The second-generation Lotus Elise has been in production since 2001, but Lotus has consistently updated it to keep up with ever-increasing sports car competition. However sadly, the Cup 250 won’t be sold in the U.S.
It’s a tried and tested recipe for Lotus, and the new Elise 250 Cup doesn’t mess with it: less weight, more power. The new Elise sheds almost 50lbs, and gains 26bhp from its Toyota-sourced, supercharged 1.8-litre four cylinder engine. The results mean a total of 243bhp and 261bhp/ton, enough for 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds and the title of fastest purely road-going Elise ever with a sub 1:35 lap of the Hethel test track.
The Cup 250 is as ever, a driver’s car: 6-spd manual gearbox, standard electronic diff, AP Racing brakes, ‘track tuned’ ABS and Yokohama Advan A048 tires. The suspension setup is mostly carried over from the Cup 220, it uses Bilstein dampers, Eibach coil springs, an adjustable front anti-roll bar and double wishbones.
To keep with the low weight mantra the car features a lithium-ion battery, carbon fiber seats, and forged alloy wheels to keep the weight down. Available as a roadster with a hard-top option, there’s also a Carbon Aero Pack which drops a further 22lbs across the car while adding a rear wing, front splitter, rear diffuser and side floor extensions for extra downforce.
The Lotus Elise Cup 250 will go on sale in April for 45,600 pounds ($65,170 at current rates) with a limited run of 200 cars annually.