Introducing… My Lotus Exige 380 Cup

Post by Mark

Last month while visiting the Lotus dealer with a friend of mine, I was given the opportunity to upgrade my car. A friend had ordered a Lotus Exige 380 Cup, but once it arrived at the local dealer he decided he wanted the more powerful 430 Cup instead. So, the dealer gave me first dibs on the car along with a too good to be true buyback offer on my Lotus. So after a lot of deliberation in my head (which mostly sounded like yada yada yada, you only live once, yada yada yada, mid-life crisis, yada yada), I decided to pull the trigger and get the car.

So what are the biggest changes over the Exige I already had? (skip this paragraph if you’re not into cars)

To start with, the 380 Cup is over 100KG lighter than my previous already super light Exige. The Cup weighs in at just 1,057KG! It also produces 375 hp compared to the 345 my previous car made and does 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds. The aerodynamics of the Cup car is also much more aggressive producing over 250KG of downforce compared to my previous Exige. You can really feel the car being pushed down to the ground once you hit high speeds. The wheels are also lighter forged aluminum, and the tires are larger and come with the track and competition Michelin Cup 2 tires. The AP Racing brakes have been upgraded and the gearbox is now a manual instead of paddle-shift and looks incredible with all the metal gearing exposed. The suspension is two-way adjustable so I can make it softer for the road or harder for the track. Finally, the car is covered in carbon fiber, everywhere, from the roof to the interior, even the rear engine window was replaced with a carbon fiber hood to save weight. So yeah, loads of changes compared to my previous Exige and that’s not even including overall usability improvements. I should also add that the 380 Cup is limited to just 60 cars worldwide (and the only one in the region), so its super rare.

I’ve had the car for around 10 days now and I’ve put just a bit over 1,000KM on the car already so I’ve gotten a good feel for it. The Cup is a lot faster than my previous Exige, and because it’s more track-focused, it rides really rough, is pretty noisy and is now even more unpractical than what was already a very unpractical car to begin with.

But I love it.

Its raw, it’s not bullshitting you pretending to be something it isn’t, it’s as honest a car as you can get. And it’s not just me, EVO magazine gave it a 5 out of 5 and Road & Track called it “too much fun to be street legal”. It is too much fun.

I was planning to take the car to Bahrain for their open track day on February 15th, but turns out I need to have at least 3,000KM on the car before tracking it and I don’t think I can get that done in two weeks. So not sure when I’ll have the car on the track but hopefully pretty soon.

If you’re looking for a good place to take car photos by the way, I’d highly recommend the rooftop parking of the complex in front of Mayar in Shuwaikh. I took all the photos here with my iPhone on the roof and loved the spot because of the neutral colors and clean lines. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

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32 comments, add your own...

  1. Crumble says:

    Sweeeeeeeet car

  2. Ipsom says:

    Mabrook! Very very nice 👍

    But I don’t think it’s 100kg lighter the evo article said it’s 5 kg (1105 from 1110) which is no easy feat for a car like this

  3. CAPSULE VEC says:

    Congrats on the upgrade, it’s a really nice car!
    I wouldn’t drive it as a daily though.

    • Mark says:

      It’s hard not to, maybe once the weather gets hot. For now though I need to rack up the miles so I can take it to the track.

      • 3azeez says:

        why do they impose such restriction? I don’t get it.

        • Mark says:

          You mean why I need to have 3,000km on the car before tracking? It’s a recommendation by lotus, the car should be properly run-in before tracking.

        • Del says:

          More chances of the engine going boom if you don’t run it in. Running it in grinds down all the surfaces to their correct tolerances, removing any bumps and stuff in the cylinders and shafts. That’s why you change the oil so frequently in the begining, because it gets filled with metal dust. If you give it the beans without running it in, you could damage your engine.

  4. Congrats on the upgrade, it looks stunning!!!
    And thanks for sharing the location, will come in handy.
    When is the best time to go to the parking (less crowded/empty)?

  5. Kuwait says:

    Congratulations! Wasn’t your car impounded?

  6. Umair Shaikh says:

    Congrats Marks…. Enjoy and Be Safe

  7. Meshari says:

    Well done! Great color!

    How’s the Manual compared to the Auto? I remember the Auto had a brief lag when shifting.

    Are you facing gear not engaging as you release the clutch?

    Did you end up scuffing the car in that area infront of Mayar?

    • Mark says:

      Yeah the auto had a slight lag but the manual is a manual so it changes gears as soon as you engage it. No lag, just depends on how quickly you can shift the gear. Haven’t had any issues with gears not engaging and I haven’t actually read about anyone with an Exige having that issue either, so don’t think thats going to be an issue.

      No scuffing! The car is just a tiny bit lower in the front compared to my previous Exige so no issues scuffing as long as I take things a bit slower.

      • Meshari says:

        The Exige auto had the worst lag I experinced in a sport car. I was going to compare it to my old BRZ but that was very smooth and fast. Kudos on going manual specially for a 2nd car! It’ll be fun.

        Regarding the manual I know some had a problem with the gear slipping due to some kind of flow restrictor on the clutch line, similiar to BMW CDV (Clutch Delay Valve). Making fast gear changes not possible.

        • Mark says:

          That’s the old second generation Exige, my last Exige and current one is the revamped third generation.

          The thread you linked to is 10 years old, they’re talking about a different car. The gear mechanism on my car is the second generation of the third generation Exige’s. Meaning when the third generation Exige launched, it had a different gear system to the ones in the current Exige’s.

          • Meshari says:

            Dude you said “I haven’t actually read about anyone with an Exige having that issue either” I was just pointing it out as the problem did exist and as you can see that some installed a part from toyota to remedy the issue. for people intrested in the new model like myself it is good to know that the problem was finally fixed.

            3rd Gen is not that different from the inside it at all except maybe for a minor thing or two, even the front shell is an easy swap for a 2nd generation car.

            Lotus makes fun track cars but let’s be honest they aren’t the most reliable. having a supercharged toyota engine may be the most realiable thing in it. Yet it is fun regardless and worth the trouble but I have not heard or known someone who have not ran into an issue with a Lotus. even new ones.

            Good thing we finally have a dealership here at least for someone like me I wouldn’t want to drop my car at some random mechanic.

  8. Morey says:

    LOTUS = ” Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious “

  9. Prince Joseph says:

    Congrats Mark.

    The car will look much better without that big spoiler, can you drive without it?

    • Mark says:

      I wouldn’t remove it, it’s part of the cars aerodynamics and it’s what’s giving the downforce along with all the other parts. Function trumps looks.

  10. Khan says:

    Congrats.. enjoyed reading the article, although a few details are noticably missing.. where are the KD figures?

  11. Baher Jaberi says:

    Give it to me and in less than 10 days the car will hit 3000km and you can enjoy the open track day :P

  12. Omar Shafiq says:

    It’s a great looking car MaShaAllah!

    Since they bought back your car giving you a good offer, and even though you paid more for this, In my opinion you’ve made the right decision. Plus you have a manual and it must feel so much better and it definitely would perform better than the auto, eliminating the cost of a bigger transmission cooler in the future, all the CF goodies, bump in HP!


  13. yousef says:

    Cruise on up to the overpriced Russ concert. DubDub.

  14. Ivan says:

    This car is more fun than the entire french Air Force crashing into a firework factory.

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