Reducing Weight from the Lotus Exige V6
Over the past two years we've been on a diet and we thought it worth while to share our findings to help others un-tap weight loss opportunities for the Exige V6.
The last time we had a weigh in our Exige V6 came in at 1091Kg with over two bars of fuel in the tank, a difference of 85Kg to factory weight of 1176Kg. For sure still a lot of weight could be removed but at this time we feel we've found a nice balance between cost and effort to get to these results.
In this post we document our most notable weight losses.
Its Not Fancy Carbon But... Change Your Battery
Pound for Pound the best weight loss option you can make... forget your fancy carbon fibre, start with the battery!
In one move we lost 16Kg of weight by replacing the standard battery and steel battery tray with a Braille Lithium Battery and carbon mounting! We did the £ to Kg saved calculation for all our weight loss and this still remains the best move you can make (bar the free weight reduction we detail later).
The Exige V6 engine bay is a little busy, for starters the plastic surrounds don't really do much other than add a bit of cosmetic panelling. By removing these you open the engine bay to help improve circulation of air, access to work, and take out a bit of weight all in one move.
Next removing the OEM air box (which is 'wedged in') also makes a difference as you can see there's a lot of plastic boxing and ducting which is easily removed and replaced with an air intake system like the one we have designed.
By removing both the plastic surrounds and OEM air box we found a weight saving estimate of 4Kg. Also with the new ALIAS23 intake improved noise and performance as an added bonus ;)
When you move to the interior to shed weight you need to find your compromise, we started by gutting the whole interior (even down to one seat) but the novelty wore off and we found ourselves fitting half carpet and trying to bring back some comfort for those long drives.
Some of the weight loss we could live with included the rear plastic panel, sound insulation, and rear speakers which totalled just over 5Kg combined.
As we removed the rear speakers we decided to go the whole hog and remove the front speakers and head unit as well finding an additional 2.5kg of weight removed for free. Fact is the radio is bad in the Lotus anyway so removing the stereo for us was no love lost.
What it does leave is two gaping holes in the front dash which is why we started making our own speaker blank plates powdered coated in a textured black to match the OEM dash.
So an easy 7.5Kg of weight can be removed from the cabin for arguably no cost.
Any weight that can be shed from wheels, suspension, and brakes helps to reduce the amount of unsprung weight and rotational mass the car has to manage. The lower the unsprung weight, the less work shocks and springs have to do to keep the tires in contact with the road over bumpy surfaces.
Combined this provides advantages to handling, braking, and acceleration. So this is definitely an area of focus and one which we did find a noticeable difference to handling and performance both on road and track.
The no brainer is removing the cast stock wheels where you can see a 10Kg saving with the Forged Lotus Motorsport wheels. We purchased ours via SeriouslyLotus who had a slightly more aggressive offset than OEM Lotus.
You can feel an immediate difference in handling moving from stock cast to forged so this is our second big 'must do' (like the battery) recommendation.
Another weight saving opportunity in this area also come in the form of upgrading to 2-Part brake kit if running the traditional discs from Lotus, we found a saving of 2Kg all round in addition to the improved performance of larger brake kit setup.
Finally and it's a topic most folks don't talk enough about instead wanting to buy 'shiny' new things! But remember YOU are a chunky weight that adds to the overall weight of the car when on track... So if you've not been down to the gym for a while, find your stocking up too much on burgers and donuts, then maybe this is an area you may want to consider putting in a bit of effort ;)