‘Purity with power’- it’s the 2017 Lotus Elise Cup 250

  • Fastest, most focused, four-cylinder Lotus yet
  • Light materials cut weight to 860kg
  • 0-100km/h in 3.9sec from 180kW engine
2017 LOTUS ELISE CUP 250: Image: Lotus / Newspress
2017 LOTUS ELISE CUP 250: Image: Lotus / Newspress

HETHEL, England – The Lotus Elise is the latest in the English brand’s range to be given its Cup treatment to, the specialist automaker says, “bridge the gap between road and track”.

The 1.8-litre supercharged light and more aero model packs 180kW into a chassis designed to deliver the benchmark in responsive handling and haptic (an 1890 word meaning touch or feeling) feedback.

The car’s enhanced aerodynamics, Lotus says, come from some additions, among them a new and light rear wing, front splitter, bargeboards and a rear diffuser which together add 125kg of downforce at 225km/h.

2017 LOTUS ELISE CUP 250: Image: Lotus / Newspress
2017 LOTUS ELISE CUP 250: Image: Lotus / Newspress

Not a speed likely to be reached on a road, but handy for the track…

“The development team,” Lotus explained, “built on the significant updates introduced for the latest Elise, already hailed as a five-star car by the international motoring media.

“Dry weight has been reduced to 884kg (860kg with lighter options). Advanced light materials – carbon-fibre, titanium, aluminium – helped to cut kilos from crucial areas to achieve 0-100km/h in 3.9sec and a power/weight ratio of 212kW/tonne.”

Top speed is about 250km/h.

READ MORE Lotus features on Carman’s Corner

The Elise Cup 250 looks much like the latest (2017) Elise Sport and Sprint though changes to the body include a redesigned and lighter front clam panel with wider radiator apertures and mesh grille and a new design of transom with two, rather than four, light clusters.

It also has some model-unique high-performance additions, among them different shock-absorbers and ultra-light forged wheel rims shod with Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres – 225/45 ZR17 rear, 195/50 ZR16 front.

2017 LOTUS ELISE CUP 250: Image: Lotus / Newspress
2017 LOTUS ELISE CUP 250: Image: Lotus / Newspress

Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales told The Corner in a media release: “The Elise Cup 250 is the latest addition in an exciting period which has seen us launch some very special new cars.

“We know what Lotus enthusiasts demand so we’re bringing in many new customers who can clearly see we have an unrivalled combination of performance, styling, dynamics and value-for-money.

“A Lotus rewards like no other car… sharp handling, tremendous speed and a pure, undiluted driving experience. The power and aero prowess of the new Elise Cup 250 has taken the fight beyond the reach of rivals and, at 860kg, shows we’re ahead in delivering light, intelligently engineered, sport cars.”

WANT MORE? THERE’S A TITANIUM EXHAUST

The Cup branding, Lotus says, distinguishes its most-evolved sport cars from their stablemates – the Cup editions intended to become iconic collectibles.

A titanium exhaust is available to shed a further seven kilograms behind the rear axle.

The Elise’s six-speed manual gearbox uses the detailed open-gate design introduced on the Exige Sport 350, but optimised for the Elise for much more positive and direct operation and hence faster and cleaner gearshifts.

The new cars ride on a fully independent double-wishbone suspension and front anti-roll bar, Bilstein high-performance dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs.

EXTRA OPTIONS FOR THE CABIN

Compared to the Elise Sport and Sprint, damper rates for the Cup 250 are higher (compression: 12% front / 9% rear and rebound: 20% front / 30% rear).

Interior options include an Alcantara trimmed steering-wheel and sill covers, leather or tartan trim, bodywork-keyed for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, and even more weight-cutting carbon components.

To find out more about Lotus Elise range visit the Lotus website.

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