Remember the Lotus Exige Cup 380? Upon release it was the most extreme version of the Exige ever built, and now it’s, err, not.
Just over six months on from the the 380’s reveal, we have the Cup 430. If you’ve kept even a vague note of Hethel’s relentless stream of new-ish products over the last few years, you’ll know the score: it’s a more powerful, even more focused version of an already powerful and rather focused car.
The 3.5-litre, supercharged V6 now matches the specifications of the Toyota-sourced six-banger found in the Evora GT430, which means 424bhp makes itself known at 7000rpm, while peak torque of 325lb ft is felt at 4500rpm. That results in an Audi R8-troubling 3.3sec 0-62mph time, and a 180mph top speed.
It’s been thoroughly tweaked in the aero department (but you already knew that, didn’t you?), sporting a new lightweight front clamshell with a redesigned front splitter and a drag-reducing “air curtain mechanism”, plus a new rear clam with a particularly serious looking wing attached.
All told, dry weight is down by 12kg to 1059kg, while peak downforce is 220kg. Thanks to these two factors plus the extra power, the 430 is fastest production car to ever lap the Hethel test track. Yep, faster even than the road-going version of the 3-Eleven, by an impressive 1.2 second margin.
The best part is, unlike the Cup 380 - which was limited to 60 units - Lotus won’t be putting a cap on 430 production. It’s available to order now for £99,800 plus on-the-road costs.