Lotus Cars has announced that the high-performance Elise Cup 250, which succeeds the Cup 220, will be available in all major markets (except North America) starting this year.
The British carmaker said that at 931 kilograms, the Cup 250 is 22 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. The company said it achieved this with a lithium-ion battery that slashes 10 kilograms, carbon-fiber seats that reduce weight by six kilograms and ultra-lightweight, forged alloy wheels that take off a further 1.5 kilograms each. In addition, a Carbon Aero Pack is available – which replaces the standard front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor extensions with lightweight carbon components – that takes the Elise 250 Cup’s weight down to 921 kilograms.
In addition, the company said the Cup 250 gets 26 more horsepower than the previous model, with its supercharged, 1.8-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-four producing 243 hp and 250 Newton-meters of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the car goes from naught to 96 kilometers per hour in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 248 kph. The company said this makes the Cup 250 the fastest road-going Elise it has ever made.
The company also said the Cup 250 lapped its Hethel test track in one minute and 34 seconds, four seconds off the Cup 220’s best time. It said this was the fastest recorded lap time for a production Elise.
“The Lotus Elise has long set the benchmark in its class, yet we’ve been able to hone its straight-line performance and handling,” said Lotus Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Gales. “Yes, it is capable of amazing things on a track, but it also retains its road manners and is perfectly composed for day-to-day driving. No rival offers this level of performance and accessibility.”
Roadster body standard
Lotus said the car is available for the first time as a roadster as standard (a hard top is optional), along with 10 paint options. Further personalization can be done through the recently launched Lotus Exclusive program.
Much of that paint will go onto a body kit provides 66 kilograms of downforce at 160 kph and 155 kilograms at top speed. The company said shaping and working airflow over and around the bodywork has been key to delivering the car’s extremely focused handling.
Helping handling even more are the wider 195/50 R16 front tires, along with the motor sports-derived suspension and braking components carried over from the Elise Cup 220. The latter includes an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach co-axial coil springs and double-wishbone suspension. Braking is delivered by AP Racing two-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear calipers that work in conjunction with the track-tuned anti-lock braking system.
Also, the Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) provides has a “Sport” mode that increases throttle response, lowers traction-slip thresholds and removes understeer recognition, allowing enhanced control before the system intervenes.
More refined interior
The DPM System will be controlled by new and larger switches, with the headlight and rear foglight switches mounted together with the vehicle’s new engine-start button. The company said the Elise Cup 250 comes with a full Alcantara interior in red or black, with an optional Leather Pack available. Finally, an integrated in-car entertainment system can also be specified, which includes iPod connectivity and Bluetooth functionality, along with full carpets and enhanced sound insulation.
The company also said only 200 units of the Elise Cup 250 will be produced every year. In a phone interview with Fast Times, Lotus Cars Manila Sales head Allen Pascual said the model will be available in the Philippines in the fourth quarter of this year, with prices expected to be in the P5.6-million to P6-million range.