Extreme track-tuned Elise is a proper racing car for the road.
Another day, another special edition Lotus. This time it’s the ultra-exclusive Elise Cup 260, of which just 30 examples will be made available in the entire world. At least it’s not an SUV. The new car is race-inspired and has fancy aerodynamics that generate actual downforce – 396 pounds (180 kilograms) of the stuff at 151 miles per hour (243 kilometers per hour).
The car abounds with carbon fiber touches throughout in order to save as much as weight as possible, even the seats are lightweight racing numbers, and the engine battery has been replaced with a lightweight lithium-ion unit to cut more crucial ounces.
Not to be confused with the Elise Cup 250, the new car has a racing chassis developed by Lotus’s motorsport division and the supercharged 1.8-liter engine has been tweaked with new air intakes and revised calibrations to produce a heady 250 hp (186 kW) and 188 pound-feet (254 Newton-meters) of torque. Numbers that are all the more impressive when you consider the car weighs in at a bantamweight 1,988 pounds (902 kilograms).
With the car’s six-speed manual gearbox and sports ratios deployed to full effect, the 0-62 mph (100 kmh) run is taken care of in just 4.2 seconds. The 260 is fitted with 16-inch front and 17-inch rear forged alloys with tires that are 10 millimeters wider than on the previous 250 model for extra grip.
The interior of the new car features liberal splashes of Alcantara and carbon fiber, as well as an open-gated shifter that will surely be a talking point for passengers.
The Elise Cup 260 will cost £59,500 ($78,460) on the road – options include a £4,000 ($5,275) titanium exhaust that saves 15 pounds (7 kilograms), £1,250 ($1,650) for air conditioning, £150 ($200) for mud flaps and £350 ($460) for sound insulation. The puncture repair kit does come as standard, however.
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said: "As we near the 70th anniversary of the inception of Colin Chapman’s engineering legacy, it’s only right that we build the very best cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade."