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by George Skentzos

Lotus is set to make its official return to Targa Tasmania next month with the global tarmac rally debut of the Exige Cup 260, its fastest road registrable model yet.

The near showroom-spec Cup 260 takes the Lotus mantra to new levels, boasting incredible power of 192kW in a car which weighs just 890kg.

Using advanced lightweight components and carbon fibre elements, the Cup 260 is a further 45kg lighter than the already featherweight Exige S.

Targa Tasmania debut for Lotus Cup 260

This includes lightweight wheels with the seats, body panels, front splitter, roof scoop, rear wing, dash and roof panel all finished in carbon fibre as well as a lightweight battery which all contribute to the five per cent weight reduction.

As Lotus founder Colin Chapman famously said: “horsepower makes you fast in a straight line, lightness makes you fast everywhere”.

Modifications to the ECU and exhaust have lifted peak power from the supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder to 192kW, from its base of 163kW in the Exige S.

Targa Tasmania debut for Lotus Cup 260

Acceleration is rapid, taking just 4.1 seconds to reach 100km/h from a standstill with the help of a launch control function.

Lotus Cars Australia General Manager Jonathan Stretton is enthused of the prospect of seeing Lotus compete again: “With the Cup 260, we have the ideal Exige for those with a passion for track days and motorsport. Following customer demand, and the request for a hard-core performance car with dual abilities, the Cup 260 is fully homologated for road registration and opens up a myriad of track day and motorsport options.”

Despite boasting an assortment of racing paraphernalia such as fully adjustable suspension, AP Racing brakes, fire extinguisher and battery cut-out systems – these are simply standard features of the Cup 260.

The only addition for its role in Targa Tasmania has been a Lotus Sport roll cage, although this is still available as a factory fitted accessory from Lotus.

“With a number of Lotus Elise and Exige vehicles competing in recent years, we thought Targa Tasmania was perfect timing and an ideal platform to showcase the Cup 260 – it’s been 10 years since a Lotus Elise finished third outright at Targa, so the time was right to show that we are still committed to core Lotus values. Being the Cup 260’s global tarmac rally debut makes it even more special.”

The Lotus Cup 260 retails for $139,900 making it one of the least expensive race-prepared cars to feature in the top of the Targa field.




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