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RE: Lotus Exige Cup 380

Thursday 20th April

Lotus Exige Cup 380

If you want the ultimate road and track Exige - for now at least - then the Cup 380 is the car for you!



Should have seen it coming really. It's been more than a month since Lotus last gave us a new car in the Elise Sprint, so here's the latest: the Exige Cup 380. Wonder what May will bring...

We're joking, don't worry. More Lotuses sounds like more good news, particularly given how richly talented the most recent models have been. Indeed it only sounds like bad news if you're a buyer, content that you have the best variant only to find it superseded a few months later. See the Exige Sport 350, for example.

Wonder what it'll do at the 'ring?
Wonder what it'll do at the 'ring?
This new car is the Exige Cup 380, said by Hethel to be "the perfect balance between fully type approved road car and genuine race car to deliver ultimate track-and-back street-legal Lotus." Quite a claim.

To that end the aero has been heavily overhauled for this Exige, with power untouched from the Sport 380. Entirely new body parts - see the front louvres, the cut-outs between the rear wheels and the aero blades either side of the diffuser - have contributed to a 43 per cent improvement in top speed downforce, now 200kg.

Carbon is used extensively, as you might have expected, with the front splitter, rear wing, side skirts, side scoops, roof and boot lid made of it. With the optional titanium exhaust fitted as well, Lotus claims a dry weight of 1,057kg for the Cup 380.

Less weight of course means improved performance, and this Exige doesn't disappoint. 0-60mph takes 3.4 seconds (62mph takes another couple of tenths), while the Hethel lap time is 1min 26sec - half a second faster than the Sport 380, and three seconds in front of a Sport 350. Contributing to this in conjunction with the aero upgrades are wider Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, now 285 section at the back (215s remain on the front).

As is the Cup tradition, the car's dynamic set up is finely tweakable by the driver. Standard equipment includes two-way adjustable Nitron dampers, adjustable Eibach anti-roll bars front and rear plus a new six-mode traction control in addition to the four ESP modes. The system varies the target wheel slip from one to 12 per cent according to the positioning of the dial, with the sixth position fully off. The dial is located beneath the indicator stalk, but don't worry - there's a display in the dials so you're not checking around the steering column for the TC setting.

Function before form, right?
Function before form, right?
Also included in the Cup 380 package are a steel roll cage, a front tow eye and a rear tow strap. It can be made fully race compliant in fact, with further options including harnesses, an electrical cut-off, an extinguisher, an FIA spec roll cage and a non-airbag wheel. Just in case the car wasn't serious enough!

Just 60 Exige Cup 380s will be made, offered in five colours: Essex Blue, then white, silver, grey and black. Red highlights are standard on all cars and there are some new badges and... you want to know the price, don't you? It's £83,000. A fair chunk for an Exige, but then very good value given the performance. And if you're thinking what a good comparison it might be with a new manual GT3, you're not alone...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

suffolk009

Original Poster:

3,327 posts

89 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Lovely looking thing. But I think if I was spending my own money, then I'd be happy with the bottom of the range Exige 350 L.

ETA: But only because I don't do track days any more.

Edited by suffolk009 on Thursday 20th April 16:30

Jesus

9,849 posts

113 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Obviously got some T/C rotary knobs left over from the S2...

SpudLink

1,847 posts

116 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Impressive downforce figures. I would have thought that would be a bigger improvement around Hethel.

I assume the number of cars being built includes left and right hand drive? So we can expect a lot fewer to actually appear on UK roads

Vee12V

712 posts

84 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Love the centrally positioned windscreen wiper. Amazing bit of kit, should hold it's value too considering the very limited numbers.

73RS

54 posts

132 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Looks amazing, and must be a stunning drive. It's a lot of money for a Lotus, but what would beat it on a track for the money?

However I think they have over done the graphics and red highlights - unnecessary and a bit '80s hot hatch.
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Leggy

648 posts

146 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
That 0 to 60 isn't too shabby. Quite a % improvement over the original now. Downforce impressive as well.

saaby93

20,758 posts

102 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Vee12V said:
Love the centrally positioned windscreen wiper. Amazing bit of kit,
yep when I saw that photo I thought what an impressive bit of kit that centre wiper is yes

You have to hand it to Lotus always coming up with tweaks here and there


W12GT

1,983 posts

145 months

Thursday 20th April
quotequote all
Looks as hardcore as you'd expect....but way too much money!

