Carbon fibre overload means it's lighter than the Sport 380, and has more downforce.

Lotus is once again finding ways of making the Exige an even sharper sports car. The new Cup 380 slots below the track-only Race 380 but improves upon the Sport 380. Lotus imagines the new variant as a model that buyers could drive to the track, spend the day lapping, and then return home without the need of a dedicated car hauler. However, the firm is offering just 60 of them worldwide. 

Like the other 380 models, power comes from the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 that produces 375 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed close-ratio gearbox routes the output to the rear wheels. The Cup 380 can reach 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds – a tenth of a second quicker than the Sport 380 but two tenths slower than the Race 380.


Lotus Exige Cup 380

The more rapid acceleration for the Cup 380 comes largely thanks to the extensive use of carbon fibre. The revisions include lightweight parts for the front splitter, access panel, roof, diffuser surround, side pods, tailgate, and rear wing. The reshaped components also produce 200 kilograms of downforce at 175 mph – a 40 percent boost over the Sport 380.

The new model weighs 1,057 kg, versus 1,110 kg for the Sport 380 and 998 kg for the yet more focused (and track-only) Race 380.

The Sport 380 is itself ready for track work though, thanks to a standard roll bar and four stability control modes, including Race and Off settings. There’s also six positions for fine-tuning the traction control that allows between 0 and 12 percent of wheel slip. Two-way adjustable dampers and the ability to tune the front and rear anti-roll bars should make it possible to set the car up for any circuit.

Lotus Exige Cup 380

If buyers would prefer an even lighter Exige, an optional interior package saves 1 kg by replacing the door panels, HVAC console, and vents with carbon fibre pieces. An optional titanium exhaust slices off a further 10 kg. With so few examples of the Sport 380 available, they could sell out quick - even at £83,000...

Source: Lotus

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