Punching well above its weight, the new Lotus Elise Cup 250 offers a scintillating blend of purity of purpose with performance at the apex of the recently revised Elise range. Supercharged, lightweight and distilled from Lotus’ extensive motorsport knowhow, the new model packs 243 hp into a chassis designed to deliver the benchmark in responsive handling and haptic feedback. The car’s enhanced aerodynamics come from a number of additions including a new lightweight rear wing, front splitter, bargeboards and rear diffuser contributing to 125 kg of downforce at 140 mph.
As the latest car to receive the Cup treatment, the new Lotus Elise Cup 250 bridges the gap between road and track to offer racecar capabilities in a package that can be used every day. Focused on cutting weight and boosting performance, Lotus’ development team has built on the significant updates introduced for the latest Elise, which has already been hailed as a five-star car by the international motoring press. Dry weight has been reduced to just 884 kg (or 860 kg with all lightweight options) and the adoption of advanced lightweight materials including carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium has helped to cut kilos from crucial areas leading to a 0-60 mph in 3.9 secs and a power to weight of 283 hp per tonne.
The Elise Cup 250 carries the new visual identity, first introduced on the new Elise Sport and Sprint models. Changes to the body include a redesigned lightweight front clam panel with wider radiator apertures and mesh pattern grille, and a new design of rear transom panel featuring two light clusters, rather than four, visually enhancing the design. The Elise Cup 250 also includes a number of high-performance additions unique to this model. These include revised dampers and ultra-lightweight forged wheels with Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres – 225/45 ZR17 at the rear and 195/50 ZR16 at the front.
Cementing its reputation as a purebred driver’s car, the new Elise Cup 250 sets the standard for two-seater sports cars thanks to its winning combination of efficient engineering, agility, grip and speed. Cut from the same cloth as the recently released Exige Cup 380, it’s every inch a track car – but with road-going manners. Reserved for only the most focused models, the Cup moniker distinguishes Hethel’s highest-evolved sports cars from their stable mates, with the Cup editions sure to become iconic and collectable models in the years to come. Expounding the company’s “simplify, then add lightness” mantra to the next level – it eradicates all but the essential from each model to produce a reference point for handling and performance.
Launched to the media earlier this year, the latest version of the Lotus Elise has retained its trademark handling, but added a number of enhancements which have been rolled out across the range. In addition to the redesigned lightweight clam panels front and rear, the Elise Cup 250’s aerodynamic changes modify airflow over, under and around the car to increase downforce, equivalent to 125 kg at 140 mph, allowing harder and faster cornering and more stability. Providing 243 hp, the Elise’s all-alloy 1.8-litre engine with chargecooled supercharger, allows the Cup 250 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.9 secs before reaching its top speed of 154 mph. Helping amplify the driving experience, Hethel’s acoustic engineers have further improved the exhaust note, so the Elise Cup 250 now features a stunning soundtrack as standard. An optional full exhaust system in titanium is available which removes a further 7 kg from beyond the rear axle.
Perfectly complementing the car’s personality, the Elise’s slick six-speed manual gearbox uses Lotus’ beautifully detailed open-gate design. First introduced on the Exige Sport 350, but optimised for the Elise, it provides a much more positive and direct operation – giving faster, cleaner gear changes. Benefiting from the recent weight savings delivered across the Elise range, the Elise Cup 250 is a significant 14 kg lighter than its predecessor. As standard, the Lotus Elise Cup 250 includes a Lithium-Ion battery, Lotus’ hand crafted carbon race seats, ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen, all of which combine with optional weight-saving components to deliver a benchmark power to weight ratio of 283 hp per tonne.
The Elise Cup 250 features fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Compared to the Elise Sport and Sprint models, damper rates for the Elise Cup 250 are higher (compression: 12% front / 9% rear and rebound: 20% front / 30% rear).
AP Racing twin-piston front and Brembo single-piston rear calipers with cross drilled and ventilated 288 mm diameter brake discs, front and rear, provide stopping power, with new optional lightweight two-piece brake discs providing the opportunity to save a further 4 kg. Like the other 1.8-litre Elise models, the Cup 250 benefits from driver selectable ESP driving modes (Drive / Sport / Off). To maximise traction, and to make the most of the aerodynamic downforce and firmer damping, the Elise Cup 250 uses Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres which are equally suited to both road and track and provide phenomenal grip and under a broad range of temperatures and conditions. Adding to the Elise’s strong and torsionally stiff chassis architecture, the Cup 250 also features a T45 steel roll over bar as standard.
The Elise Cup 250’s cabin bears the hallmarks of a beautifully handcrafted high-performance sports car, including Lotus’ in-house manufactured carbon race seats, clad in black Alcantara® with contrast red or yellow stitching; the trim design is carried through to the door panels and face-level vents, complementing the exposed aluminium and carbon fibre elements of the Elise Cup 250’s cabin.
Interior options include an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel and sill covers, leather or tartan trim packs, bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, and additional weight saving carbon components including face-level vents (-0.3 kg), HVAC surrounds (-0.1 kg), and sill covers (-0.8 kg). As well as saving weight, the optional, lightweight carbon fibre sill covers provide easier ingress and egress thanks to a 10mm lower profile. Buyers wanting to extract extra kilos from the car can select the beautifully finished optional Carbon Aero Pack, which adds a composite front splitter, rear wing and side boards (saving 3.7 kg), whilst further weight savings can come from separately specified carbon items including a hard-top (-3 kg), front access panel (-1.1 kg), roll-over hoop cover (-0.7 kg) and engine cover (-3.3 kg).
The Elise’s instrument panel features new graphics, making it easier to read, and a new in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality and uprated speakers, can also be selected when ordering. Every new Lotus Elise Cup 250 customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car. To find out more about the Lotus Elise range visit: http://www.lotuscars.com/about-elise.