NewUsed

Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

The $100,000 Lotus you can't drive to the track

The first Exige V6 Cup models have arrived in the U.S.

By Exhaust Notes Jan 9, 2013 12:28PM
What you see here is a brand-new Lotus that's been banned from our roads for not fitting smarty-pants airbags.

It's the Exige V6 Cup, a track-only model of a car that Lotus no longer imports due to federal laws requiring "smart airbags" with passenger-seat sensors. On a track, there are no pesky laws or insurance companies to spoil the fun, except it's illegal to drive this Exige home in the U.S. without a trailer.

According to Lotus, three have been imported in the past few weeks and only an additional dozen or so will arrive all year, "depending on demand" for the midengine, $100,450 sports car.

Lotus Exige V6 Cup (c) Lotus
The V6 Cup is an extreme take on the already hard-core Exige S, which features the same supercharged 345-horsepower V6 engine featured in the Evora S, which we can drive to the store (both are plucked from a Toyota Camry). The Cup model adds a full roll cage, fire extinguisher, special front splitter, rear wing, diffuser, adjustable dampers and a forged aluminum suspension that drops this gorgeous little body within a fingernail's length of its tires. As this Lotus weighs only 2,381 pounds, getting to 60 mph takes 3.8 seconds, about the same as a new Porsche 911 Carrera S for the same money.

Unlike the 911 or the race-ready 911 GT3 RS, the regular Exige is the rawest of raw sports cars. It doesn't even have power steering. On the V6 Cup, air conditioning is an $1,800 option, triple that of four 18-inch diamond-cut wheels. Most, if not all, of the V6 Cup cars will race in the Lotus USA Cup, a Lotus-only race series for Lotus owners.

Lotus Exige V6 Cup (c) Lotus
An even hotter V6 Cup R is reserved for Europe, featuring an upgrade to 361 horsepower and a reduction of 88 pounds. A sequential racing gearbox with paddle shifters, as seen above, is also at the ready.

By 2015, Lotus will release a new Exige that will be street-legal in our country. At least we're not completely missing out in the meantime.

[Source: Lotus, account required]

0Comments
MSN Money

ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES

Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.

Have a story idea? Tip us off at exhaustnotes@live.com.