Just when we thought the Elise’s hardcore appeal had reached its peak with the Cup 220, Lotus has taken the iconic roadster even further.
Premiering at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Lotus Elise Cup 250 builds upon the 220’s package to have the Elise nudging supercar-lite levels of performance.
Driving its new performance is a dramatic power-to-weight gain, as Lotus has cut weight and boosted power.
After installing a new supercharger pulley and new fuel pump, Hethel’s boffins have coaxed another 19kW from the Elise Cup 220’s supercharged 1.8-litre engine, lifting total outputs to 181kW and 250Nm.
Not much by today’s hot-hatch standards, but when you consider the Cup 250 has dropped up to 31kg, pegging its total mass at just 921kg, such outputs suddenly stand a lot taller.
Carbonfibre seats, a lithium-ion battery, and forged alloy wheels guarantee a 21kg diet for every car, while an optional carbon aero package zaps another 10kg.
As a result the Cup 250 is claimed to hit 96km/h in 3.9sec before going on to reach 246km/h in top gear. Figures fast enough to worry a 911 Carrera S.
Importantly, though, the Cup 250 is not all about straight-line stuff, and the carbon aero pack ensures the car’s Yokohama slicks are put to good use by generating up to 66kg of downforce at 160km/h and 155kg at top whack.
Lotus claims it laps the Hethel test track in 1m 34sec, the fastest lap for any Elise.
Only 200 roadsters to be built each year (the hard-top is optional), with first sales to start in April and deliveries to Australia to begin early 2017.