For those of us that obsess over manufacturer-based sports cars which exercise a less-is-more approach to dynamism, and methodically extract power to compliment the advantage of a lack of weight. The name Lotus stands above most, if not all.
The original Series 1 Lotus Exige caused quite a stir when launched in 2000 - a lighter and more powerful version of the brand’s already successful “Elise”. It utilised a 1.8 L Rover K Series Inline-four engine in VHPD (Very High-Performance Derivative) tune, producing 177 bhp in standard form. 604 Series 1 cars were produced until 2002 when work began on its replacement.
Launched at the Geneva motor show in 2004, the 189bhp S2 Exige had more horsepower than the hairy-chested VHPD version of the S1, but with a notable improvement – the dependability of a Toyota-sourced 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, VVTL-i engine. And while it may have lacked the rabid frenzy of the highly tuned old Rover lump, its two-stage power delivery – courtesy of variable valve timing and lift – gave a buzz akin to an old-school turbo coming on-boost. With its track-developed chassis and downforce-producing rear wing, the Exige S2 swiftly established itself as a circuit star, eclipsing the Elise and measuring up favourably (particularly when the price was thrown into the equation) to exotic versions of the 911.
As the years roll on, striving to maintain Colin Chapman's definitive ethos of the importance of the connection between the road, the motor car and the driver becomes more restrictive and also more expensive than ever before. However, the advancement of technology and widespread use of composites has kept the magic alive and the destination 1000kg is just in eyesight. What the 430 Cup offers is something for everyone and a lot more power for those that require it.
The supercharged 3.5 litre V6 430 CUP is supercar fast, 3.2 seconds to 60mph with a top speed of 174 mph. Meeting these heady figures the Norfolk CAD designers have created Carbon Fibre panels that both excel in Form and Function. Carbon Fibre dominates the length of the Exige, starting at the front splitter, to the access panel, the removable hood, the rear clam, the flat rear wing and an aesthetically pleasing rear diffuser. Supporting the unassisted steering by feeding a maximum sensory experience are the superb Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. These wonder bands of rubber are now very usable all year round, plus they have a large operating window at high temperatures particularly with lighter weight sports cars such as the Exige. From fast road use to competition endurance racing, AP Racing 2 piece discs and pads are a winning combination and unsurprisingly they are enlisted on this special model. From the road to the track, Schroth Harnesses are there to harness your experience, however, there is the added benefit of conventional seat belts for a slighter quicker getaway.
The car that we have for sale is rather special indeed. This is the first example to roll off the Hethel production line as confirmed by Lotus dealership, Bell & Colvill. First registered in March 2018, this single owner Lotus is showing just 15,636 miles from registration. An impeccable maintenance record from new, the service book proudly shows four main dealer stamps, including the important 1,000-mile service at 999 miles. The most recent Lotus Service Centre visit was in November 2020 at 15,600 miles.
This example is covered by the Bell & Colvill Lotus Superior warranty, transferable to the new owner and whilst currently expiring in February 2021, it will be possible to extend.
Boasting a well-chosen spec level both from the factory and later during the 2.5-year tenure. This Lotus’s unique identity is listed below.
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