Lotus Unleash Fastest Ever Elise

Harder, better, faster, stronger.

Lotus has unveiled the latest variant of the Elise, and this one promises to be the fastest model to date.

The Elise Cup 250 replaces the Cup 220, and while nothing appears to be exactly 30 better, the new model is some 21kg lighter while also being 26bhp more powerful.

It achieves its weight loss following a quick visit to the Lotus Lightweight Laboratory, leaving with a lithium-ion battery that saves 10kg, as well as carbon fibre seats and ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels. An optional Carbon Aero Pack knocks a further 10kg off, taking the kerb weight to just 921kg.

Power comes from the same 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that pushes out 243bhp to provide rocket-like performance. Standstill to 60mph takes just 3.9 seconds, while the Elise will go on to reach a frightening 154mph.

An aerodynamically optimised body produces 66kg of downforce at 100mph, increasing to 155kg when you finally hit the maximum speed. Underneath lies motorsport-derived suspension and braking components, including an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs attached to double wishbone suspension.

Switchable drive modes include ‘Sport’ that increases throttle response, lowers traction slip thresholds and removes understeer recognition, allowing the driver to enjoy more control at the limit before the stability systems finally intervenes.

Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin piston calipers at the front, and Brembo single-piston units at the rear.

The interior is as spartan as you expect from an Elise, with bare aluminium extrusions wrapped around Alcantara trimmed seats and an in-car entertainment system that includes iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

Available as a roadster, with a hard top available as an option, the Elise Cup 250 will be on sale in April at £45,600.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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