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Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review

Published:03 February 2014

Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
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  • 4 out of 5

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

The Lotus Exige S is an automotive hand grenade. Brutally fast and noisy, it prioritises the grin on your face above pretty much everything else, but apparently some people climb out of it saying: ‘You know, this is good, but what I really want is more road noise, stiffer suspension and extra performance’.

For these presumably fetishistic people Lotus has created the Exige Cup, which bridges the gap between roadgoing Exige S and race-sanctioned Cup R.

To the Exige S it adds two-piece brake discs (for better heat dissipation and reduced fade), 20% stiffer springs and Nitron two-way adjustable dampers, carbon bucket seats, and Pirelli Trofeos that normally come only with a Race Pack-equipped Exige S.

But what’s been subtracted is of equal importance, and that includes carpets, airbags – Lotus gets special dispensation because it builds fewer than 1000 units – headlining, noise insulation and leather trim.

>> Click here to read CAR's review of the standard Lotus Exige V6 S

The Cup is like an Exige S on crystal meth: the unassisted steering is constantly nudging feedback into your palms, the supercharged 3.5-litre V6 is violently quick with greedy wodges of torque almost everywhere and the already hard-wired chassis feels like it’s been hooked up to a defibrillator, so fast does it react.

Impressively, the Cup’s ride still proves far from unbearable, but you’ll pay for your fun with a mighty hangover of road-noise: if your passenger shouts, bits of what they say might just be audible.

>> Click here to read CAR's review of the track-ready Lotus Exige Cup R

The Exige Cup is a great drive, and those of you who commute to the Nürburgring from an internet forum will no doubt love it. For the rest of us, a Race Pack-equipped Exige S is more than enough.

Specs

Price when new: £62,994
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3456cc 24v V6, 345bhp @ 7000rpm, 295lb ft @ 4500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear wheel drive
Performance: 3.6sec 0-60mph (est) 171mph (est), 28mpg, 236g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1110kg/aluminium
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4084/1802/1129

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  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
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  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review
  • Lotus Exige Cup (2014) review

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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