Lotus Exige V6 Cup: Less features, more speedThe Exige S may have been the most hardcore Lotus we have driven to date but the British sportscar maker handed us the keys to the stripped down Exige V6 Cup, a car that firmly proves that less is more. We may now have to re-evaluate the meaning of hardcore.
[MUSIC] [MUSIC] It seems I was a little premature when I said the Exige S, a brilliant car, was the ultimate Lotus because according to the company it isn't. This is the Exige V6 Cup. [MUSIC] [NOISE] We've been given a sliver of time to have a go in the hardcore-est of the hardcore Lotuses to find out exactly what happens when you lose weight and add anger. This isn't a car designed for comfort. Hell, it's barely been designed for the road. As with any Exige, it's only got one thing in mind. Speed, speed, and more speed. In the middle of the car, you get a three and a half liter supercharged V6. It's not the same V6 you get in the standard Exige and of course [INAUDIBLE] S. That means you've got 345 brake horsepower and 295 [INAUDIBLE] to play with. And because this is a super hardcore car, when I mean to get a few extra bits and quite a bit taken away. [MUSIC] For example, the Cup is 60 kilos lighter than the regular Exige S. You have less sound deadening, no radio, a lightweight seat, no airbags to contend with. There's also a removable roll cage, an electrical cut off switch, race harness, and a fire extinguisher in case of, you know, fire. It's not that different visually from the more sanitized car. There's some black paint and Union flags, but really, that's it. Well, that and a whacking great tow hook on the nose. [MUSIC] What I really wanna know is whether this is Lotus's take on a 911 GT3 RS, or, whether it's simply a race car with some road tires slapped on, this is eligible for a number of race series. And then when you're done with this one, you can upgrade to an R, which is just more of everything. And when you think about it, the standard Exige isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, on the road. That's a needlessly lease and, they both have sound deadening. Because a 911 GT3 RS is a benchmark, it's the kind of car that you aspire to for years because you want the purest version of a car that's been doing around since forever. Lotus, like Porsche once was, is a giant killer. It's cars are light, nimble, and crazy fast and they've also got that glint in their eye that shows you they mean business. The Exige is a truly brilliant car but what Lotus has done with this is they've just, they've made it feel more responsive. The gear shift is sharper and the powers in its rear is just instant. Oh good lord. [NOISE] And that's just tickling it. You can tickle it and go so incredibly quickly, and you can feel the balance of it. Lotus has created a truly wonderful machine in this. The standard Exige is a really, really good car, I love it to bits. Road, and track. Yeah, on the road it's not very comfortable, but good god it can pick up pace. This however, that weight loss, you can really feel it, when you push it, it picks up speed with just a little bit more urgency, and it brakes just a little bit sharper. And the brakes are really good, you get lots of lovely pedal feel, it's nice and progressive, and this thing corners so flat. It feels so steady and so sturdy. It's no wonder it's been designed to go racing really, but, this is the kind of car you can pick up, drive to the track, do your race, do your track day, and drive home. But, know that you're gonna be faster than the guy with the normal Exige. And I do think that a little bit of this car is more about the prestige of having the faster one, rather than being able to exploit it. A little bit of that in there, don't you think? Just a touch, because there's little to no sound deadening in here [NOISE]. It's more noisy. It's more visceral. It feels better. It sounds better. This is a proper little race car, this. It's only just about road legal, I imagine. Oh! It's so good, it feels so good. Lotus makes awesome cars, we know this. And we know they can be a little bit costly. The cup is £10,000 more than the standard Exige S. And in the standard car you get from one to 62 in four seconds dead, and a top speed knot of 170 miles an hour, so it's hardly a sludge. But for some that simply won't be enough. They want the fastest, the noisiest, the angriest car they can get. And for them, and for me, the V6 cup, well, it's the ultimate Lotus.