Lotus brings more and more derivatives of its series. This time, the Exige's turn, from the English hang a 380-hp Cup-variant. The sports car dominates the road operation and ecstasy on the racetrack. There is a catch, however.
The formula is simple and yet so effective: more downforce through improved aerodynamics. More mechanical grip by wider tires. More choices for the setup. So Lotus makes the Exige Sport 380 fitter and sold them as Exige Cup 380. A sports car with which you go to the race track, a race contest and finally can flit back home. And should be.
The same pattern in the Elise, of which there are now a Cup version that we tested already on the English country roads and on the Lotus test track in Hethel.
The Lotus Exige Cup 380 is, however, more powerful, better acceleration and drives brutal. Here are eight points that we noticed on our four laps on the Lotus home track.
1. The output
Lotus promises that weigh on the Exige Cup 380 at a top speed of 282 km / h of 200 kg pressure. That's 60 kilograms more than the Exige Sport 380. You can tell by the Cup version, which craves fast corners like Bayer to a degree and a pair of white sausages.
So please: Let us together in the Windsock Corner, an ultra-fast right-hand bend. Left approaching 190 km / h, just lupfen the gas pedal a bit of road marking and give in: The mid-engine sports car dives into the turn. First, the Exige Cup 380 curving through around 150 km / h before being fully angast again at the apex. One lap around the 160 things. And it would have been even better. The Exige Cup 380 does not require steering corrections, it is sufficient to keep the original impulse. The Karossiere remains stable and not leaning to the outside of the curve.
The catalog of measures for the changes to the aerodynamics was extensive. Decisive the wheel arch on the front fenders and the new rear wings. The gills on top of the fender bring only 30 kg more downforce. Because they take pressure from the wheel arches and the air flows around the body beautiful on the top. The rear wing comes as the one-piece engine cover by Prodrive. An English company with motor racing expertise.
The wing is building higher and has a different main blade than the Exige Sport 380 Lotus also revised the carbon front splitter, the barge boards on the sides and the body either side of the diffuser. Here, the Lotus troupe holes punched into it, which should be conducive to the output. "And we have the air holes enlarged at the sides. Allow the engine to breathe better, "says Lotus chief Jean-Marc Gales. Nevertheless, the more pressure is minimal at the expense of speed. Falling from 286 to 282 km / h.
2. The windshield wiper
The wiper blade placed Lotus in the normal position the center of the 90-degree angle to the carboxylic hood. As is customary in the LMP missiles in Le Mans. In this position the wipers disrupts the air flow less. Aerodynamics in detail - but not at any price. When it rains in England, you do not have to park on the left side of the road.
3. The performance
In the Lotus Exige Cup 380 is the same 3.5-liter V6 compressor rages as in the sport version 380. The PS 380 and 410 Nm push the cup sports car vigorously of slow curves and to him from the state in 3.6 seconds can accelerate to highway speed. That's one-tenth faster than the Exige Sport 380. Check we can not in the test without measuring device. Sensing is virtually impossible for a tenth. Whether the five kilograms less weight enough this nibble tenth?
The Aerokit takes the Cup Exige eleven kilograms. but elsewhere she grabs back on it six. The one-piece tailgate saves 6.5 kilograms. The omission of the gas springs for the opening mechanism is another kilo. The carbonized air inlets 500 grams and the optional carbon-mounts for the operating unit of heating, ventilation and air conditioning a few more hundred grams. We need to hook short: Who needs in such a car air conditioning? Given. For 1,650 euros you prefer invites the woman 16 times chic for dinner. Two kilograms of the Exige Cup 380 charges compared to 380 sport through the roll bar from T45 steel on. The wider tires weigh heavier.
4. The tires
At the front everything remains the same. 215/45 ZR17 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 brand other hand, it increases the rubber band width in the rear and strapped rolls of the size 285/30 ZR18 on. Instead of 265 millimeters as in the Sport version. Of slow corners as the right-left-right chicane that Rindt hairpin or the Andretti hairpin snaps Elise Cup 380 as if it is to shake off a pursuer. In quick changes of direction, the combination of better aerodynamic downforce and mechanical grip is a real joker. It feels as if a couple of tire fibers drill into the asphalt and take root in it. already with the Cup tires it takes a very aggressive stance in order to let Elise Cup 380 hecktänzeln around the curves in the test.
