Opinion

Dallara’s Track-Only EXP Is A Lap Time Bargain

Illustration for article titled Dallara's Track-Only EXP Is A Lap Time Bargain

Screenshot: Dallara

Sometimes to do more you have to start with less. At least that’s Dallara’s theory when it comes to the new track-only EXP based on the Stradale street car. Weighing just 1962 pounds and pushing 492 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque from a Ford-derived 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the EXP is pretty much the peak of power to weight. Being that Dallara builds race cars almost exclusively, the EXP is quite good at going fast on track. At least some of that speed is owed to its massive 2756 pounds of downforce at V-max—176 mph—and peak lateral acceleration of 2.5 Gs. Can I get a Keanu-Whoa.gif?

Illustration for article titled Dallara's Track-Only EXP Is A Lap Time Bargain

Screenshot: Dallara

Let’s put that speed into perspective. The company says the EXP is capable of running quicker lap times than current GT3-spec machinery. It didn’t give any numbers, but claimed to have beat GT3s at Mugello. In qualifying for the 12 Hours of Mugello last fall, Charles Espenlaub ran a 1:49.4 lap around the 3.295 mile Italian circuit in his Mercedes AMG GT3. Considering how quick GT3 race cars have gotten over the years, and that cars in that class cost well in excess of half a million dollars, the EXP seems like a reasonably inexpensive [but still ludicrously expensive] way to go really fast on track.

Illustration for article titled Dallara's Track-Only EXP Is A Lap Time Bargain

Screenshot: Dallara

Dallara hasn’t released a price for the EXP yet, but the company says all of the parts for this car are modular and can be used to convert your existing $200,000 Dallara Stradale into an EXP and vice versa. It’s a carbon tubbed street-legal (well, street legal in Europe anyway) machine that can be driven to the track, swapped to track spec, and run faster than GT3 cars? In this business we’d call that, uh, really fucking cool.

Illustration for article titled Dallara's Track-Only EXP Is A Lap Time Bargain

Screenshot: Dallara

Being that U.S. buyers can’t get a street-legal Stradale anyway, it’s probably for the best if you just order yours in EXP spec and forget about any pretense of driving it on public streets. You’ll just have to rock up to the track in your daily beater Ferrari or whatever before putting your Steve McQueen replica race suit on.

I have to say, I really hope that we have hit the horsepower wall and manufacturers will finally focus their collective efforts on lightweighting, driver engagement, and corner speed. The fact that this machine will lap pretty much any track faster than whatever 1000 horsepower monstrosity Ferrari is turning out these days is telling. If you really care about track performance, build a damn track car!


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