Lotus Exige Cup 430 Wins Drag Race Against RS5 and Cayman GTS, Costs a Lot

Lotus Exige Cup 430 Wins Drag Race Against RS5 and Cayman GTS 3 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/Top Gear
Lotus Exige Cup 430 Wins Drag Race Against RS5 and Cayman GTSLotus Exige Cup 430 Wins Drag Race Against RS5 and Cayman GTS
If you want to be asked 'what kind of car is that?' and get unwanted attention from middle-aged men, go buy a Lotus. Seriously, Mercedes owners can just change the color of their interior lighting and get a million Instagram followers, but there's literally nothing about the sporty Exige out there.
Top Gear bucked the trend with a drag race also featuring the Cayman GTS and Audi RS5, a video that has a pinch of British pride. The problem? There's a huge price gap going on here.

That's because the mightiest Lotus sports car is a track special, with technology that's not intended for simple drag racing. No, a big wing doesn't make you faster in a straight line. But as a result, the Exige Cup 430 is priced at almost £120,000, almost as much as the Audi and Porsche combined. You could start a small car collection with that kind of cash.

Let's look at the specs first. The Cup 430 has a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 making 436 PS and 440 Nm of torque. At 1,093 kg or 2410 lbs, it's over half a ton lighter than the Audi. The quattro car compensates by having two turbochargers and the only all-wheel-drive system in this race, plus a hefty 450 HP and 600 Nm of torque.

The quattro, combined with the torque of the 2.9 TFSI makes the RS5 much faster off the line. But just before the end of the quarter-mile runway, the lighter Lotus edges ahead. We think the Lotus even got a bad start here, as it's got supercar-like 0 to 60 times.

The big loser here is the Cayman GTS. It's still about 400 kg heavier than the Lotus but features a much less powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It's completely outclassed by both of its rivals. Hopefully, Porsche is watching and does something about this before the 718 series becomes totally irrelevant.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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