LA Auto Show Preview: Lotus Sport Exige Cup

The lightness-loving beings at Lotus revealed their latest US model, a club racer based on the Exige coupe. The Lotus Sport Exige Cup is a track-day-only model, with a boost to 252-hp via a Roots-type, Eaton M62 supercharger and some hacks to the Lotus engine management system. The company says the 1,800-lb sled can get from zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds (and to 100 mph in 9.8 seconds), and has a top speed of 160 mph. Not street legal, the Sport Exige Cup is a turnkey racer, with SCCA-compliant roll cage, FIA approved Recaro / Lotus sport seats, six-point driver's harness and Yokohama slicks. A 70-liter fuel cell is a $3095 option, as is limited-slip diff ($1,595), traction control ($495) and — sin of sins — air conditioning, at $2495.

LA Auto Show Preview: Lotus Sport Exige CupS

Press Release:

MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup -adrenaline boosting fun from the latest Lotus track car - USA Specification

Los Angeles, CA (November 30 2006) - Lotus Cars USA, the subsidiary of Lotus Cars in North America, today unveiled the MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup. Unveiled at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, the 252 hp, supercharged and intercooled sportscar is a completely out-of-the-box track car with a specification designed to prepare the budding driver for the grid at some of the finest and most challenging circuits in North America.

Weight has been kept to an ultra low 1800 pounds and the phenomenal power to weight ratio has been further enhanced by increasing the power output from 243 hp to 252 hp. Weight saving (or adding lightness!) has been achieved through the effective use of lightweight materials and through the eradication of all non-essential components such roof trim, carpets,front mudflaps, central locking and bulkhead trim. Of course just having fantastic power to weight doesn't make a car a high performer on the track, so the Lotus Sport Exige Cup has a list of standard equipment that includes track only slick tires, uprated 4-piston front brakes, adjustable dampers and adjustable anti-sway bar, the latest SCCA-compliant roll cage, FIA approved Lotus Sport branded driver's seat with six-point driver harness (there is no passenger seat) and a lightweight rear screen (instead of glass). The options are even more race focused with a FIA approved 70 litre fuel cell, air-jack system and level two stainless steel exhaust with de-cat pipe, a plate type limited slip differential and Star Shield.

The Lotus Sport Exige Cup is one of the quickest cars around a circuit. Key to this incredible performance is the aerodynamic package, which produces over 90 pounds of downforce at 100 mph increasing grip and ultimately safety at higher speeds. With a top speed of close to 160 mph and a zero to 100 mph slingshot in just less than 9.8 seconds (the 60 mph sprint takes just under 3.9 seconds), the MY2007 Lotus Sport Exige Cup is the perfect partner to a serious track day enthusiast. Even the most exotic supercars would gle to keep up! At a MSRP of just $84,990, plus options, delivery and taxes, customer will have to queue on a first ordered, first delivered basis.

Further details about the Lotus Sport Exige Cup:

Engine
The supercharged and intercooled engine in the Lotus Sport Exige Cup has a maximum power output of 252 hp at 8000 rpm and a torque figure of approximately 179 lb-ft, at 7000 rpm. This vast amount of extra power and torque now available means that the cam change between the low-speed cam and the high-speed cam is variable to ensure that there is a smooth and linearsurge of power from low engine speeds all the way to the maximum 8000 rpm. The Roots-type Eaton M62 supercharger (with a sealed-for-life internal mechanism meaning that it does not require the use of the engine's oil) is run from the crankshaft and has an integral bypass valve for part load operation. Charge air (air under pressure from the supercharger) is cooled through an air-to-air intercooler (the cooling air enters via the roof scoop) before being fed into the engine itself. All charge air ducting has been kept as short as possible with large diameter pipes making sure that the bends in these ducts are not too tight, to the benefit of throttle response and efficiency. Four high capacity injectors add additional fuel under hard acceleration or high speed driving.

A sports-type clutch plate and heavy duty clutch cover transfers the engine power and torque to the lightweight C64 six-speed gearbox (with an aluminum casing) - with the same perfectly spaced ratios as the Exige S. A plate type limited slip differential is fitted as an option as is the Lotus switchable traction control system (LTCS). The LTCS system works through the engine,reducing power to maintain traction, is active above 5 mph and operates much more quickly
than many brake-based systems.

An Accusump (engine oil accumulator unit) is included in the whole package as an oil reservoir backup for extreme track use ensuring that, under these conditions, the engine oil pressure
remains constant. Twin oil coolers complete the powertrain package.

Wheels and Tires

5-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels in silver are shod with Lotus specific Yokohama slick tires to maximise grip and achieve the ride and handling targets set by Lotus

Brakes

The brake system includes large diameter 308 mm 2-piece aluminum belled cross drilled and ventilated front discs and 282 mm cross-drilled and ventilated discs at the rear, upgraded Pagid RS14 sports brake pads set into the brake calipers (AP Racing two piece radially mounted, 4 piston at the front and Brembo sliding at the rear), high grade silicone brake fluid, stainless steel braided brake hoses all linked to the proven Lotus track tuned servo-assisted four-channel ABS system that enhances braking performance and minimising stopping distance without taking over from the skill of the driver.

Suspension

Suspension is provided by hlins springs and two-way adjustable dampers (which have 22 compression and 60 rebound settings and ride height adjustable perches to reduce the ride height from 130 mm to 120 mm) and an adjustable front anti-sway bar (five settings). Full instructions and recommended settings are provided to allow customers to tailor the handling characteristics of the car to their own requirements.

As the Lotus Sport Exige Cup cars are modified for track use, a double shear track control arm brace is provided to cope with the expected kerb abuse during racing and hard track day driving.

Safety Equipment

The Lotus Sport Exige Cup cars have the safety equipment that is expected for a track car with 6-point seat belt harness on the driver's side (with an FIA approved Recaro / Lotus Sport seat) - there is no passenger seat. The full roll cage is SCCA compliant and completing the additional safety equipment is a mechanical ignition kill switch with cockpit and external activation and a plumbed electrical fire suppression system, again with cockpit and external activation.

Exhaust System

A "Level One" stainless steel sports exhaust is fitted with the bifurcated exhaust pipes exiting from the centre of the anodized-finished 3-piece rear diffuser. A "Level Two" stainless steel exhaust with de-cat pipe is a no cost option.

Option costs:

FIA approved 70 litre fuel cell - $3095
Lotus Sport limited slip differential (plate type) - $1595
Lotus Traction Control System - $495
Air jack system (special conditions apply) - $5495
Air-conditioning - $2495
Metallic paint - $590
Lifestyle Paint - $1200
Star Shield protection - $995.

Related:
Supercharged Lotus Exige S Coming to the US [internal]