Lighter than air – Lotus Elise Cup 250
By Full Chat Admin
The Lotus formula has always been a simple one. Lightness + revs x simplicity = good. A simple one, yet one that is seldom replicated with the same effectiveness. Time makes fools of us all and like any other car on the roads today, Lotus too have been endulging on the safety mandated pies and packing on a little weight in the name of stiffer chassis, extra euro-spec safety equipment and general tech.
Let’s take a look at the facts:
1996 Elise – 690kg
2007 Elise R Super Touring – 860kg
2013 1.8s – 906 kg
2014 1.8s – 932 kg
That’s a 240kg weight increase over the last 10 years of Elises. Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t account for the seemingly endless variants of the British sportster; but a trend nonetheless as Lotus steps away from the lightweight devision and into the higher power output stable. So as a result, we’ve seen a few throwback variants to days to old, such as the clubsport.
The latest of which is the Elise Cup 250 which echoes the carmarker’s origins. Successor to the hardcore Elise Cup 220, the 250 comes garnished with weight saving options. Saving 20 kilograms on the outgoing car, the Cup features ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, carbon fibre seats and even a light weight lithium-ion battery. All of this adds up to create the quickest road going Lotus to date with a blistering 3.9 second 0-100 sprint time.
At the top end, the Elise will hurtle towards 154 bhp; all with a buzzing supercharged 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine in typical Elise fashion. The unit pokes out a satisfying 243 bhp, another triumph in this age of small, boosted, powerful motors and diminishing acceleration times. But there’s more. If your bone rattling Elise isn’t hardcore enough, you could always opt for the optional Aero pack which gives you a new front splitter, rear wing, diffuser and sideskirts, all of which add stunning race car tones to the cars already beastly stance. This will lighten the car’s weight further, by yet another 9 kilograms, after adding between 145 and 320 lbs of downforce.
The Cup features the same race bred enhancements as the 220, that is, the adjustable suspension and anti-roll bars, Bilstein dampers, and a mix of AP Racing and Brembo brakes. What the Cup may lack in kerb-appeal, it more than makes up for in terms of balls out track adrenaline. The Elise has always been THE yardstick in its class, and with the latest bump to it’s straight line speed ensures that it not only retains its track credentials; but also gives it a new breath of life in real world driving conditions.
The new Lotus will go on sale this April; costing the equivalent of $65,000.