agility of an Exige and on race tracks with short straights and lots of curves you most likely will have the material to be the fastest even when competing against much more powerful cars. The Lotus Exige (and its slower sister Elise) are still following the idea that extra weight reduces fun. And even if the Lotus Elise added 200 kg weight over its many years (my Mk1 Elise with alluminium brakes and the 120 HP Rover K engine was around 725 kg) of production it's still a very light car. Let's hope they keep it that way when they present the successor.

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