Lotus has today revealed the Exige Cup 430, which, as a full-production model, gets 54 bhp, or 15%, more power than the limited edition Exige Cup 380 model it replaces, and 220 kg of downforce, to become what is certainly the most extreme Exige ever.
Compared to the Exige Sport 350, for example, it has 24% more power and generates the same downforce at 100 mph as the Sport 350 does at its maximum speed of 170 mph.
The Cup 430’s overall dry weight has also been reduced by 12 kg to 1,059 kg, with the vehicle down to 1,056 kg in its lightest configuration. This, combined with the jump in power, raises the Cup’s power-to-weight ratio from 350 bhp per tonne (Cup 380) to 401 bhp per tonne.
With the newly-developed 3.5-litre V6 engine delivering 424 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 325 lb-ft of torque from 4,000 rpm, 0-60 mph is dispatched in 3.2 seconds, while top speed is claimed to be 180 mph. To transfer the increased power and torque from the engine to the six-speed manual gearbox, a new 240 mm diameter clutch has also been fitted, which is up 12 mm compared to the Cup 380.
Externally, the Cup 430 gets a range of new aero elements. For instance, a new lightweight front clam with carbon-fibre ducts has wider radiator apertures to allow for a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag, while the lightweight rear clam panel supports the carbon-fibre straight rear wing, which is raised higher to further boost downforce. The new design front and rear clam panels are said to be 6.8 kg lighter than those on any other Exige.
Chassis details include new Nitron three-way adjustable dampers and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, meanwhile, wrap around 17-inch alloy wheels at the front and 18-inch ones at the rear. Tucked behind the wheels are forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and two-piece, J-hook brake discs front and back – some of the largest calipers and rotors ever seen on a Lotus road car.
Lotus claims the new Cup 430 is capable of covering the Hethel circuit in 1 minute 24.8 seconds – the fastest production car to lap the famous circuit – 1.2 seconds faster than the Lotus 3-Eleven.
“The Exige continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of performance, agility, aerodynamics and rapid covering of ground from A to B in a production road car. There isn’t another car on sale that can match the new Exige Cup 430; it will go down as a ground-breaking car in the history of Lotus,” says Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales.