Lotus, that archetypal British boutique sportscar maker, is getting all these ambitions and starting to think like a big boy. In the vein of Porsche’s 911, just a little bit, Lotus wants to offer a model suitable for every Tom, Dick and Harry.
The latest in a line of specials that have been coming out of Hethel is yet another hotted up Exige, this time a highly exclusive car dubbed the Exige Cup 430 Type 25, and as the name suggest it’s limited to just 25 examples.
Each is hand built to the Exige Cup 430 track formula, and inspired by the Sixties single-seater made famous by the likes of Jimmy Clark and Chris Amon. Actually it was made famous before turning a wheel in anger, since it was the first Formula 1 car with a stressed monocoque chassis design. In only its first season Clark notched up two Grand Prix wins in the Type 25, and once it was polished up for the second season of racing in 1963 the car won seven out of 10 championship rounds.
Now half a century later the road-legal Exige Cup 430 Type 25 celebrates in spirit, with 407 horsepower per tonne and 220kg of downforce thanks to new bargeboards and rear wing.
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The Toyota sourced-engine utilizes a supercharger to develop 430bhp at 7,000rpm and 440Nm of torque from 4,000rpm — this is good for zero to 100kph in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 290kph largely limited by drag and gearing. The car only weighs 1,056kg which makes it lighter than the lightest Mazda MX-5, and 300kg lighter than something like a Porsche Cayman.
For the Type 25 cars, Lotus is also doing a fancy by its standards interior, with carbon fibre seats, black Alcantara trim, contrasting stitching, and then the best bit, the wooden gear knob for the six-speed manual transmission.
Even though it’s a pretty uncompromising track car, the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 still includes kit like air conditioning, cruise control, and Lotus would also like to add, full carpeting.
On the outside its unmissable, in Lotus Racing Green with contrasting yellow accents.
You can also have it in Old English White for some reason, but you’re only getting started from around Dh600,000.