This is Lotus’ special edition homage to the Type 25 F1 racer, and it is glorious

What do you call a special edition car that’s based on a special edition car? A special, special edition? Whatever it is, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 fits the bill. It’s a special edition version of the special edition Exige Cup 430. It’s limited to just 25 units, and its scarcity is attributed to the Lotus Type 25, the first F1 car that came with a stressed monocoque chassis that ultimately became the blueprint for all future F1 racers. The Type 25 also happens to be the same racer that gave Lotus its first driver’s and constructor’s championships. If these distinctions aren’t enough to make it worthy of receiving a special edition model, I don’t know what it’s going to take to get one.

  • 2018 Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25
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  • Engine:
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  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.2 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    180 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
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  • body style:

What makes the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 special

2018 Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25
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On the outside, it’s available in two different body colors: Lotus Racing Green or Old English White.

Nobody does special edition models like Lotus. Sure, there are faster, more powerful, and more expensive SEs, but from the perspective of giving us pure joy, Lotus does it better than most.

Take the Exige Cup 430 Type 25, for example. It has all the elements of a bona fide special edition. It’s based on a car — in this case, a race car — that has a rich history of its own. It’s limited to just 25 units, magnifying its limited-run status. It’s even based on a car — the Exige Cup 430 — that has its own special edition lineage. If you want a textbook definition of a special edition car, it’s the Lotus Exige Cup Type 25.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s look at what gives this sprightly Exige Cup 430 that distinction.

On the outside, it’s available in two different body colors: Lotus Racing Green or Old English White. No matter your choice — we’d go with the Lotus Racing Green all day — the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 will also receive a smattering of yellow and black accents throughout its body. Customers can pick and choose which spots they want to get the accents, but renderings of the special edition Exige show that accents can be placed on the hood, roof, and fascia, among other places. Customers can also opt to get contrasting pinstripes on certain sections of the car, including the front splitter, front access panel, roof panel, rear wing, and the new and unique bargeboards that we see on the sides of the sports car.

2018 Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25
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The interior of the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 bears a striking resemblance to the interior of the model it’s based on, right down to the sick-to-look-at open-gate shifter

The interior of the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 bears a striking resemblance to the interior of the model it’s based on, right down to the sick-to-look-at open-gate shifter. There’s not much to look at here because, in typical Lotus fashion, every component that’s deemed unnecessary in the pursuit of speed and performance is taken out. That leaves us with a simple dash layout, an uncluttered central console, and not much else.

The good news is that customers don’t have to leave the cabin looking as spartan as they come. For the sake of adding a more premium look to the interior, Lotus is offering a good amount of bespoke detailing using materials like leather and Alcantara. There’s an option to go overboard with the good stuff if there’s a need to overcompensate for the lack of modern styling, but there’s also an option to simply dress up the cabin with a range of color options. The ones you see in the rendering appear to be the same Lotus Racing Green color and the matching yellow stitching. It’s simple, but evocative, exactly what Lotus is supposed to be about.

Sitting underneath this tribute to the iconic Type 25 Formula One racer is a 3.5-liter supercharged V-6 that produces 430 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. It’s the exact power numbers attached to the Exige Cup 430, which means that we’re looking at an extra 55 horses compared to the Exige Cup 380 and close to 100 ponies more than the Exige Sport 350. All that power helps the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds before maxing out at a top speed of 180 mph. Gnarly stuff.

2018 Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25
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For those lucky enough to get one, the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 retails in the U.K. for £110,000, which converts to a little more than $150,000.

As incredible as the special edition Exige Cup 430 is, it has a downside. By virtue of the car paying tribute to a racer with “25” in its name, Lotus only plans to build 25 units of the Type 25. Each model will come with a numbered certificate of authenticity, signed by CEO signed by Jean-Marc Gales, a matching plaque in the cabin, and even a signed hardback copy of the book: Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion by Eric Dymock signed by Clive Chapman, and Bob Dance.

