Lotus has released the extreme 430-horsepower coupe Exige Cup 430

Lotus has released the extreme 430-horsepower coupe Exige Cup 430

Lotus has released the extreme 430-horsepower coupe Exige Cup 430

Just when we thought Lotus has pretty much squeezed all the performance it could from the Exige, this comes out. As well as a significant power hike, the Cup 430 has benefited from extensive development in areas essential to Lotus' DNA, in order to ensure that the full potential of the Exige's incredible chassis can be exploited.

The new, high-performance version of the sports auto has seen some major revisions - the main feature being the engine from the bigger Evora GT430. It makes 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lb-ft) of torque from 4,000 rpm.

The best part is, unlike the Cup 380 - which was limited to 60 units - Lotus won't be putting a cap on 430 production. This engine is combined with 6-speed "mechanics".

From zero to 96 kilometres per hour the most hardcore civil Exige accelerates in 3.2 seconds - two-tenths seconds faster than the version with index "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.

Unsurprisingly, carbon-fibre is the main material that contributes to this, and you'll find it on the front splitter, front access panel, roof, diffuser surround, air-intake side pods, one-piece tailgate and the motorsport-derived rear wing. However, thanks to the extra power, the power-to-weight ratio is improved from 350bhp per tonne in the Cup 380 to 401bhp per tonne in this new model.

We've seen recently the Elise Cup 260, the Evora GT430, and a myriad of bespoke models, and that's only during the past few months - and Lotus doesn't show any signs of fatigue. "It will go down as a ground-breaking vehicle in the history of Lotus". A set of forged alloy wheels - available in red, black, or silver - continue the lightweight theme, and come wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear).

Prices will start at £99,800 in the United Kingdom and €127,500 in Europe, depending on the individual country's Value Added Tax system.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, said: "This is the vehicle that we always wanted to build, and I am sure that all Lotus enthusiasts will be delighted with the end product".

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