Barely less than a month since the introduction of the Lotus Elise Cup 260, the lightest Elise of them all, the relentless individuals from Hethel, UK has brought us yet another featherweight savage of a sportscar – this time the Exige Cup 430.
The Exige Cup 430 centres around a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 with an output of 430 hp and 440 Nm of torque. With a water-to-air charge cooler and a new Edelbrock supercharger, the engine pumps out 55 hp or 15% more power than the limited production Exige Cup 380 it succeeds.
Weight, typical of Lotus’ DNA is just a pip over a tonne at 1,059 kg – giving the Cup 430 a power-to-weight ratio of 407 hp per tonne and to put things in perspective, this makes the Cup 430 faster than a McLaren 570S Spider!
Redline is 7,000 rpm – at every cog of its 6-speed, close-ratio manual gearbox with an open-gate design – complimentary of a new intake system and a larger throttle body. Also new is the oil cooler configuration and an uprated clutch to handle the ferocious power.
Aside from the new induction system and supercharger, the Cup 430 is enhanced with a high-flow titanium exhaust that not only saves 10kg of weight at the back, it also sprites up the V6’s engine note.
It takes just 3.3 seconds to a 100 km/h, plowing through to a top speed of 290 km/h with the aid of new aero kits harnessing all that power. The front is attached with a new ultra-lightweight front clam with unique carbon fibre ducts, wider radiator openings and a new mesh pattern grille along with a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag and turbulence generated by the front wheels.
At the back sits a new aluminium diffuser, crowned by an oversized carbon fibre rear wing to boost downforce. The body sits on new three-way adjustable Nitron dampers tied in by Eiback adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are the contact point of choice with the tarmac, matched with ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, either in red, black or silver. Tucked beneath them are four-piston AP Racing brake calipers with two-piece J-hook disc brakes (front and back) with higher thermal capacity.
The theme of its interior is a reflection of the Cup 430’s carbon fibre construction with visible weaves, handmade sections including a new lightweight carbon tub which houses a pair of Lotus bespoke carbon race seats. Door, centre console and dashboard trims are all wrapped in leather or tartan as an option.
Also a highlight of the interior is the six-position rotary switch which controls the variable traction control functions on the Cup 430. It allows for five different presets – 1% slip, 3%, 6%, 9%, 12% as well as “off” – which are displayed on the instrument cluster.