At the heart of the car lies Lotus’ most formidable engine, a 3.5-litre supercharged and charge cooled V6 producing 430 hp and 440 Nm.
Unapologetically aggressive, the Exige Cup 430’s 220 kg of downforce is developed through the careful management of airflow under and over the car. Vital in keeping the Cup at the top of timing sheets, it’s designed to make the most of 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque delivered from 4,000 rpm, and delivering the lowest of lap times not matter the track. This not only includes the new front clam panel, incorporating a new design of splitter and carbon fibre air blades, but also the high mounted rear wing. The new body introductions combine form and function, with the new hybrid carbon composite panels not only saving weight, but also delivering the car’s distinctive new styling and aerodynamic set up.
Balancing downforce over the entire car was a priority with, when compared to the Exige Cup 380, a greater percentage of downforce allocated to the front to ensure accurate high-speed turn in (36% increased to 45%). The new front splitter with trailing lip helps separate and speed airflow under the car and the inclusion of new air curtain elements into the front clam panel efficiently moves air though to the front wheel cavities to help reduce turbulence and drag generated by the front wheels. The front louvers reduce the pressure within the front wheel arches, increasing downforce. The cut-out sections behind the rear wheels, also reduce wheel arch pressure, whilst the new lightweight aluminium diffuser is 1 kg lighter. Crowning all of this is the carbon fibre straight rear wing, raised higher to further boost downforce, clearly signaling the car’s aggressive intent and pursuit of aerodynamic excellence.
Available as standard with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the Exige range features Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate manual gearbox design. Precisely aligned for fast and seamless shifts, it has recently established itself as a favourite of Lotus customers. To transfer the increased power and torque from the engine to the gearbox, a new 240 mm diameter clutch has been fitted (up 12 mm compared to the Exige Cup 380) which increases the clutch surface area by 11%.
Engine note and tone also play big parts in the Cup’s repertoire. With the new induction and supercharger configuration, and a high-flow titanium exhaust system as standard, the Cup 430 sounds like no other Exige at speed. In addition, the titanium exhaust removes 10 kg from beyond the rear axle.
The Lotus Exige Cup 430 includes a variable traction control function, linked directly to the ECU. The six-position rotary switch is located on the steering column, and only active with ESP switched to off, with five pre-set traction levels (1%, 3%, 6%, 9%, 12% slip) as well as “off”, displayed via the instrument cluster.
The composite concept continues into the Cup’s cabin with visible-weave, handmade sections including a new lightweight carbon fibre binnacle surround, Lotus’ bespoke carbon race seats, with new lightweight seat runners, and carbon door sills. Colour keyed inserts for the revised lightweight sports seats, transmission console, HVAC surround and window switches are also standard, along with a centre console, door cards and dashboard trimmed in Alcantara®, with leather or tartan as a no cost option, along with contrast stitching and an Alcantara® steering wheel. In total, the lightweight interior of the Exige Cup 430 is 2.5 kg lighter than on the Cup 380.
All the lightweight standard items help reduce the total mass by 29 kg which more than offsets the increase in weight from the chargecooler and cooling system (+15 kg), new higher rated clutch (+0.8 kg) and wider brake discs (+1.2 kg) resulting in an unladen weight of 1,093 kg and 1,059 kg dry. By selecting the airbag deletion option, the customer can take the lightest possible dry weight of the Exige Cup 430 to 1,056 kg.