Lotus Exige Cup 430

Once upon a time there was the humble 350hp Lotus Exige Cup, a car unsurprisingly very well received on PistonHeads. That time was 2014, and since then we've had a Cup 360 (with 360hp), a Cup 380 (go on, guess), plus all the accompanying Exige Sport models, and now there's this: the Exige Cup 430.

New front end has aero and mass benefits
New front end has aero and mass benefits
Yes, that's 430hp in an Exige. 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. Now with a redline of 7,000rpm, the Exige's 430hp and 325lb ft are sufficient for a 3.3-second sprint to 62mph and a 180mph top speed. 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.

As the most track orientated model in the Exige line up - clue's in the name - circuit performance is a priority for this latest Lotus Cup. Hence the inclusion of lighter clams front and rear, which not only trim a few precious kilos but also contribute to a formidable aero performance. Thanks to a new spoiler on that rear clam and a reprofiled splitter on the front one (amongst numerous other tweaks), the Exige Cup 430 produces a maximum of 220kg of downforce. Compared to a Cup 380, there's a greater focus on front-end downforce, with 36 per cent now allocated to it - Lotus says this will "ensure accurate high-speed turn in".

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 car." 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.

Fixed wing boosts downforce without drag penalty
Fixed wing boosts downforce without drag penalty
Despite the 17kg of additional weight - thanks to the new chargecooler and cooling system (15kg), that clutch (800g) and wider brake discs (1.2kg) - the weight saving measures for the 430 recoup 29kg, for an overall saving of 12kg. There's 2.5kg taken from the interior (including lighter seat runners even) 6.8kg from the carbon composite body panels, 10kg from the titanium exhaust, a new seatbelt anchorage frame takes 1.2kg, and that new diffuser saves another precious kilogram. Indeed if you really want to you can delete the airbag and save another 3kg, for a lightest dry weight of 1,056kg. Every little helps, right? Just don't wear your thick socks to the track day.

Jean-Marc Gales says the Cup 430, "continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of performance, agility, aerodynamics and rapid covering of ground... in a production car", going on to call it a "ground-breaking car" for Lotus. Should you fancy one, get a hold of your Lotus dealer ASAP and set aside £100,000...



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Comments (133) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Reavenger 09 Nov 2017

    " new supercharger and chargecooler as well as a new intake"

    I suppose that's the big news for many Lotus owners because Lotus said it would be tough to do due to the weight penalties and possible packaging issues. Guessing the new supercharger is the Edelbrock from the Evora.

    £100,000 though...I'll keep my S2 wink

  • kambites 09 Nov 2017

    Over 400bhp/tonne is starting to get fairly serious. Mind you so is a six figure price tag.

  • Crazy4557 09 Nov 2017

    That's going to be mentally bonkers fast but £100k is too much. Rather wait for 2 years and get a used one for £50k

  • Rocket. 09 Nov 2017

    "Yes, another new Lotus, but who's complaining when it's an Exige with 400hp per tonne?"

    Probably someone who has just stumped up a load of cash for a limited edition 380 Cup only to be guzumped by this non limited edition better model !

  • kambites 09 Nov 2017

    Crazy4557 said:
    That's going to be mentally bonkers fast but £100k is too much. Rather wait for 2 years and get a used one for £50k
    Good luck with that. Three year-old 350s are still £40k. frown

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