Top Gear drives the Lotus Exige V6
Final damper fettling of the new V6 Exige needed an expert touch. So why did Lotus send for Top Gear?
Posted: 10 Feb 2012
After much deliberation, I share my opinions with Paul, who doesn't treat me like an idiot, and admits that they are still trying to get a more natural feeling into the steering. But that's not something the damping can sort out, is it?
Turns out it is. As Paul tells me: "The damping affects so much more than just the ride characteristics - it also alters stability, steering linearity and response, traction, refinement, NVH - in fact, pretty much everything to do with the way the car moves along a road is packed into just 15mm of piston travel." We're back in the damper room, having removed the suspension components from all four corners of the car. The springs are changed for ones approximately 10 per cent stiffer, and we change the shim stack. This is car development at its most straightforward: you drive it, assess it, change it, drive it again. And again. Until you're happy. Paul reckons he's tried around 40 different front suspension settings and 60 rear, "although I'll continue working until someone says: ‘Stop'".