Lotus added another version to the Exige lineup with the introduction of the limited Cup 380, the most hardcore road-legal variant of the Exige platform yet.
The new model is basically an evolution of the Sport 380, featuring heavily revised bodywork elements which increase downforce by 43 percent, producing up to 200kg (440 lbs), a dry weight of 1,057kg (2,330lbs) thanks to the application of carbon fiber and the company’s extreme engineering and a power-to-weight ratio of 355hp per tonne.
0-60mph comes in 3.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds) while the top speed is 3mph slower than what the Sport 380 can achieve, mostly because of the increased downforce, at 175mph (282km/h).
“The biggest surprise for many is that it’s fully road legal – a considerable achievement considering the car’s performance capabilities,” said Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus CEO. “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.”
Lotus will only build 60 examples worldwide, saying that the new Exige Cup 380 will become one of its most collectable models ever.
The aluminum chassis has been further strengthened with a steel roll-over bar while the suspension is now utilizing a set of Nitron two-way adjustable dampers and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars. There is also an optional titanium exhaust system which saves 10kg off the rear of the car.
The supercharged Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 continues to make 375hp at 6,700rpm and 410Nm (302lb-ft) of torque at 5,000rpm and is mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox with a beautiful open-gate design.
Prices for the new Lotus Exige Cup 380 start from £83,000 in the UK and €109,900 in Germany.