“It’s supremely usable, yet outrageously fast.”Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc
With a purity of drive unheard of in road cars, and a power-to-weight ratio of 355 hp per ton, the Exige Cup 380 delivers genuine race pace, with 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds) and top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). Key to the Exige Cup 380 reaching its low weight of 1,057 kg is the comprehensive 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 Exige Cup 380, with the car generating up to 200 kg, 43% more than the Exige Sport 380. Making the most of this aerodynamic downforce and maximising mechanical grip, the Exige Cup 380 features larger rear tyres (285/30 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) as standard.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “Developing the Cup 380 has allowed us to indulge our motorsport ambitions on a car that can be used and enjoyed every single day. This is an Exige that’s not just unbeatable point-to-point but also capable of winning highly competitive races. The biggest surprise for many is that it’s fully road legal – a considerable achievement considering the car’s performance capabilities. Unlike some rivals’ cars, this is something that really can drive to a track, set the fastest lap and take the win, before heading home. It’s supremely usable, yet outrageously fast.”
To harness the huge hike in downforce, and provide increased mechanical grip, wider 285/30 ZR18 rear tyres are required – a step up from the 265/35 ZR18 as fitted to the Sport 380. With the two elements working in combination, this huge boost in grip allows the car to corner harder and faster which, given with the Exige’s existing reputation as a driver’s car, elevates it to a whole new level. 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.
Inside the Exige Cup 380, the carbon continues with visible-weave, handmade sections including beautifully detailed carbon race seats and door sills as standard. Cumulatively these composites contribute to the Exige Cup 380’s low weight, but every part of the car has been considered, even down to the removal of the boot carpet, to reduce mass. Optional carbon fibre components include one-piece inner door panels, HVAC console and face-level vent surrounds, which together offer an additional 1 kg reduction over the standard car.
Extremely quick off the line, the Exige Cup 380 laps the Hethel track in 1 minute 26 seconds – a record for a road-legal Exige. Packing the same 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine as the Exige Race 380, the new Exige Cup 380 boasts 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 410 Nm (302 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm. Available as standard with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the Exige range features Lotus’ now famous open-gate manual gearbox design.
The Exige has long been regarded as delivering benchmark handling, but owners of the Exige Cup 380 can configure the set-up, thanks to the Nitron two-way adjustable dampers and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars fitted as standard. The substantial Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (285/30 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front) are fitted to ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, available in red, black or silver as standard. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston brake calipers and grooved performance two-piece brake discs.
The optional full exhaust system in titanium removes 10 kg from beyond the rear axle, and buyers can specify a number of additions and deletions, including FIA compliant roll cage, full race harness, electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls as well as airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.
Despite its pure performance credentials, the new Lotus Cup 380 retains its dramatic aesthetic thanks to the high-gloss, visible-weave carbon fibre, but complementing this are 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 Exige Cup 380 is available as a limited production run of only 60 cars and as a coupe only. It can be ordered now, priced £83,000 including VAT (UK) and €109,900 (Germany).