Unlimited in every sense, the new series production Lotus Exige Cup 430 is Lotus’ wildest incarnation of its fire-breathing, point-to-point two-seater sports car.
New to the Exige, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 sees the introduction of a savage, high-performance engine installation, mated to a new supercharger and chargecooler, designed specifically for the unique demands of this vehicle. A development of the powertrain recently used on the phenomenal Lotus Evora GT430, it’s perfectly paired with a newly-designed body, which delivers enhanced aerodynamic performance to reveal the model’s true potential. The result is a strikingly different beast of pure performance, that’s not for the faint of heart.
With 55 hp, or 15%, more power than the limited production Exige Cup 380 model it succeeds, and 220 kg of downforce, it’s a monster of a car. Compared to the Exige Sport 350, it has 24% more power and generates the same downforce at 100 mph as the Exige Sport 350 does at its maximum speed of 170 mph.
Lotus’ expertise in lightweight design has played its part in reducing the overall dry weight by 12 kg to 1,059 kg, with the vehicle down to 1,056 kg in its lightest configuration. This, combined with the dramatic jump in raw power, raises the Cup’s power to weight from 355 hp / tonne (Cup 380) to 407 hp / tonne.
With 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000 rpm, 0-60mph is dispatched in 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) with a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h). Helping to harness all that power, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 benefits from a comprehensive range of new aero elements. 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. The lightweight rear clam panel supports the larger, straight motorsport wing to increase downforce without impacting upon the car’s overall drag coefficient. The new design front and rear clam panels are 6.8 kg lighter than those on any other Exige.
Focused fairly and squarely on aggressive track performance and point-to-point supremacy, the new Lotus Exige Cup 430 is capable of covering the Hethel circuit in 1 minute 24.8 seconds – the fastest production car to lap the famous circuit – 1.2 seconds faster than the Lotus 3-Eleven (Road).
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “This is the car that we have always wanted to build, and I am sure that all Lotus enthusiasts will be delighted with the end product. As well as a significant power hike, the Lotus Exige 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. This car has no rivals – inside or outside of its price bracket – and it’s no exaggeration when we say that nothing can keep up with this Exige on the road or track.”
For owners wanting to brand the new Exige their own, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 can be personalised through Lotus’ Exclusive programme. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options. Since its introduction this has proved increasingly popular, with over 25% of all new cars undergoing some form of personalisation.
Launching the new Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales said, “The Exige continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of performance, agility, aerodynamics and rapid covering of ground from A to B in a production road car. There isn’t another car on sale that can match the new Exige Cup 430; it will go down as a ground-breaking car in the history of Lotus.”