Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Hethel Factory

Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition 9 photos
Photo: Lotus
Lotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special EditionLotus Elise 250 Special Edition
When Colin Chapman formed Lotus Engineering Ltd., he needed a place where he could build his cars. The first Lotus factory was situated in Hornsey. Then the British automaker moved to Cheshunt in 1959 in a more modern factory. Then, in 1966, Lotus Cars Limited finally moved to Hethel, a place that was previously used by the Royal Air Force and U.S. Army Air Force during WW II.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Hethel site and what better way to celebrate Lotus Cars’ stomping ground than with a special edition Elise? Don’t, however, expect an exotic name from it. Baptized Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition, this sports car comes with lots of driver-oriented goodies.

The name of the game here is carbon fiber. Based on the Elise Cup 250, the Elise 250 Special Edition tips the scales at just 899 kilograms (1,982 pounds) thanks to the utilization of carbon fiber components. These include the rear wing, tailgate, front access panel, and front splitter, all as standard.

Other than remaining true to Colin Chapman’s mantra of “Light is Right,” the Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition prides itself with 246 PS (243 horsepower) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque between 3,500 and 5,500 rpm. The 1.8-liter four-banger is based on the Toyota ZR family, which was introduced in 2007.

Thanks to the 270 horsepower/tonne on tap, this Elise is good for 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h). Only 50 units of this go-faster model will ever be made, each priced from £47,900/€64,000.

“As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that’s even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we’ve ever produced,” commented Jean-Marc Gales, the head honcho of Lotus. “The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that, so it’s supremely quick and agile, but it’s also wonderfully finished and stunning to look at.”

This, however, isn't the fastest Elise around. That title goes to the Lotus Elise Race 250, a car that's so hardcore it doesn't even have headlights.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories