‘Extreme’ is a word that can be used to describe pretty much all Cup models from Lotus. But this new one gives the whole new meaning to the word and pushes the boundaries of extremeness further than ever. The 2018 Lotus Exige Cup 430 is, as Lotus themselves put it, a fire-breathing savage.
Now, there is a certain degree of hyperbole in that. But with 430 horsepower and dry weight of 1,056 kg, Lotus Exige Cup 430 is definitely quite a serious machine. That is a power to weight ratio of 407 hp / tonne which is higher than any Cup model ever. The 3.5-litre supercharged and charge cooled V6 responsible for that also makes 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque. But it deliver that torque from 4,000 rpm, which means you have to rev the nuts of the engine to get it going, which is, of course, a characteristic of the Exige.
Performance-wise, Lotus Exige Cup 430 sprints from 0 to 60 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) on to a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h). The sports car comes with a new aero kit – consisting of front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, large aperture air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and the race derived rear wing – capable of generating 220 kg of downforce, and that’s how it can lap the company’s Hethel circuit in 1 minute 24.8 seconds.
Other notable highlights of Cup 430 include four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and new performance two-piece, J-hook brake discs, close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, T45 steel roll over bar, new seatbelt anchorage frame (saving 1.2 kg), a Lithium-Ion battery and front towing eye plus air con and stereo if you want them. Prices start at £99,800 (UK), €127,500 (Germany) and €128,600 (France).