Lotus Elise Race 250 is Ready for Track Duty Only
Being the small thing that it is, it's often pretty scary to drive a Lotus Elise on the road. With the lumbering SUVs and trucks, it feels like you're driving a go-kart. One Elise variant, though, won't be seeing on public roads—the new Race 250, which has been designated for track use only. Perhaps it has something to do with the headlights having been swapped out for lightweight composite blanking panels, or maybe the powers-that-be understand the temptation to treat public byways like a private road course would be too much for owners. Either way, if you want to enjoy all that the Elise Race 250 has to offer, you'll need to do it at a track, and boy does it have a-lot to enjoy. Nitron adjustable dampers, adjustable anti-roll bars, uprated brakes, full roll-cage, racing harness, battery isolater, and of course, a fire extinguisher. Starting from the ground up, the purpose of the Race 250 is quite clear, be prepared to race, and to dominate. RELATED: See Photos of the Street-Legal Lotus Elise Cup 250
In order to make the Race 250 the fastest, most hardcore, Elise yet, Lotus went all out. The carbon aero package is comprised of a front splitter, rear splitter, floor extensions, and a killer looking rear wing. This serves up 145-pounds of downforce at 100 mph and 341-pounds when the Race 250 hits its top speed of 154 mph. All that downforce is definitely needed, since the car weighs in at less than 1,984 pounds dry, and could blow away in a strong breeze.
Motivating the car is a supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 243 horsepower and 183 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels. A six speed manual transmission is the only choice of gearbox, because pure track car.
Add all of that up, and you get a car that lapped the Lotus test track in Hethel, England, in 1 minute, 33.5 seconds, good enough to set the record for an Elise. The Race 250 starts at $76,200 before taxes, which might seem high for a car that you can't drive to and from the track. However, when your trophy room begins to fill up, what the car cost will be the last thing on your mind.
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