Lotus Exige Cup 430 launched as 'most extreme Exige ever'

Joanna Estrada
November 9, 2017

Lotus has introduced the "most extreme Exige ever conceived", in the form of the Exige Cup 430. The new hardcore sports vehicle from the British sports auto manufacturer features an all-new high-performance engine installation, mated to a new supercharger and chargecooler, designed specifically for the unique demands of the Cup 430, and developed from the equally as mad race-derived Evora GT430. It achieves 0-60mph in 3.2sec, which is 0.2sec faster than the Cup 380. However, thanks to the extra power, the power-to-weight ratio is improved from 350bhp per tonne in the Cup 380 to 401bhp per tonne in this new model. On the plus side, to make sure they can ride that wave as long as possible, the team set to work on its successor straight away, only to come up with an unlimited version featuring 13 percent more power.

Since the Exige Cup 430 is designed for the track, Lotus says that it is capable of covering the Hethel circuit in 1 minute 24.8 seconds, making it the fastest production auto to lap the famous circuit - 1.2 seconds faster than the Lotus 3-Eleven. A new ultra-lightweight front clam with unique carbon fibre ducts has wider radiator apertures and a new mesh pattern grille to provide a more combative aspect and to allow for a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag. With a large rear-diffuser, carbon front splitter and a motorsport-inspired rear wing, the aero kit makes 220 kg of downforce at 180 miles per hour. The front and rear clam panels alone are 6.8kg lighter than on any other Exige. Brakes are AP Racing units to stop it quickly.

The new Cup 430 is more than just an engine-shoehorn job, though. Options include a dealer-fit FIA-compliant roll cage, electric cut-off and fire extinguisher controls and a non-airbag steering wheel.

"As well as a significant power hike, the Cup 430 has benefited from extensive development in areas essential to Lotus' DNA, in order to ensure that the full potential of the Exige's incredible chassis can be exploited". That price in the United Kingdom works out to about $130,000 US.

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