Carbon fiber diet enables a significant weight loss of 41 kilograms (90 pounds).

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” That must’ve been Lotus’ motto while working on the Elise to try and make it even lighter on its feet. Implementation of carbon fiber in the sport’s car construction was the solution found by the engineers based in Norfolk to remove a total of 41 kg (90 lbs), which according to Lotus represents the most significant weight loss since the launch of the original Elise back in 1996. Bringing back the beloved “Sprint” badge, the new version has a remarkable dry weight of just 798 kg (1,759 lbs).

The use of carbon fiber is only part of the story since the Elise Sprint went through additional changes to hit that low weight. It boasts a new lithium-ion battery and sits of bespoke forged alloy wheels, while at the back there’s a polycarbonate screen. If you’re wondering about the bits and bobs blessed with carbon fiber, these would have to be the seats, roll hoop cover and engine cover, as well as the access panel.

There’s more to the Elise Sprint than its diet considering the designers decided to slightly modify the front and rear fascias to boost aero and give the car a fresh look. Inside, the wonderful open-gate manual gearbox not only looks great, but the new design has allowed Lotus to shave off 1 kg (2.2 lbs). An Exige-derived center console is also on the list of novelties, as are the optional sill covers made from carbon to slash a further 0.8 kg (1.7 lbs).

2017 Lotus Elise Sprint
2017 Lotus Elise Sprint

Customers can buy the Lotus Elise Sprint with the usual naturally aspirated 1.6-liter and the supercharged 1.8-liter engines. The former is good for 134 hp and 160 Nm while the latter generates 217 hp and 250 Nm for a sprint to 60 mph (96 kph) in 5.9 or 4.1 seconds, respectively. Lotus mentions it cares a great deal about the car’s soundtrack, which is why the new exhaust system transforms the supercharged model into the “best-sounding 4-cylinder car on the market.” We’ll have to hear it to believe it.

Besides launching the Sprint edition, Lotus has made improvements to the Sport and Cup members of the Elise range, now benefitting from a 10-kg weight loss program, styling revisions, and an updated cabin.

Pricing is already out for the U.K. market where the cheapest model money can buy is the Elise Sport from £32,300. If you want the new featherweight Sprint, that’ll be £37,300 in naturally aspirated form or £44,300 with the supercharged engine. The most expensive of the bunch is obviously the Elise Cup 250 from a cool £47,400. All versions are already available on order, with the exception of the flagship scheduled to go on sale from May.

If you would rather wait for an all-new Elise, Lotus has announced the next generation is going to be introduced in 2020.

Source: Lotus

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