Lotus takes the Exige to even greater extremes


The new, high-performance version of the sports vehicle has seen some major revisions - the main feature being the engine from the bigger Evora GT430. After launching the updated Elise Cup 260 last month, Lotus has revealed the new Exige Cup 430. The auto called the Cup 430 has replaced the track Cup 380, the circulation of which was limited to around 60 copies. As the name implies, there's a healthy boost of power included - motivation comes from the same supercharged 3.5-liter Toyota V6 used inside the Exige 380, but with a jump from 380 horsepower (283 kilowatts) up to 430 horsepower (320 kilowatts).

At first glance, it looks like any other Exige, but strip away its carbon fiber panels and you'll find a totally new engine installation complete with a new supercharger, courtesy of Edelbrock, plus a charge cooler, both developed specifically for the vehicle.

It also comes hooked up to a 6-speed manual.

Once upon a time there was the humble 350hp Lotus Exige Cup, a auto unsurprisingly very well received on PistonHeads. This contributes to another statistic - the Cup 430 has a power-to-weight ratio of 407 hp per tonne.

Unsurprisingly, carbon-fibre is the main material that contributes to this, and you'll find it on the front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and the motorsport-derived rear wing.

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.

There's more, too. The Nitron dampers are now three-way adjustable - rebound, low-speed compression, high-speed compression; the clutch has been upgraded to deal with the extra power; and the Cup 430 also uses "some of the largest calipers and rotors of any Lotus road vehicle". Lotus is already taking orders, with prices starting at £99,800 in the United Kingdom and €127,500 in Germany. A set of forged alloy wheels - available in red, black, or silver - continue the lightweight theme, and come wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear).