GRR

The Lotus Exige Cup 430 Type 25 pays tribute to a legendary F1 machine

05th April 2018
Bob Murray

One revolutionised the design of Formula 1 cars, set records (including the still-standing fastest lap at Goodwood), won championships and was driven by people like Jim Clark. 

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The other takes track performance to the street, embarrasses supercars costing twice as much and is driven by the likes of…you. Two Lotuses 55 years apart but both called: Type 25. 

The new one, out this week, is the Exige Cup 430 Type 25, a “collector’s edition” of 25 examples to pay tribute to its illustrious forebear, the first fully-stressed monocoque car in F1 and winner of seven out of 10 GP and the championship in 1963. It’s topical now because this is the 50th anniversary of the death of Lotus’s ’63 F1 champion, Jim Clark.

There’s plenty to pay tribute to then, as Lotus knows well. Hethel last paid tribute to the Type 25 in 2008 with a special edition of the Elise. It’s probably Hethel law that every car called Type 25 has to be green with flashes of yellow, but the new one adds to that by also being available in white. There’s no choice of gear knob though: that’s a ball of real tree, just as Clark would have used.

The Exige 430 Cup, powered by a supercharged V6, is already Lotus’s fastest “real world” car, what Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales calls “our ultimate point-to-point two-seater sportscar.” There appear no mechanical changes in T25 form so the spec (adjustable suspension et al) remains as impressive as ever, along with its impressive performance, with a 0-62mph sprint time of in 3.3 seconds and top speed of 180mph.

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What extras are there for the 25 owners of this special Exige? There’s the paint job, a Lotus Exclusive custom livery with bespoke pin-striping and body decals, plus you get bespoke trim in the cabin along with a commemorative numbered plaque. With the lightweight titanium exhaust system as standard, along with some other weight-saving carbon bits, the T25 comes in a little lighter than a standard Cup car. 

Well, it would be lighter as long as you don’t keep one other extra that comes with the car in the glovebox: that’s a copy of the book, Jim Clark: Tribute to a Champion, signed by Clive Chapman and Bob Dance, Jim Clark’s principal mechanic. 

Price? £110,000.

And just for fun…. 

                      Type 25 in 1963           Type 25 in 2018

Engine            1.5-litre V8                    3.5-litre V6

Aspiration       Naturally-aspirated         Supercharged

Power/rpm      195hp/8200rpm             430hp/7000rpm

Transmission   5-speed manual             6-speed manual

Weight (dry)    452kg                           1056kg

Power/weight   431hp/tonne                  407hp/tonne

0-62mph         n/a                               3.3 secs

Top speed              n/a                               180mph

Downforce         n/a                                   220kg

  • Lotus

  • exige

  • Type 25

  • jim clark

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