Lotus Exige Cup 380

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Without equal and without compromise, the new Exige Cup 380 provides the perfect balance between fully type approved road car and genuine race car to deliver the ultimate track-and-back street-legal Lotus. With a purity of drive unheard of in road cars, and a power-to-weight ratio of 355 hp per tonne, the Exige Cup 380 delivers genuine race pace, with 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds) and top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). However, unlike some rival’s cars, the Exige Cup 380 really can drive to a track, set the fastest lap and take the win, before heading home. Indeed, the Exige Cup 380 is not just unbeatable point-to-point and capable of winning highly competitive races: it is also a car that can be used and enjoyed every single day.

Honing the Exige Cup 380’s high speed abilities was paramount in its development, and the inclusion of new wind tunnel developed aerodynamic elements allow this road-going Exige to deliver up to 200 kg of aerodynamic downforce at a top speed of 175 mph. Making their first appearance on a road-going Lotus, heavily revised bodywork elements contribute to this increased downforce. Located over the wheels, the 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. To harness the huge hike in downforce, and provide increased mechanical grip, the Exige Cup 380 features larger rear tyres (285/30 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) as standard.

Key to the Exige Cup 380 reaching its low weight of 1,057 kg is the comprehensive adoption of carbon fibre and extreme engineering. The high-gloss, hand-made carbon fibre components of the car include new front splitter, front access panel, bargeboards, roof, diffuser surround, new larger aperture air-intake side pods, a new one-piece tailgate reducing weight by 6.5 kg 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 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 1kg reduction over the standard car. In addition to the Exige’s strong, stiff and durable aluminium chassis architecture, the Exige Cup 380 comes with a T45 steel roll over bar as standard. Tremendously strong, yet light compared to alternatives, its cost means that it’s only used in the highest of motorsport applications. 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. The optional full exhaust system in titanium enables also to remove 10 kg from beyond the rear axle.

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 and featuring a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission as standard, the new Exige Cup 380 boasts 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 410 Nm (302 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston brake calipers and grooved performance two-piece brake discs. The Exige Cup 380 features as well four user 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 and utilises an engine exhaust bypass valve which reduces exhaust back pressure at higher engine speeds. In a new development, the Lotus Exige Cup 380 includes a variable traction control function which is linked directly to the ECU and allows the amount of wheel slip to be set by the driver. The six-position rotary switch is located on the steering column and is only available with ESP switched off, with the percentage of target wheel slip from 1% to 12% in five settings and “off”, displayed via the instrument cluster. 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. Other racing additions include a towing eye at the front and a fabric tow strap at the rear. Buyers can also 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.