ONLY 10 of them were sent to Australia, and the last two have just been released for sale — one in Melbourne, the other at Autostrada, the Lotus and Haval dealership in Perth.

It’s the Lotus Exige Cup 430, now lighter and with more power, to make it the famed British brand’s ultimate sports car.

Powered by a Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6, with an American Edelbrock supercharger replacing the earlier Harrop unit, it now produces an eye-popping 320kW and 440Nm, sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

The tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (215/45 ZR17 front and 285/30 ZR18 rear).

Autostrada principal Paul Lombardi said the Exige Cup 430 could accelerate to 100km/h in just 3.3 seconds and was good for a top speed of 290km/h.

“The Exige Cup 430 is destined to be a highlight of the Lotus marque and with all 10 releases into Australia being a different colour, each Cup 430 will be a truly unique sports car.”

Each car also has its unique numbered plaque, and the Daytona Blue one at Autostrada will probably have a 10/10 plate, which is also a neat score for such an exclusive car.

The sleek vehicle features a variable traction control system with six settings and a set of forged, four-piston AP racing brakes provide serious stopping power.  

Downforce has also been greatly improved by the use of some restyled body parts.

A new ultra-lightweight front clam with unique carbon fibre ducts has wider radiator apertures and a new mesh pattern grille to provide a more combative aspect, and to allow for a new front splitter and air curtain mechanism to reduce drag.

The lightweight rear clam panel supports the larger, straight motorsport wing to increase downforce without impacting upon the car’s overall drag coefficient.

The new design front and rear clam panels are 6.8kg lighter than those on any other Exige.

The interior has new carbon fibre interior elements, among them carbon seats that helped cut the car’s mass by a massive 66kg to 1059kg.

The Cup 430 also comes with a tremendously strong, yet light, T45 steel rollover bar, new seatbelt anchorage frame, a lithium-ion battery and front towing eye as standard, as well as a host of options including electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls, airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.

Price? $199,000 plus on-roads.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.