Lotus Elise Cup 250 Is Built with Carbon, Does 0 to 60 in 3.9 Seconds

The Lotus Elise is so old that people forgot there used to be a Tesla sports car based on it. However, it's still one of the lightest cars in the world, and it just got better with the launch of the Cup 250 model.
 Lotus Elise Cup 250 10 photos
Photo: Lotus
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The first thing that strikes us is that this could be the first Elise street car built with carbon fiber. The lightweight material doesn't play a structural role like it does in the Alfa Romeo 4C. However, you need to remember that this is a 20-year-old car and show it some respect.

The 1996 Series 1 weighed only 725 kg (1,598 lb), so, by comparison, the new Elise Cup 250 is fat at 921 kg (2,030 pounds). However, it's also got a ton of extra power. While the early Elise had only 120 PS, this one is rated at 246 PS (243 hp), thanks to a re-tuned supercharged 1.8-liter engine. That's not too shabby!

With 261 hp per ton, the Elise Cup 250 should have no problems dealing with the Porsche Boxster, Alfa 4C or any other car that wants to mess with it on the track. The engine is still connected to a six-speed manual gearbox that enables the Cup 250 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds before hitting a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h), Lotus says.

Getting back to that carbon fiber we mentioned, it's part of a Carbon Aero Pack that changes the front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side skirts. By making these changes, the 2-seater becomes lighter by 10 kg or 22 lbs. The aerodynamically optimized body kit provides 66kg (145.5 pounds) of downforce at 100mph and an impressive 155 kg (341.7 pounds) at maximum velocity.

While the exterior is not just for show, the interior is undeniably flashy for a Lotus. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara, and the seats are leather. As an option, you could order a Clarion audio system with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. Do Lotus drivers even have something as heavy as an iPad?

Besides a more powerful engine, the Elise Cup 250 also comes fitted with an adjustable anti-roll bar, Bilstein dampers, coaxial coil springs from Eibach and upgraded racing brakes.

The Lotus Elise Cup 250 goes on sale in all the key markets, excluding North America, from April 2016. Prices start at £45,600 in Britain and €61,100 in Europe.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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