What happens when you drop the engine from the most powerful Lotus Evora on offer into one of the lightest Exiges available? Lotus set out to answer that question and ended up creating the all-new Lotus Exige Cup 430 Ultimate Edition. Unveiled in a press release on Thursday, the Cup 430 UE makes 430 horsepower and weighs just 2328 pounds.
Thanks to its supercharged, 3.5-liter V6, the Cup 430 UE gains 55 hp over the Exige Cup 380, but it weighs about 27 lbs less than the 380. The 430's excellent power-to-weight ratio helps it rocket to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 180 mph. On paper, it isn't the fastest road-going Lotus available, but in practice, it might be.
As the "Cup" name implies, this Exige is a proper track car. Lotus says that the Cup 430 UE already lapped its Hethel test track in one minute 24.8 seconds; that's faster than any other road car Lotus has put around the track, even beating out the hardcore 3-Eleven by 1.2 seconds.
Aero bits include a new front splitter, louvers over the wheel arches, rear diffuser, air intake, and carbon fiber rear wing that help the Cup 430 UE generate 485 lbs of downforce. For optimum handling, the car also comes with standard front and rear anti-roll bars, three-way adjustable dampers, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and the largest brakes ever fitted to a Lotus production car.
Inside the cabin, you'll find exposed carbon fiber everywhere, Lotus racing seats, and an Alcantara steering wheel. It also features an open-gate, 6-speed manual transmission mated to a racing clutch for ultra-fast gear changes.
The Exige Cup 430 Ultimate Edition is now on sale in the U.K., France, and Germany for the equivalent of $131,267–– we doubt it will come stateside.