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Lotus announces Exige Cup 430. Image by Lotus.

Lotus announces Exige Cup 430
Wildest, most powerful Exige ever breaks cover with a host of changes.
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What's all this about?

We're starting to wonder if the good folk at Lotus actually get time to build any actual production cars, in between all the new car announcements. Whatever the story is, the Exige Cup 430 has just been revealed, and it's as mad as the name suggests.

Looks aero-y.

It needs to be, because with 430hp and 440Nm of torque from the revised V6 engine, performance figures like a top speed of 180mph and a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds are attainable. The aero swoops and wings give 220kg of downforce at flat chat, with 36 per cent of that over the front axle to aid turn-in at speed.

Engine revisions? Do tell?

The beauty of forced induction is that it's relatively easy to get big power gains, although Lotus is ploughing a pretty lonely furrow with by sticking to the supercharger method of compressing the air. A new compressor, chargecooler, redesigned intake and a larger throttle body give the engine the air it craves, with the rev limiter now set at 7,000rpm.

Did Lotus add lightness?

Of course, although the huge raft of changes (including even the seat rails) yielded a total reduction of only 12kg. Blame that engine hardware. Mind you, a dry weight of 1,056kg (that's without the 3kg airbag) gives a power-to-weight ratio of 407hp per tonne, which is pretty dramatic.

And the chassis?

The usual formula of fancy adjustable shocks and anti-roll bars, big brakes, lightweight wheels and sticky tyres has been applied here, and it's safe to surmise that grip will be pretty limpet-like. Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Lotus, enthused, "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."

Maurice Malone - 9 Nov 2017

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