Lotus Exige Cup 430
Top Speed in km/h
Weight in kg
Exige Cup 430
With 55 hp, or 15%, more power than the limited production Exige Cup 380 model it succeeds, and 220 kg of downforce, it’s a monster of a car. Compared to the Exige Sport 350, it has 24% more power and generates the same downforce at 100 mph as the Exige Sport 350 does at its maximum speed of 170 mph. Lotus’ expertise in lightweight design has played its part in reducing the overall dry weight by 12 kg to 1,059 kg, with the vehicle down to 1,056 kg in its lightest configuration. This, combined with the dramatic jump in raw power, raises the Cup’s power to weight from 355 hp / tonne (Cup 380) to 407 hp / tonne. With 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000 rpm, 0-60mph is dispatched in 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) with a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h). Helping to harness all that power, the Cup 430 benefits from a comprehensive range of new aero elements. A new ultra-lightweight front clam with unique carbon fibre ducts has wider radiator apertures and a new mesh pattern grille to provide a more combative aspect and to allow for a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag. The lightweight rear clam panel supports the larger, straight motorsport wing to increase downforce without impacting upon the car’s overall drag coefficient. The new design front and rear clam panels are 6.8 kg lighter than those on any other Exige.
As you would expect, the intense use of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre only adds to the overall performance, as well as reinforcing the Exige Cup 430’s physical presence. The hand-made composite components include front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, large aperture air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and the race derived rear wing. Scratch the surface of the Cup’s capabilities, and you’ll find its motorsport-derived credentials. In addition to revised steering arm geometry, to increase bump steer, the car’s handling characteristics can be altered via the introduction of new Nitron three-way adjustable dampers (adjustable for rebound and low and high-speed compression, giving the ability to fine tune the damping) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, both as standard. The substantial Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear) are fitted to ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, available in red, black or silver as standard. The faster the car, the better the brakes need to be, and the Exige Cup 430 uses some of the largest calipers and discs of any Lotus road car. With forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and new performance two-piece, J-hook brake discs (with higher thermal capacity) front and rear, the system is designed to give improved bite and debris clearance and reduce distortion and vibration and to deliver consistent pedal feel and stopping power lap after lap. The Cup 430 also comes with a tremendously strong, yet light, T45 steel roll over bar, new seatbelt anchorage frame (saving 1.2 kg), a Lithium-Ion battery and front towing eye as standard, as well as a host of options including electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.
At the heart of the car lies Lotus’ most formidable engine, a 3.5-litre supercharged and charge cooled V6 producing 430 hp and 440 Nm. Unapologetically aggressive, the Exige Cup 430’s 220 kg of downforce is developed through the careful management of airflow under and over the car. Vital in keeping the Cup at the top of timing sheets, it’s designed to make the most of 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque delivered from 4,000 rpm, and delivering the lowest of lap times no matter the track. This not only includes the new front clam panel, incorporating a new design of splitter and carbon fibre air blades, but also the high mounted rear wing. The new body introductions combine form and function, with the new hybrid carbon composite panels not only saving weight, but also delivering the car’s distinctive new styling and aerodynamic set up. Balancing downforce over the entire car was a priority with, when compared to the Exige Cup 380, a greater percentage of downforce allocated to the front to ensure accurate high-speed turn in (36% increased to 45%). The new front splitter with trailing lip helps separate and speed airflow under the car and the inclusion of new air curtain elements into the front clam panel efficiently moves air though to the front wheel cavities to help reduce turbulence and drag generated by the front wheels. The front louvers reduce the pressure within the front wheel arches, increasing downforce. The cut-out sections behind the rear wheels, also reduce wheel arch pressure, whilst the new lightweight aluminium diffuser is 1 kg lighter. Crowning all of this is the carbon fibre straight rear wing, raised higher to further boost downforce, clearly signaling the car’s aggressive intent and pursuit of aerodynamic excellence.
Available as standard with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the Exige range features Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate manual gearbox design. Precisely aligned for fast and seamless shifts, it has recently established itself as a favourite of Lotus customers. To transfer the increased power and torque from the engine to the gearbox, a new 240 mm diameter clutch has been fitted (up 12 mm compared to the Exige Cup 380) which increases the clutch surface area by 11%. Engine note and tone also play big parts in the Cup’s repertoire. With the new induction and supercharger configuration, and a high-flow titanium exhaust system as standard, the Cup 430 sounds like no other Exige at speed. In addition, the titanium exhaust removes 10 kg from beyond the rear axle. The Lotus Exige Cup 430 includes a variable traction control function, linked directly to the ECU. The six-position rotary switch is located on the steering column, and only active with ESP switched to off, with five pre-set traction levels (1%, 3%, 6%, 9%, 12% slip) as well as “off”, displayed via the instrument cluster. The composite concept continues into the Cup’s cabin with visible-weave, handmade sections including a new lightweight carbon fibre binnacle surround, Lotus’ bespoke carbon race seats, with new lightweight seat runners, and carbon door sills. Colour keyed inserts for the revised lightweight sports seats, transmission console, HVAC surround and window switches are also standard, along with a centre console, door cards and dashboard trimmed in Alcantara®, with leather or tartan as a no cost option, along with contrast stitching and an Alcantara® steering wheel. In total, the lightweight interior of the Exige Cup 430 is 2.5 kg lighter than on the Cup 380. All the lightweight standard items help reduce the total mass by 29 kg which more than offsets the increase in weight from the chargecooler and cooling system (+15 kg), new higher rated clutch (+0.8 kg) and wider brake discs (+1.2 kg) resulting in an unladen weight of 1,093 kg and 1,059 kg dry. By selecting the airbag deletion option, the customer can take the lightest possible dry weight of the Exige Cup 430 to 1,056 kg.