Lotus introduced the fast 430 HP 430 coupe Exige Cup

Lotus Exige Cup 430

Just when we thought Lotus has pretty much squeezed all the performance it could from the Exige, this comes out. With its dramatic new body kit equipped, which includes a new front splitter, front louvers, and a massive rear wing, just to name a few, the Exige 430 produces 485 pounds (220 kilograms) of downforce at speed.

The Exige Cup 430 weighs just 1056kg in its lightest configuration, which is near-identical to the Cup 380.

The most extreme civil Exige accelerates to 96 km/h from standstill in 3.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than with a modification of the Cup 380.

Indeed, its Hethal lap time is a remarkable one minute, 28.4 seconds, making it the fastest road-legal Lotus ever to lap its test track.

That's partly due to the 3.5-liter V6 engine that features an Edelbrock supercharger and water to air charge cooler. The unit is linked as standard to a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission with the famous open-gate design.

At first glance, it looks like any other Exige, but strip away its carbon fiber panels and you'll find a totally new engine installation complete with a new supercharger, courtesy of Edelbrock, plus a charge cooler, both developed specifically for the vehicle.

You won't be surprised to learn that the 430 is aimed at owners who want to blat round a track, so it gets nearly shiny Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and a close-ratio 'box too, and it all adds up to what Lotus say is now the quickest auto they make round the track at Hethel.

While the Cup 380 was limited to 60 models, costing £83,000 each, the Cup 430 is a full production model and is priced from £99,800. Forged alloy wheels measuring 17 inches at the front and 18 inches at the rear are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 profile front and 285/30 profile rear).

At just a shade under £E100k (£99,800) the Exige Cup 430 is nearly £17k more than the Exige Cup 380 was when it arrived past year.

Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales said: "This is the auto that we have always wanted to build, and I am sure that all Lotus enthusiasts will be delighted with the end product".

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