Stop the presses: Lotus has released a new car and, in news that’ll surprise nobody, it’s another limited edition. Dubbed the (deep breath) Exige Cup Type 25, the green-and-yellow Brit pays tribute to the 1963 Lotus Type 25 that dominated Formula 1.
Power comes from the same 3.5-litre supercharged V6 offered in the ‘regular’ Exige Cup 430, the Cup Type 25 pumps out 321kW and 440Nm for a 3.3-second sprint to 100km/h, and a 290km/h top speed.
Lotus says it’s one of the quickest cars ever around its Hethel test track, lapping the 3.5km circuit in 1:24.8.
How is it so fast? Along with the powerful engine, the Cup Type 25 has mastered the dark art of aerodynamics, developing 220kg of the stuff at speed.
There’s a carbon splitter and new air curtains up front to better direct air along the underbody, coupled with louvres on the wheel arches to lessen the turbulence developed by the front wheels.
Down back, there are large cutouts behind the wheels to reduce pressure, along with a tall rear wing and aggressive, functional diffuser. The aerodynamic elements are made of carbon-fibre, in a push to shave precious kilograms from the already lightweight Exige package. Add a titanium exhaust to the mix, and you’re left with a raw, loud, light special.
There’s a variable traction control function, complete with a six-position controller inside, along with three-way adjustable dampers and adjustable anti-roll bars at both ends. If you’re getting the sense this car is aimed at weekend track warriors, you’d be right.
In keeping with that theme, the car rides on lightweight, machined, forged aluminium wheels measuring 17 inches up front and 18 inches at the rear, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. There are four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and two-piece discs hiding behind those wheels, designed to resist fade during intense track sessions.
Inside, there are in-house carbon-fibre bucket seats, finished with a stripe to match the exterior paint. There are also body-colour inserts on the seats, transmission tunnel, HVAC surrounds and window switches. The gear knob is finished in wood, as a nod to the Type 25 racer.
Just 25 examples will be built. Owners will be able to collect their cars from Hethel, and every car will be sold with a signed, hardback copy of the book Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion.
“We are proud to have named this unique Lotus Exige Cup 430 in honour of the Lotus Type 25, a car which left an indelible mark on the development of motorsport. It was revolutionary when introduced and the first car to win Lotus a Constructor’s World Championship, the first of seven,” Jean Marc Gales, Lotus CEO, said.
“It is a perfect example of Lotus’ design philosophy – light, yet incredibly strong and peerless on the racetrack. That same ethos, our company DNA, is found in the Exige Cup 430 Type 25, which is lighter than its predecessors and even more powerful. Combined with a class-leading balance in handling and agility, it’s our ultimate point-to-point two-seater sports car.”