The lightweight Lotus Elise 250 takes up the marque’s ‘Lightweight Laboratory’, which combines a range of features; including a Lithium-ion battery which slashes 10 kg off the weight, carbon fiber seats, reducing the weight by 6 kg, and ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, saving a further 1.5 kg.
Designed to suit all sports car fans, the Lotus Elise Cup 250 is available for the first time as a roadster as standard with a hard top available as an option. For those wanting to cut the car’s weight still further, and so boost performance, a Carbon Aero Pack is available, which cuts an extra 10 kg, reducing the mass to just 921kg.
With the new car lapping the company’s Hethel test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, the changes and engineering adaptions to the Elise Cup 250 have taken an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup 220’s best time and represent the fastest recorded lap time for a production Elise.
The new Elise Cup 250 benefits from the continuous improvement design philosophy of Lotus and its perpetual quest to evolve all constituent parts, lightening and optimizing them. Every aspect of the car has been carefully considered: from the recalibrated ignition system, right down to the wider 195/50 R16 front tyres to give sharper, more-responsive steering.
Powered by a new higher-output version of the supercharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp (246 PS) at 7200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 3500 rpm and 5500 rpm.
Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) provides a ‘Sport’ mode, increasing throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, allowing enhanced control before the system intervenes.
The aerodynamically optimized body kit provides 66kg of downforce at 160 km/h (100mph) and an impressive 155 kg at maximum velocity of 247km/h (154 mph). Shaping and working airflow over and around the bodywork has been key to delivering the car’s extremely focused handling. An optional Carbon Aero pack replaces the standard front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor-extensions with lightweight carbon components and reduces mass by a further 10 kg.
The Elise Cup 250 carries over the motorsport-derived suspension and braking components from the Elise Cup 220, including an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs and double wishbone suspension. AP Racing twin-piston front calipers, and Brembo single-piston rear calipers work in conjunction with the track-tuned ABS system with ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels (16 inch, front and 17 inch rear) are fitted with Yokohama AO48 tyres (195/50/16 on the front and 225/45/17 on the rear).
New larger switches with improved haptics have been introduced for the Lotus Dynamic Performance Management System (with Sport setting), headlights and rear fog lights, mounted together with the vehicle’s new engine start button.
As standard, the Elise Cup 250 comes with a full Alcantara interior in red or black, with an optional Leather Pack available. An integrated in-car entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality along with full carpets and enhanced sound insulation.
A total of ten paint choices are available for the Cup 250: two are no-cost options, seven are metallic and one is the Signature Grey option. The new Elise Cup 250 can also be personalized through the recently launched Lotus Exclusive program.
The Lotus Elise Cup 250 goes on sale in all major European markets,from April 2016, at a starting price of 61,100 Euros.