|Lotus Exige Cup 260|
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Lotus Sport, the motor sport division of Lotus Cars Ltd, has unveiled the MY2008 Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260. A direct development of the 2007 Exige Cup Car, this year's car has a revised engine management system to take the maximum power output to 257 hp (260 PS), up by nearly 5 hp (5 PS) over last year. Bespoke performance enhancements created to offer a car with even greater levels of handling and acceleration capable of taming Europe's most challenging race circuits.
The Exige Cup 260, once again represents Lotus' most radical version of the Exige, with the track environment being its home and for 2008, the Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260 has full European homologation for road use (a must have for some competitive environments where a road legal car has to be entered).
In traditional Lotus style, weight saving is paramount. Weighing in at just 928 kg, the power to weight ratio is an impressive 271 hp / tonne (273 PS / tonne). Such a fantastic power to weight ratio alone of course does not make a superlative track car, so the Exige Cup 260 has a formidable list of standard equipment that includes Lotus specific LTS compound Yokohama A048R tyres, 4-piston AP Racing front brake calipers, adjustable dampers and anti-roll bar, the latest FIA 6-point roll cage and sports driver and passenger seats. The car can also be ordered as a Track version for track use only. The Track Version comes pre-fitted with an FIA approved 6-point roll cage, and 4-point harnesses. In addition, a wide range of motorsport specific options are also available with this version.
The Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260 is one of the quickest cars around a circuit. Key to this incredible performance is the aerodynamic package, which produces over 40 kg of downforce at 160 kmh increasing grip and stability at higher speeds. With a top speed of 247 kmh (147 mph) and a zero to 160 kmh (100 mph) in circa 9.9 seconds, 0 to 100 kmh in circa 4.1 seconds (0 to 60 mph in circa 4 seconds), the MY2008 Exige Cup 260 is the perfect partner for the serious racer. Combined Fuel Consumption is 9.1 l/100km and the CO2 emissions 216 g/km.
The Exige Cup 260 is available now for sale in mainland Europe at EUR56,034, exclusive of local taxes and on the road charges. You will find the individual retail prices for some major European markets in a separate list at the end of this release.
Mike J Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer Group Lotus plc said: "In keeping with our racing and high performance sports car heritage, we are very pleased to launch this exceptionally exciting, phenomenal-handling Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260. This is yet another example of how Lotus Cars and high-tech engineering with Lotus Sport, can transform an already brilliant road car into an exceptionally high performance product for the track."
The supercharged and intercooled engine in the Exige Cup 260 has a maximum power output of 260 PS (257 hp) at 8000 rpm and a torque figure of 236 Nm (174 lbft) at 6000 rpm. This significant amount of extra power and torque now available together with the VVTL-i variable cam system ensures that there is a smooth and linear surge of power from low engine speeds all the way to the maximum 8000 rpm (8500 rpm transient for 2 seconds). 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 air enters via the enhanced roof scoop) before being fed into the engine itself. All charge air ducting has been kept as short as possible with large diameter pipes to minimise restriction and maximise throttle response and efficiency. Four high capacity injectors and an uprated fuel pump add additional fuel under hard acceleration or continuous high speed driving.
A sports-type clutch plate and heavy duty clutch cover transfer the engine power and torque to the lightweight C64 six-speed gearbox (with an aluminium casing) - with the same perfectly spaced ratios as the Exige S. A Torsen type limited slip differential is fitted as standard, with a plate type limited slip differential available as an option. Keen to pass on lessons learned on the track with the Exige GT3 racing programme, Lotus Sport has contributed another important technology - launch control combined with variable traction control. This combo has already made its production debut with the track-oriented Lotus 2-Eleven.
From the driver's seat the launch control allows you to determine the number of revs you wish to use during a standing start. Having programmed that limit, you then hold your foot down hard on the throttle and sidestep the clutch at departure from the line time. The clutch damper cushions the severity of the clutch / transmission engagement to minimise the stresses to the drivetrain (noting that abusive/ continuous standing start applications will destroy the drivetrain components). The launch control also keeps wheelspin at bay until 6 mph, after which the traction control assumes its duties.
As with launch control, you can control the amount of traction control you require from the driver's seats, altering it on the move to suit the characteristics of particular corners. The amount of traction control can be varied in over 30 increments from an optimum 7 percent tyre slip to completely off. The message display in the new instrument pack displays what degree of traction control you have currently dialled in. An Accusump (engine oil accumulator unit) is included in the whole package as an oil reservoir back-up for extreme track use ensuring that, under those conditions, the engine oil pressure remains constant.
The new instrument pack fitted to the whole of the MY2008 Exige and Elise range is also carried over to the Sport Exige Cup 260. It is more than just a fresh pair of stylishly back-lit dials. It also features a high-definition LCD message panel that can display a scrolling text message with vehicle systems information. The new instrument pack always displays the fuel gauge, engine temperature and odometer, however you can select to display the time, trip distance or a digital read-out of your speed in the opposite calibration to that of your speedometer dial - if your dial is in mph, the readout is in km/h and vice-versa. Warning symbols are 'secret until lit', keeping the instrumentation free from visual clutter and distraction until absolutely necessary. New gearchange 'shift' lights similarly remain hidden until required. There are three shift up lights, cumulatively lighting when the driver is getting closer to the rev limiter and when all three are illuminated, they flash to indicate that you're almost on the rev limiter so time to change up a gear!
In response to forthcoming legislation, the Exige Cup 260 has a new "Thatcham approved" alarm/immobiliser system. This, in turn, has enabled the new Lotus design of key that incorporates the controls for the alarm/immobiliser and central locking functions. This upmarket key fob features three buttons, the one which locks the doors and sets the alarm/immobiliser is stylishly crowned with the famous Lotus roundel. The second button unlocks the doors and de-actives the alarm/immobiliser, and the final button is a panic button.
The Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260 retains the full length roof scoop from the outgoing Sport Exige Cup 255, which improves the intake ambient air flow rate, so allowing the Exige Cup 260 to gain a higher charge density in the cylinders.
The brake system includes large diameter 308 mm 2-piece aluminium belled cast iron 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 and stainless steel braided brake hoses - all linked to the proven Lotus track tuned servo-assisted four-channel ABS system that enhances braking performance and minimizes stopping distance without taking over from the skill of the driver.
Adjustable dampers and a stiffened and adjustable front anti-roll bar allows customers to tailor the handling characteristics of the car to their own requirements. As the Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260 cars are equipped for track use, a double shear track control arm brace is provided to cope with the expected kerb abuse during racing or hard track day driving.
Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260 cars have the safety equipment expected of a race car, with sports seats, 3-point "Webb Lock" harnesses (4-point driver and passenger seat belt harnesses are provided for track use only). The 6-point roll cage is FIA approved and is provided with the vehicle as a no-cost option for dealer fit after delivery. Completing the additional safety equipment is An electronic ignition kill switch with cockpit and external activation and a plumbed electrically activated fire extinguisher system, again with cockpit and external panic switches.
The standard specification Lotus Sport Exige Cup 260 is road legal within the European Union, and can be registered for road use. The vehicle is supplied with a separate FIA approved 6-point roll cage and 4-point harnesses. These are for track use only and can be installed by an authorized Lotus dealer at the request of the customer. Other track options are available from Lotus Sport that can be fitted during production. Vehicles fitted with these parts cannot be road registered.
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