Lotus Exige Cup 380: the fastest road-going Exige yet

Published: 21 April 2017

► Lotus Exige Cup 380 revealed
► 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds
► Downforce of up to 200kg

This track-ready beast is the Lotus Exige Cup 380 – a stripped-out Exige that’s eligible for racing competitions.

It’s not quite as extreme, or indeed as illegal to drive on the road, as the Exige Race 380 but it does have the same 3.5-litre supercharged V6 as both it and the Sport 380, so you’ll have 375bhp and 302lb ft of torque to play with.

So, how fast does that make the Cup 380?

The 0-62mph launch is all tied up in 3.4 seconds, which makes the Cup 380 quicker than a Mercedes-AMG GT S, and the plucky Lotus can keep going up to 175mph.

In fact, Lotus claims that the Cup 380 is the fastest roadgoing Exige around its test track at Hethel HQ at 1min 26sec.

That searing performance is, as you’d expect, largely down to the fact that the Cup 380 weighs little more than a sandwich bag filled with helium. The car’s dry weight is rated at just 1057kg, which is only 59kg off its track-only brethren, while total downforce has been upped to 200kg to keep the Cup stable and usable on both road and track.

How have they done that?

See all those gills, fins and the enormous ironing board spoiler on the back? Mainly that.

The louvres on the front bumper channel the pressure that develops in the front wheelarches away and over the car, and there are cut-outs in the rear wheelarches that direct air either side of the standard race diffuser.

Lotus Exige Cup 380 front detail

Lotus even thought about the placement of the windscreen wiper; the blade now rests vertically instead of increasing drag if it were to hold still at one side.

Clever, if a little obsessive. How much does the Lotus Exige 380 cost?

Well, be prepared to wire Lotus a total of £83,000. You’d better be quick, though, as only 60 will be made worldwide.

Read all our Lotus reviews

By Jake Groves

CAR's new staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches