New Lotus Elise Cup 250 Announced

Lotus has just announced a new Elise Cup 250 model that goes zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds.

Having chowed down on a lunch of expensive, lightweight materials (carbon fibre, titanium, aluminium - that kind of thing) the dry weight has been reduced to just 884 kg in fatty boom boom spec, or, 860 kg if you spec all the lightweight options.

The British sports auto maker says its latest Elise model is the "fastest, most focused four-cylinder Lotus sports vehicle ever", powered by a 1.8-liter supercharged engine providing 243 horsepower. The car's enhanced aerodynamics come from a number of additions including a new lightweight rear wing, front splitter, bargeboards and rear diffuser contributing to 125 kg of downforce at 140 miles per hour.

All this is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, with power being sent to the rear wheels. The optional titanium exhaust saves 7 kg.

Alongside the slight design revisions of the 2017 Elise - such as the new front apron with larger vents and new rear fascia with just two taillights - the Cup 250 gets revised aerodynamics.

Helping to keep the Elise's weight down are a lithium-ion battery, a polycarbonate rear window, ultra-lightweight alloy wheels and carbon race seats. The optional body kit generates 125kg of downforce at 140mph (225km/h).

Double-wishbone suspension makes up the Elise's chassis architecture and it's suspended by Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers that have been specifically tuned for the Cup. Braking is handled by AP Racing twin-piston front and Brembo single-piston rear callipers, with the 288mm brake discs cross-drilled and ventilated.

Unfortunately, the Elise Cup 250 isn't heading to the USA, but it will be available in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Japan.

The Lotus Elise Cup 250 has been revealed, pegged by Lotus as its purest four-cylinder auto yet. While others in the company - perhaps buoyed by news that Volvo-saviour Geely has bought a majority stake - work hard on the 2020 Elise, others focus on making the current 21-year-old model ever-better. "We know what existing Lotus enthusiasts demand from our cars and we are also bringing in many new customers who can see clearly that we offer an unrivalled combination of performance, styling, dynamics and value for money". But, don't worry; the new auto is very much like the old model and only the most perceptive of Lotus fans will be able to spot the differences.

In Australia the Elise Cup 250 is priced from $104,990.

  • Arturo Norris