Sci-tech

Lotus goes extreme with new Exige special edition

Lotus goes extreme with new Exige special edition”

Enter the new Exige Cup 430, which supplants the existing Cup 380 at the top of the range. It boasts extra power, extra downforce and a sub-£100,000 price tag.

Despite Lotus dealing nearly exclusively of late in limited run special edition versions of its cars, this Exige Cup 430 is being billed as an "unlimited edition" auto, so it's a limited run model only in the sense of how many people are actually willing to buy it. The Exige Cup 430 has been on a diet, losing 12kg to bring the car's dry weight down to 1,059kg, or 1,056kg in its lightest configuration. Top speed is 180mph, 35mph higher than the standard Exige S and 5mph faster than the Exige Cup 380. This despite the 485 pounds (220 kg) of downforce the 430's new aero package is capable of generating, shifted more towards the front for sharper turn-in - all of which helps in the corners, but creates more drag in a straight line. The auto has ultra-lightweight front clam and carbon fiber air ducts along with new aero elements. A new front splitter and air curtain mechanism has been fitted along with a wider radiator to suck more air in.

While road-legal in Europe and Asia, the Exige Cup 430 is a track vehicle at heart, featuring such essentials as Eibach's adjustable anti-roll bars, Nitron's springs and three-way adjustable dampers ( with 24 click adjustment settings for rebound, 24 for low speed compression, and 16 for high speed compression). Lotus claims it can lap its Hethel circuit in Norfolk in 1 minute 24.8 seconds, 1.2 seconds quicker than the 3-Eleven track monster.

While the Cup 380 was limited to 60 models, costing £83,000 each, the Cup 430 is a full production model and is priced from £99,800. 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. That's some serious money, and it doesn't get you much in the way of luxuries, but it will get you a serious auto - and considering the huge performance on offer, we think it's pretty good value.



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