If all of that is appealing, now’s the time to score one of the 25 units that Lotus is offering. Unfortunately, they’re only available in the U.K., Germany, France, and Italy. That means that those living in the U.S. are out of luck again. For those lucky enough to get one, the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 retails in the U.K. for £110,000, which converts to a little more than $150,000. If you live in either Germany, France, or Italy, the cost of one unit ranges from €140,000 to €146,000, or around $171,000 to almost $180,000.


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Without equal and a class apart: the new Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 is a collector’s piece like no other and a fitting tribute to one of the most successful and influential Formula 1 cars of all time.

Based on the celebrated Exige Cup 430, unveiled at the end of last year, the two-seat Type 25 is a unique opportunity to relish a universally acclaimed sports car named in partnership with Classic Team Lotus. Referencing the Type 25, the single seat Lotus racing car that dominated the 1963 season, the new car features a raft of exotic and unique features as well as specially commissioned heritage documentation.

Powered by Lotus’ formidable 3.5-litre supercharged and charge cooled V6, producing 430 hp and 440 Nm, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 is not only the fastest in its class, sprinting from 0-60 in just 3.2 seconds, its carefully optimised aerodynamics generate up to 220 kg of downforce.

Classic Team Lotus preserve and promote the history of the race team that operated from 1954-1994, and Lotus has worked with Clive Chapman, Director and son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, so that this edition proudly wears a Type 25 classification in tribute to a legendary Formula 1 car. Helping mark Lotus’ historic motorsport successes, this bespoke version of Lotus’ quickest real-world sports car is ensured instant collector status.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “We are proud to have named this unique Lotus Exige Cup 430 in honour of the Lotus Type 25, a car which left an indelible mark on the development of motorsport. It was revolutionary when introduced and the first car to win Lotus a Constructor’s World Championship, the first of seven. It is a perfect example of Lotus’ design philosophy – light, yet incredibly strong and peerless on the racetrack. That same ethos, our company DNA, is found in the Exige Cup 430 Type 25, which is lighter than its predecessors and even more powerful. Combined with a class-leading balance in handling and agility, it’s our ultimate point-to-point two-seater sports car.”

Just 25 editions of this landmark vehicle will be produced, each accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity, signed by Jean-Marc Gales, and proudly wearing a matching plaque detailing its number in the limited production run. Owners have the option of collecting their Exige Cup 430 Type 25 from the famous Hethel factory as well as guided tours of Lotus’ modern vehicle production facility and of the Classic Team Lotus facility. A signed hardback copy of the acclaimed book: Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion by Eric Dymock signed by Clive Chapman, and Bob Dance, a principal mechanic for Jim Clark during his Formula 1 race career, accompanies every car.

The Type 25 – pole position

Driven by some of the greatest names in racing, including Jim Clark, Mike Hailwood, Chris Amon, and Richard Attwood, the Lotus Type 25 competed against the best on the grid from 1962 to 1967, and changed the evolution of racing cars forever. Abandoning existing conventions, it was the first Formula 1 car to use a revolutionary fully stressed ‘monocoque’ chassis design, reinforcing Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s reputation as a ground-breaking engineer. It led directly to the Lotus Type 33 and Type 49 racing cars, themselves championship winning designs.

Winning three Formula 1 races in its first year, at the hands of the talented Jim Clark, the Type 25 just missed out on the Constructors’ Championship in the final race. For the 1963 season the Lotus Type 25 reigned supreme, winning seven of the ten championship races, with seven pole positions and six fastest laps, and recording the first Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships for the Lotus team.

As befitting a multiple champion, the new Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 takes its inspiration from the race car, with the Hethel-based company’s quickest real-world sports car as its starting point, before being lavished with time and materials to produce something special.

Distinguishing the edition, every Exige Cup 430 Type 25’s unique livery is appropriately finished in metallic Lotus Racing Green, or Old English White, with subtle but sharp contrasting pinstripes on the front splitter, front access panel, new and unique bargeboards, roof panel and rear wing, as well as unique decals on each rear buttress. The work of the increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive programme, the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design, as well as a nod to the brand’s heritage.

