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RPM TV Website | September 24, 2017

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New, fastest Lotus Exige will be a collectors delight

New, fastest Lotus Exige will be a collectors delight
Deon Schoeman

Lotus has unleashed what the British sports car maker describes as the ultimate track-and-back, street-legal Exige.

Based on the Exige Sport 380, the Exige Cup 380 sheds more weight, gains more power and benefits from some eye-catching aerodynamics. Add the fact that only 60 examples will be produced, and this could well become the most desirable Exige, too.

The Exige Cup 380 is effectively a thoroughbred racer thinly disguised as a road machine. The kerb mass of just 1 57 kg has been achieved through the extensive use of carbon fibre, while the bespoke aerodynamics increase downforce to 200 kg.

Those aerodynamics include slatted intakes over the front wheels, aero blades incorporated into the rear diffuser, and a high-efficiency, fixed rear wing. The wing is one of many components made from weight-saving carbon fibre.

Carbon fibre is also employed for a new front splitter, the front access panel, barge boards, the roof, new side pods with larger air intakes, and new tailgate.

Extra traction is also provided by the wider rear wheels and tyres, with 285/35 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber doing duty at the rear, matched to 215/45 R17 fronts. The wheels are ultra-lightweight forged alloy rims.

Underpinning the Cup 380 is the Exige’s standard, ultra-light and ultra-stiff extruded aluminium chassis, but further strengthened by a T45 high-tensile steel rollover bar.
The interior features carbon fibre for the sills and the racing seats. An open-gate gearshift lever is a further highlight.

The Cup 380 is powered by a race-tuned, supercharged 3,5-litre V6, good for 280 kW and 410 Nm. The car features four adjustable driving modes, each offering differing levels of throttle response, traction slip thresholds and understeer recognition. Further fine tuning is possible via a six-position variable traction control system.

Needless to say, the Exige Cup 380 is a rapid machine, dashing from zero to 100 kmk/h in 3,8 second, and achieving a top speed of 282 km/h. At 83 000 pounds Sterling, the price tag is equally arresting – that’s R1,43-million before import duty, transport costs, and VAT …

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