Coupe, News, Sports Car

Lotus reveals new Exige Cup 380

Evolved from the Sport 380 model, the Exige Cup 380 is said to provide the perfect balance between a fully type-approved road car and a genuine race car.

Recently lapping the Lotus test track in 1 minute 26 seconds – a record for a road-legal Exige, power comes from the same 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine as the Exige Race 380 with 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 410 Nm (302 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm mated to a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission as standard.

Lotus says the Exige Cup 380 is genuinely eligible for competition as well as the road. Featuring a power-to-weight ratio of 355 hp per tonne, the Exige Cup 380 delivers genuine race pace with 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds and top speed of 175 mph. Key to the new model reaching its low weight of 1,057 kg is the adoption of carbon fibre and ‘extreme engineering’. Making their first appearance on a road-going Lotus, heavily revised bodywork elements contribute to the increased downforce of the car, with the coupe generating up to 200 kg, 43% more than the Exige Sport 380. New wind tunnel developed aerodynamic elements aid the increase in downforce and, to help maximise grip, larger rear tyres are fitted as standard.

Front louvers equalise the pressure differential within the wheel arches, increasing downforce at high speed and under hard braking, whilst the cut-out sections behind the rear wheels work with the aero blades mounted either side of the race diffuser. Even the Exige’s windscreen wiper has been aero tuned – now resting in a vertical position to avoid disrupting air flow.

An integral part of the car’s aerodynamic prowess, the high-gloss, hand-made carbon fibre components include new front splitter, front access panel, bargeboards, roof, diffuser surround, new larger aperture air-intake side pods, a new one-piece tailgate and a straight-cut high efficiency motorsport derived rear wing.

The newly designed one-piece carbon rear tailgate reduces weight by 6.5 kg and the removal of gas struts deletes 1 kg. Inside, the carbon continues with visible-weave, handmade sections including carbon race seats and door sills as standard. The Cup 380 comes with a T45 steel roll over bar as standard, described as ‘tremendously strong’, yet light compared to alternatives.

There are four selectable ESP modes (Drive, Sport, Race and Off). Sport, Race and Off increase throttle response, lower traction slip thresholds and remove understeer recognition to provide a ‘finer degree of driver control’ before intervention. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston brake calipers and grooved performance two-piece brake discs.

Complementing the external visible-weave carbon fibre is a range of five hand finished paint options, including Essex Blue, Metallic White, Metallic Silver, Metallic Grey and Metallic Black. Further accentuating its shape, a unique red highlight line defines the Exige’s front access panel, while key details, including the front canard wings, are finished in matt black. Coordinating wheels, spoiler uprights and mirror caps in red, silver or black contrast with the main paint colour, and the whole car is finished with unique Cup 380 badging.

The hand finished nature of the Exige Cup 380 continues inside, the Lotus’ carbon fibre sports seats are trimmed in Alcantara, with leather or tartan as a no cost option, joined by contrasting stitching and an Alcantara steering wheel.

The Lotus Exige Cup 380 is available now, priced at £83,000 OTR. Only 60 editions of the new model are planned worldwide.