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20 April 2017
Lotus Exige Cup 380: King of road and race
Without equal and without compromise, the ballistic new Exige Cup 380 coupe
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 0-60 mph in
3.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds) and top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). Key
to the Exige Cup 380 reaching its low weight of 1,057 kg is the comprehensive
adoption of carbon fibre and extreme engineering. Making their first appearance
on a road-going Lotus, heavily revised bodywork elements contribute to the
increased downforce of the Exige Cup 380, with the car generating up to 200 kg,
43% more than the Exige Sport 380. Making the most of this aerodynamic downforce
and maximising mechanical grip, the Exige Cup 380 features larger rear tyres
(285/30 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) as standard.
About the Exige Cup 380
To harness the huge hike in downforce, and provide increased mechanical grip, wider 285/30 ZR18 rear tyres are required – a step up from the 265/35 ZR18 as fitted to the Sport 380. With the two elements working in combination, this huge boost in grip allows the car to corner harder and faster which, given with the Exige’s existing reputation as a driver’s car, elevates it to a whole new level.
An integral part of the car’s aerodynamic prowess, the high-gloss, hand-made carbon fibre components include new front splitter, front access panel, bargeboards, roof, diffuser surround, new larger aperture air-intake side pods, a new one-piece tailgate 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 to 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 1 kg reduction over the standard car.
In addition to the Exige’s strong, stiff and durable aluminium chassis
architecture, the 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. Other racing additions
include a towing eye at the front and a fabric tow strap at the rear.
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. 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. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston brake calipers and grooved performance two-piece brake discs.
The optional full exhaust system in titanium removes 10 kg from beyond the rear
axle, and buyers can 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.
The hand finished nature of the Exige Cup 380 continues inside, with Lotus’ carbon fibre sports seats trimmed in Alcantara®, with leather or tartan as a no cost option, with contrast stitching and an Alcantara® steering wheel. As standard, lightweight carbon fibre sill covers reduce the weight by 0.9 kg and provide easier ingress and egress by up to 10 mm, thanks to their lower profile and contoured finish. The Exige Cup 380’s instrument panel has also received attention, with new graphics making it easier to read.
For owners wanting more, the new Exige Cup 380 can be personalised through the
increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive programme. Combining traditional British
craftsmanship with modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time
tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options.
Since its introduction this has proved increasingly popular, with 25% of all new
cars undergoing some form of personalisation.
Images and text copyright Group Lotus PLC