I don't like that central bonnet section - that looks naff!

skidskid

81 posts

65 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
saaby93 said:
Vee12V said:
Love the centrally positioned windscreen wiper. Amazing bit of kit,
yep when I saw that photo I thought what an impressive bit of kit that centre wiper is yes

You have to hand it to Lotus always coming up with tweaks here and there
Would be horrible to drive like that though, when your sat in one it would block alot of the view as its right in the drives sight line. A rear view mirror is bad enough in one of these for blocking the view.

Vee12V

712 posts

84 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
skidskid said:
saaby93 said:
Vee12V said:
Love the centrally positioned windscreen wiper. Amazing bit of kit,
yep when I saw that photo I thought what an impressive bit of kit that centre wiper is yes

You have to hand it to Lotus always coming up with tweaks here and there
Would be horrible to drive like that though, when your sat in one it would block alot of the view as its right in the drives sight line. A rear view mirror is bad enough in one of these for blocking the view.
Haven't heard Koenigsegg drivers complain smile

ben5575

972 posts

145 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
From videos, it appears to dress to the right...

British Beef

1,034 posts

89 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Stunning!

For an expensive track day toy there is nothing (for less than £100k) I would rather have than this!!

For road use and as an everyday proposition I would rather the Evora.

Yipper

4,259 posts

14 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
An epic car from the outside. Hideous car on the inside. Lotus badly need to up their game on their awful interiors.

Reavenger

107 posts

57 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Yipper said:
An epic car from the outside. Hideous car on the inside. Lotus badly need to up their game on their awful interiors.
I disagree. Lotus Exige interiors are functional and minimalist. It fits with the ethos of the car. Everything is logically laid out even if there isn't much to lay out! The seats are some of the best bucket seats you can buy. However, it would be good to see more of the alcantara in the cabin and the sills a tad thinner.

andy_s

11,846 posts

183 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Reavenger said:
Yipper said:
An epic car from the outside. Hideous car on the inside. Lotus badly need to up their game on their awful interiors.
I disagree. Lotus Exige interiors are functional and minimalist. It fits with the ethos of the car. Everything is logically laid out even if there isn't much to lay out! The seats are some of the best bucket seats you can buy. However, it would be good to see more of the alcantara in the cabin and the sills a tad thinner.
The interior is fine, suits the sort of car it is perfectly; adding an Eames recliner, 6lbs of Teak and a Hockney would add both expense and weight.

I think the 380 Sport has good swathes of alacantra and the sills have been lowered a touch, but difficult structurally to make them thinner I think.

For the same money I'd go for a 400/410 Evora as this would suit me better, but I like some of the touches they've made which perfectly suit a 'cup' model - surprised they couldn't hustle it quicker given the aero and wider tyres, but it looks quicker just standing still!

tankplanker

1,865 posts

203 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Reavenger said:
I disagree. Lotus Exige interiors are functional and minimalist. It fits with the ethos of the car. Everything is logically laid out even if there isn't much to lay out! The seats are some of the best bucket seats you can buy. However, it would be good to see more of the alcantara in the cabin and the sills a tad thinner.
The switch gear could do with an update, doesn't have to be expensively machined out of pig iron, just something lightweight but higher quality from another supplier. When I drove the 350 I felt like the switch gear was out of an early fiesta or metro and I felt like it was going to snap if I didn't treat it carefully.

I'm sure if you wanted everything covered in leather or alcantara Lotus will do this for you, they have taken a leaf out of Morgan's book and will now let you customise just about everything on the car from the factory.

spameister

34 posts

70 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Could someone please tell me what is the point of giving a dry weight? I know Lotus isn't the only manufacturer to do this but I can't understand what purpose it serves.

Alex L

2,080 posts

178 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
It looks great but I don't see that it's worth the £40k increase on top of what i've already got. I can spend £7k and get 420+bhp from the SSC supercharger upgrade instead.

DonkeyApple

27,688 posts

93 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Great looking car and in my personal opinion the Exige is the best looking Lotus in their range.

£83k seems fair value and it's good to see Lotus pushing their prices up and moving away from the mistakes of the previous decade.

Re the interior, it is very functional but there is no doubt that the dash design is looking a little bit 'turn of the century hatchback' and is probably due bringing more up to date if they want to keep pushing prices forward.

skidskid

81 posts

65 months

Friday 21st April
quotequote all
Vee12V said:
Haven't heard Koenigsegg drivers complain smile
Me neither but I can tell you from experience it would get in the way in any car with that Lotus tub (Exige, Elise, VX220 etc) as its much smaller than the 'egg.

I also think it looks crappy but thats beside the point.