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As expected, Lotus has announced the release of a cup car version of the new 2010 Exige 260. Powered by the same 257-hp supercharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder as the street car, the race-ready Cup version weighs just 1,958 lbs, making for what will no-doubt be an outrageously good track machine. Lotus says the Exige Cup 260 can hit 60 mph in four seconds flat.

The standard Exige 260 model already weights 84 lbs less than last year's model, and the Cup car version sheds an additional 26 lbs thanks to the use of plenty of light-weight material. Carbon fiber components include the roof, seats, dash-top, tailgate, center tunnel, front access panels, front splitter, side intake ducts and rear spoiler. Additional light weight components include a lighter motorsports battery, ultra-light wheels, a revised rear engine subframe, alloy u-bend pipes for the supercharger and a lightweight flywheel.

The new Lotus Sport forged wheels are the lightest original equipment wheels in the world, weighing just 5.65 kg (12 lbs) in the front and 7.75 kg (17.1 lbs) in the rear.

Additional improvements over the past cup car include a Ohlins two-way adjustable shocks and a chassis that is now 30 percent stiffer thanks to a new diffuser and structural "shear panel" that links the rear subframe to the main chassis. The rear spoiler also grows for improved downforce, measuring 181mm (7.1-inches) wider, 46mm (1.8-inches) higher and it sits 61mm (2.4-inches) further back.

Roger Becker, Director of Vehicle Engineering for Lotus said, "The Lotus Exige Cup 260 is the epitome of the Lotus brand philosophy of performance through lightweight." Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus, once said "Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere and the Exige Cup 260 totally proves this, being one of the most exhilarating, focused and pure sportscars on the road today."

So far Lotus has only set European pricing, with the Exige Cup 260 priced at £45,000 in the U.K. We do expect it will make its way to North America, although PR boss Kevin Smith at Lotus Cars USA says there are no official plans yet. Still, we're certain a few of the competitors in the Lotus Challenge Series would be eager to get their hands on this new model.

More: Report: Lotus Exige Cup 260 Announced on AutoGuide.com
 

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That rear wing looks much better....
 

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those seats..... :drool:
 

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I'd like to see the new shear panel. Is this an upgrade for any Elise/Exige?
-Robert
 

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headlights? street legal?
 

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I'm likin the wing, the stickers above the alternate fuel caps - not so much.
Interior looks really nice.

I sure hope they learn how to make an A/C system before I get my next one.

I like how they did the black lines.

And is that a place to put a license plate on the front there?
 

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I have been contributing to the other 2010 thread (http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f157/my-2010-a-77826/) and am compelled to add to this one to clear up so much misinformation.

First of all - the latest news is that this car CUP or Sport variant isn't coming to the US for 2010. That is from Lotus USA.

Here are some other clarifications...

It looks like the 2009 260 is actually lighter than the 2010 despite claims in the artical and press release. The 2010 is 1958 and the 2009 is 1900. (this may be an unfair comparison though because the 2010 data is based on a track car and the 09 is on the street legal road version - different equipment). Also the wheels on the 2010 weight 12lbs front and 17.1 lbs rear - the 2009 is 11.8 lbs front and 16.8 lbs rear. Same carbon fiber pieces and drive train, etc except for the Ohlins on 2010.

CJC - no that is not a battery in the floor. Cup cars have an extinguisher system in them and that cover in the passenger well covers a fire extinguisher. The lightweight battery is still in the trunk - it just lays on its side and is very small.

Dwebb - the alternate fuel caps you are pointing out are the external electrical and fuel cutoff switches. This is only for the track prepared Cup cars.

The AC system has been improved for years now and functions quite well. May not be the best but it works better now.

Anyone who buys a US car in a state that requires a front plate should be supplied with a mounting bracket which drills into the splitter.

usurbrain - yes we have had street legal 260's now for a year - in the US they are called Sport 260's and they come with headlights. The Sport 260 differs from the track oriented CUP in that it doesn't have the fuel and electrical cut offs, has a radio and full speakers (in the US only), no extinguisher option - but having said that, Lotus seems to be flexible to add these at a cost.

I will spare everyone my added commentary on the awful, non-cohesive, afterthought design changes for 2010.
 

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Overall, I'm not diggin' it. Rear wing looks like it was lifted from a STi. I do like the interior though.
 
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