Drawing on the same high-performance installation as the Exige Cup 430, the Type 25 employs a supercharger and chargecooler designed specifically for the unique demands of the engine. With a blistering 430 hp at 7,000 rpm and 440 Nm (325 lbft) of torque from 4,000 rpm, 0-60mph is achieved in just 3.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.3 seconds) before reaching a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h). With all this power, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 is one of the fastest ever road cars to lap the Hethel circuit, covering the 2.2 miles in just 1 minute 24.8 seconds.

Built for the road, but with a track focus, motorsport inspired aerodynamics play their part in defining the car’s performance. The carbon front splitter with trailing lip helps separate and speed airflow under the car and the inclusion of new air curtain elements into the front clam panel efficiently moves air though to the front wheel cavities to help reduce turbulence and drag generated by the front wheels. The front louvers reduce the pressure within the front wheel arches, increasing downforce. At the rear, large cut-out sections behind the rear wheels also reduce wheel arch pressure, boosting downforce. Coupled with the high-set rear wing and rear diffuser, these elements work in harmony to generate up to 220 kg of downforce.

Available as standard with a six-speed manual transmission, the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 features Lotus’ acclaimed open-gate manual gearbox, designed specifically for fast and fluid shifts. The Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 also includes a variable traction control function, linked directly to the ECU. The six-position rotary switch is located on the steering column, and only active with ESP switched to off, with five pre-set traction levels as well as “off”, displayed via the instrument cluster.

The Exige is renowned for its ride and handling, but the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 sharpens this with Nitron three-way adjustable dampers (tuning rebound, as well as low-speed and high-speed compression) and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars, as standard. The car’s motorsport theme continues with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear), fitted to ultra-lightweight, fully machined, forged aluminium wheels in black sun rims, while forged, four-piston AP Racing brake calipers and race-derived two-piece, J-hook brake discs provide improved bite and consistent stopping power after extended track work. Contrasting colour brake calipers, set against the black wheels complete the car’s distinctive exterior.

Composite technology plays a considerable role in the Exige’s construction, with every area reconsidered in order to shed unnecessary mass. The car’s composite body panels influence the car’s styling as well as its aerodynamics and include high-gloss visible weave carbon components include front splitter, front clam, air blades, unique bargeboards, roof panel, rear tailgate, straight-cut wing and diffuser surround. The extensive weight saving even extends to the lightweight titanium exhaust system, fitted as standard, which is 10kg lighter than the stainless-steel alternative.

The racing lines continue inside with the Type 25 edition’s unique interior pack. Lotus’ in-house manufactured carbon race seats, trimmed in black Alcantara®, feature bespoke trim, with a custom stripe for the head and backrest as well as new contrast double stitching which is matched in the door panels and face-level vents. Bodywork keyed colour inserts for the seats, transmission console, HVAC surround and window switches are complemented by the cabin’s anodised aluminium and carbon fibre elements, including dashboard inserts and instrument binnacle cover. In a nod to the original Lotus Type 25 Formula 1 car, the Exige Cup 430 Type 25 comes with a wooden gear selector knob.

As standard the new Exige Cup 430 Type 25 includes air conditioning, an in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, cruise control, a full carpet set and floor mats. Buyers can tailor their cars with a colour change of the door mirror caps and with the deletion of some standard fit items, including the air conditioning, stereo system and carpet set.

Announcing the new car, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said: “Although the Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 is street legal, it blurs the line between road and race car to provide owners with an unbeatable blend of power, road holding, intuitive handling at any speed. On everyday open roads it rewards its driver with a pure analogue experience, like only a Lotus can, yet venture onto the track and you’ll find a depth in performance that only the very best driver can truly exploit. Like the Lotus Type 25 in 1963, this car is without any rival.”

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