Extensive use of carbon fiber makes the new model lighter than the Exige Sport 380 and gives it more downforce at high-speed.

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-liter supercharged V6  that produces 375 horsepower (280 kilowatts) and 302 pound-feet (410 Newton-meters) of torque. A six-speed close-ratio gearbox routes the output to the rear wheels. The Cup 380 can reach 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers 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 fiber. 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 441 pounds (200 kilograms) of downforce at 175 mph (282 kph) – a 40 percent boost over the Sport 380.

The new model weighs just 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 Sport 380 is ready for track work 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 2.2 pounds (1 kg) by replacing the door panels, HVAC console, and vents with carbon fiber pieces. An available titanium exhaust slices off a further 22 pounds (10 kg).

With so few examples of the Sport 380 available, they could sell out quick. Pricing is set at 83,000 pounds in the United Kingdom and 109,900 euros in Germany. Motor1 is reaching out to Lotus about availability and pricing in North America.

Source: Lotus

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