Lotus debuts its latest supercar, the street-legal Exige Cup 380 coupe, describing it as the perfect balance between fully type-approved road car and genuine race car.
Evolved from the Exige Sport 380, just 60 units are to be built for worldwide markets – with Lotus saying this will assure its status as one of the Malaysian-owned company’s most collectible road cars.
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales says developing the Cup 380 allowed the company to indulge its motorsport ambitions in a car that can be used and enjoyed every day.
“This is an Exige that’s not just unbeatable point-to-point but also capable of winning highly competitive races,” he says in a statement. “The biggest surprise for many is that it’s fully road legal – a considerable achievement considering the car’s performance capabilities.
“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.”
Priced at £83,000 ($107,108), the Exige Cup 380 goes from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h).
The car weighs 2,330 lbs. (1,057 kg) as a result of the comprehensive adoption of carbon fiber. Making their first appearance on a road-going Lotus, heavily revised bodywork elements contribute to an increased downforce, with the car generating up to 43% more than the Exige Sport 380.
To harness that downforce and provide increased mechanical grip, wider rear tires than those fitted to the Sport 380 are required.
The high-gloss, handmade carbon-fiber components include a new front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, larger aperture air-intake side pods, 1-piece tailgate and a straight-cut high-efficiency rear wing derived from motorsports.
The Exige Cup 380’s aluminum chassis architecture supports a standard steel rollbar.
It has the same 3.5L supercharged V-6 engine as the track-only Exige Race 380 and generates 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 302 lb.-ft. (410 Nm) of torque at 5,000 rpm.
With a standard close-ratio, 6-speed manual transmission, the Exige range features Lotus’ open-gate manual gearbox design.
In a new development, the Lotus Exige Cup 380 includes a variable traction control function linked directly to the electronic control unit and allows the driver to set the amount of wheel slip. The percentage of target wheel slip is in five settings from 1% to 12%.
An optional full-exhaust system in titanium removes 22 lbs. (10 kg) from behind the rear axle. Buyers can specify additions and deletions, including an FIA-compliant roll cage, full race harness, electrical cutoff and fire-extinguisher controls, as well as airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.
The Exige Cup 380 can be personalized through the Lotus Exclusive program that allows customers to tailor the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options. Some 25% of all buyers opt for some form of personalization.