When Lotus wants to make a auto quicker, it may add some power, but it also focuses on removing weight. The Cup 380 tips the scales at a mere 2,330 pounds (1,057 kg), versus 2,447 pounds (1,110 kg) for the Sport 380 and 2,200 pounds (998 kg) for the Race 380.
The Cup 380's rear tyres are 20mm wider than the Sport 380's; 285/30 ZR18s are now fitted.
Tweaks to the bodywork and exterior, including a front windscreen wiper that rests in the vertical position, reduce drag and increase total downforce to 200kg; an increase of 43% over the Sport 380. This speedy performance comes from the car's 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 lifted from the Exige Race 380 and is tuned to produce 375 hp and 302 lb-ft of torque. Lightweight parts come for the front splitter, access panel, roof, diffuser surround, side pods, tailgate, and rear wing - and they also deliver 441 pounds (200 kilograms) of downforce at 175 miles per hour (282 kph) - a 40 percent increase over the Sport 380. Optional carbon fibre components include one-piece inner door panels, HVAC console and face-level vent surrounds, which together offer an additional 1 kg reduction over the standard auto.
Available as standard with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the Exige range featuresLotus' now famous open-gate manual gearbox design.
That weight reduction, including the diet above, also helps the auto corner faster and get up to speed quicker. Even the stability control can be adjusted to the driver's needs.
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Sporting Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires as standard, the Exige Cup 380 grips the road like a scared rabbit running from an apex predator.
The aluminum chassis has been further strengthened with a steel roll-over bar while the suspension is now utilizing a set of Nitron two-way adjustable dampers and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars. The vehicle is stopped by four-piston brake calipers at all four corners, and a standard steel roll bar protects the driver.
Inside, the Exige Cup 380 features the aforementioned carbon-fiber racing seats finished in Alcantara, with either leather or tartan inserts as a no cost option.
The optional full exhaust system in titanium removes 10 kg from beyond the rear axle, and buyers can specify a number of additions and deletions, including FIA compliant roll cage, full race harness, electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls as well as airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.
For owners wanting more, the new Exige Cup 380 can be personalised through the increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive programme. If you want to pick one up, expect to spend about £83,000, or $106,456 in Freedom Bucks.
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