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British sports car manufacturer Lotus is targeting serious performance fans with the Lotus Exige Cup 430.

The Cup 430, which succeeds the Exige Cup 380 unveiled as recently as April 2017, goes on sale at £99,800 – a £6,800 increase over its predecessor – and promises a 3.3-second 0-62mph time.

It is described as the most extreme version of the two-seater car yet and unlike the 380, which was offered as a limited-edition model with just 60 made, the 430 will join the Lotus production line-up.

More power plus less weight

As the name suggests, the newcomer produces 430hp – 55 horses more than the 380 – and 440Nm of torque from its 3.5-litre V6 engine. This has been developed from the unit used in the recently launched Evora GT430 model and includes a new supercharger and charge cooler.

Overall weight of the car is down by 12kg to 1059kg, while the body has been redesigned to improve its downforce, generating 220kg. The front clam bonnet is lighter and includes carbon fibre ducts and wider radiator apertures, while the revised mesh of the grille enables a more effective design of front splitter and air curtain.

At the rear, the body panel is again lightened by the same 6.8kg as the front, and a larger, straight motorsport-pattern wing added. Downforce is more biased towards the front, from 36% to 45%, to aid turn-in.

Compared to the next production model down, the Exige Sport 350, the Cup 430 is 24% more powerful and produces the same downforce at 100mph as the 350 does at its 170mph terminal speed.

As a result the new, omer will pass 62mph from rest in 3.3 seconds, and go on to 180mph. It has also become the fastest production Lotus to lap the brand’s test track at its Hethel base in Norfolk.

According to Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales, there is not another car on sale that can match the new Exige Cup 430. “The Exige continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of performance, agility, aerodynamics and rapid covering of ground from A to B in a production road car – it will go down as a ground-breaking car in the history of Lotus,” he says.

Lotus Exige Cup 430 The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.