Lotus reveals new Exige Cup 430

Lotus reveals new Exige Cup 430

Lotus reveals new Exige Cup 430

Once upon a time there was the humble 350hp Lotus Exige Cup, a auto unsurprisingly very well received on PistonHeads.

At just a shade under £E100k (£99,800) the Exige Cup 430 is nearly £17k more than the Exige Cup 380 was when it arrived a year ago. Using a development of the familiar V6, it's upgraded from the Evora GT430 version with a new supercharger and chargecooler as well as a new intake and larger throttle body. It needs just 3.3 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, and it doesn't run out of steam until 290 km/h (180 mph).

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And by this, we mean the Exige Cup 430 described by the company as the "wildest incarnation" of the two-seater sports vehicle. Blimey. Thanks to a weight reduction of 12kg - we'll get to that in a second - Lotus claims a power-to-weight ratio of 407hp per tonne.

Thankfully, among the car's standard features are a roll cage, harness-style seatbelts and fixed towing hooks front and rear for those moments when exuberance takes over and the vehicle leaves the track. Harnessing all that extra power in the Exige Cup 430 is a comprehensive range of new aero elements including an ultra-lightweight front clam with unique carbon fiber ducts and wider radiator apertures, as well as a new mesh pattern to allow for a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag. All that's in addition to those components seen in previous models including Michelin Cup 2 tyres, Eibach adjustable anti-roll bars and forged alloy wheels.

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A kerb weight of 1093kg also means the track-focused two-seater is light and nimble, with 220kg of downforce keeping it stable at its top speed of 290km/h. That lap time makes it the fastest production auto ever to lap the historic track - even 1.2 seconds faster than the Lotus 3-Eleven road vehicle. Just don't wear your thick socks to the track day.

If you thought Lotus was done improving the Exige, you're sadly mistaken.

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The Exige Cup 430 is an evolution of the Cup 380, a auto we found so much fun to drive that we really wished it could come to America, if only as a strictly track-bound offering.

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