5. Slip Regulation
A bar on the left side of the cockpit driver configures the mid-engined sports car. To choose the modes Sport, Race and off stand. Depending on the stage of the accelerator pedal transmits the commands more quickly to the compressor and the ESP interventions are reduced. Who turns the ESP completely unleashed the Exige Cup 380 and must be aware: You drive here a 1.1 ton light mid-engined sports cars old school. Without the protection patrol from the electronics department so punished a car suddenly decelerating with a load change reaction. And then you can ratzfatz screw up sometimes. So if the experience is lacking, rather change a maximum in the Race Mode and sign up for completely losgelöstes Driving Once a Race Track Training.
In Off mode lotus leaves the rear-drive Exige Cup 380 slip control for traction control. The engineers divide them into six stages. From one to 12 percent. At the sixth clicking on the small scroll wheel of the steering wheel, the traction control off completely. The change appears in the instrument panel. Still, it would have been better to place the controls on the steering wheel. As it makes Ferrari with his Manettino. So the steering wheel with Alcantara covering a button and knob-free zone remains.
6. The steering and transmission
No power assistance: Lotus is not stuck in the typewriter age, but reflects on what the sports car driver just wants in such a sports car: honesty, so to speak, a permanent two-person conversation between pilot and vehicle. Glorious as the Exige Cup 380 can give in to the pot flat Lotus test track as they immediately react to the slightest steering movements at high speed but still emits no nervousness.
The purpose of this six-speed manual switch. I have been around 410 sports and Elise Cup written in Evora 250: Every movement is fun. The lanes are short, the resistance is just right, loved the open mechanism. For example, a seven-speed dual clutch transmission as for example, carries a Lamborghini Huracán is already seductive in its speed and its ability to react. Yes, it seduces you. But to tackle the six-speed switch in the Exige Cup 380 is much more sensual, a handle in the middle of the mechanics - a great feeling.
7. The homologation and motorsport components
The Exige Cup 380 carries a roll bar. Whoever wants to can be a whole cage implanted into the interior in the workshop. Lotus even build it. The Exige Cup is already homologated for racing.
From the front grille of the Exige Cup 380 is growing a towing behind a rope in the right part of the diffuser. The dual position Nitron dampers and Eibach adjustable stabilizers already belong to the basic package. They make it possible to attack the curbs in the chicane without the Exige Cup 380 destabilized or too violent and deflects. On smooth asphalt landing gear is working properly. How it would look on the welligeren Nordschleife?
On the brakes is the sports car with four-piston calipers and grooved discs from AP Racing an ace. The brake pedal operates smoothly and gives in every position the right pressure point. It's simple: I dare you to fast, even late to get into the iron. The brakes allow several fast laps in a row without abate or thread.
Lotus offers additional configuration options for the sports car for road and track: airbag-less steering wheel (3,500 euros), fire extinguishers (1,750 euros), Battery Switch (1,750 euros). The exhaust system welded Lotus to 7,300 euros from titanium. In order for the supercharged V6 makes more ruckus, opens at 3,500 / min, the flaps and deafened over the web.
8. The hook
Lotus builds exactly 60 cars. All have already been sold. "Within a week," said Gales pleased. "That was a nice surprise." Surprise because the Exige Cup 380 is more expensive to 20,000 euros as the Sport 380.
110,000 euros cost the Lotus Exige Cup 380. For Lotus blessed the driver with a mid-engine sports cars, the slow and fast corners equally dominated responsive its supercharged V6 jagged and to rabaukt decent (with titanium exhaust system), and the competitors as opposed to Elise Cup 250 also annoys straight pieces. Whether the 20,000 euro charge is justified? Who's who's. Who has the money, but too late to it can secure good conscience for 90,000 euros, the Exige Sport 380 for sale. But one also has a little bit longer time.