When Lotus first unveiled the Exige Sport 380 late last year, it was the quickest ever edition of its Exige line-up. Not anymore.
Meet the brand new Lotus Exige Cup 380, announced last week as the latest limited-production sports car from Lotus. Made to be more track-focused than the Sport 380, the Exige Cup 380 comes in lighter than its predecessor while still maintaining its street-legal status.
Indeed, the new Exige Cup 380 aims to deliver the perfect balance between a fully street-legal road car and a genuine track-toy. With a power-to-weight ratio of 355 hp per tonne, the Exige Cup 380 delivers genuine track pace, clocking in the 0-60 test in a measly 3.4 seconds with a top spede of 175 mph. The aim for Lotus here is to create a vehicle that can drive to a track, set the fastest lap and take the win, before heading home- and it seems to have done accomplished it with the Exige Cup.
To deliver upon the heightened performance, Lotus included new wind tunnel developed aerodynamic elements to allow the Exige Cup to achieve up to 200kg of downforce at its top speed, combining improved engineering with heavily revised bodywork elements. The front louvers over the front wheels help to increase the downforce at both high speeds and hard braking, while the cut-out sections behind the rear wheels work with the aero blades to improve the car’s performance. In fact, Lotus has gone into so much attention to detail to perfect the Exige Cup that even the windscreen wiper has been optimised, now resting in a vertical position in order to minimise disruption to the air flow. To harness the full potential of the vehicle, the Exige Cup comes included with larger Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.
Weighing merely 1,057kg, the Exige Cup succeeds in the comprehensive adoption of carbon fibre and the implementation of extreme engineering. From the front splitter, roof, to a new one-piece tailgate, much of the vehicle features high-gloss, hand-made carbon fibre components. In addition to the standard Exige aluminium chassis, the Exige Cup comes with a T45 steel roll over bar. Strong yet tremendously light, the roll over bar is only used in the highest of motor sport applications.
The Exige Cup has already impressed enthusiasts- setting 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 Exige Cup boasts 375 hp at 6,7000 rpm and 410 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. The Exige Cup features four user selectable modes- Drive, Sport, Race and Off, that alter the throttle response, include understeer recognition and provide increased driver control over the vehicle.
Only 60 of the Exige Cup 380 will be produced, all heading to Europe. Costing £83,000 standard, the Exige Cup looks to deliver huge potential at a price point that is not exorbitantly high. It is a car that is made to be used and enjoyed every single day, while also capable of winning highly competitive races- a true first from Lotus. Discover more direct from Lotus here.