Lotus may be looking into altering its plans for the next generation Elise platform now that Geely is onboard, but in the meantime, they aren't waiting to get the most out of the current one. Meet the most extreme road-going Exige ever, which pairs 430 horsepower with an unladen mass of 2409 lbs to please your inner Colin Chapman.
The Exige Cup 430 is an evolution of the Cup 380, a car we found so much fun to drive that we really wished it could come to America, if only as a strictly track-bound offering.
Unfortunately, Lotus had no time to figure out how to make that happen, since the car was limited to sixty units, and that allocation was gone within a week. On the side, to make sure they can ride that wave as long as possible, the team set to work on its successor straight away, only to come up with an unlimited version featuring 13 percent more power.
The Exige Cup 430 is also 26 lbs. lighter in its purest configuration with the titanium exhaust system. Yet it won't fly away, as its revised aero package generates 485 lbs. of downforce near its 180 mph top speed. The 0-62 mph run takes 3.2 seconds, while torque has been increased to 325 lb.-ft. between 4000 rpm and 6800 rpm.
While road-legal in Europe and Asia, the Exige Cup 430 is a track car at heart, featuring such essentials as Eibach's adjustable anti-roll bars, Nitron's springs and three-way adjustable dampers( with 24 click adjustment settings for rebound, 24 for low speed compression, and 16 for high speed compression). The traction control is also a six-way variable affair, allowing either 1, 3, 6, 9, or 12 percent slip, or all the slides in “off” mode.
As you would expect, full carpets, floor mats, sound insulation and a radio remain optional, with the car starting at £99,800 in the UK. There are 430 reasons making this all good news, even taking into account that the Exige Cup 430 won't be able to get a plate in America until 2042.