Lotus Exige Cup 430 Is the Company's Most Extreme Model Ever

Lotus Exige Cup 430 4 photos
Photo: Lotus
Lotus Exige Cup 430Lotus Exige Cup 430Lotus Exige Cup 430
Lotus is known for its small, light, and agile sports cars that you can take on a track day and have unlimited amounts of fun with them. They're not particularly fast by supercar standards, but they handle like a dream.
More recently, the British manufacturer is rumored to be developing an SUV, a move not very dissimilar to what Porsche did with the Cayenne: building a high-seller to get the money that allows the company to continue doing what it does best.

The Lotus Exige Cup 430 is a very good example of what that might be. After the brand's smallest model received a similar treatment with the Elise Cup 260, it is now the time for the Exige to take its crazy pills. And, boy, aren't we glad it did.

At the core of things stands the 3.5-liter supercharged V6 usually found powering the larger Lotus Evora GT430. You've probably figured out by now what the 430 stands for, but you should also know it reaches its peak power at a juicy 7,000 rpm and also develops 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque from 4,000 rpm.

Compared to the Lotus Exige S, that's 80 hp and 30 lb-ft (40 Nm) more, enough to cut 0.6 seconds off its 0-60 mph time (0-97 km/h), which now sits at a very honorable 3.2 seconds. Maximum speed is rated at 180 mph (290 km/h).

Extensive use of carbon fiber brought the dry weight down compared to its predecessor, the Lotus Exige Cup 380, by 12 kilograms (26 pounds). Combined with the power buff, the power-to-weight ratio now sits at 407 hp/ton (only 355 hp/ton for the Cup 380).

The Exige Cup 430 might be light, but thanks to the clever aerodynamics, it can make up for that with plenty of downforce. The special model generates the same amount at 100 mph (160 km/h) as the Exige Sport 350 does at its maximum speed of 170 mph (273 km/h).

“This is the car that we have always wanted to build," said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus, "and I am sure that all Lotus enthusiasts will be delighted with the end product. As well as a significant power hike, the 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.”

Speaking of prices, the Exige Cup 430 costs £99,800 in the UK (VAT included), €127,500 in Germany, and €128,600 in France. That's the equivalent of $150,000, which might seem a lot for a car that will only prove its worth on track, but will appear a bargain after the first outing on a circuit.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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