Lotus introduces the quickest Elise ever

Three months after the Sport and Sport 220 models were launched, Lotus is continuing the revamp of its Elise range with the arrival of the Cup 250.

This new variant combines a 931 kg (2,052 lbs) unladen weight with a supercharged 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine that produces 243 bhp (181 kW / 246 PS). Compared to the preceding Cup 220, those figures are down by 21 kg (46 lbs) and up by 26 bhp (19 kW / 26 PS).

Lotus Elise Cup 250 (2016) Front Side

As would be expected, performance is impressive. Indeed, with a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 4.3 seconds and a 154 mph (248 km/h) top speed, Lotus says the Cup 250 assumes the title of fastest production street-legal Elise.

Standard equipment includes a six-speed manual transmission, an electronic differential lock and Alcantara-covered carbon fibre seats. Also fitted are black forged alloy wheels and Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres (with those at the front now a slightly wider 195/50 R16 size).

The specially-calibrated suspension set-up is carried over from the Cup 220 and comprises Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs and an adjustable front anti-roll bar. AP Racing twin-piston front calipers, cross-drilled discs plus a track-tuned anti-lock system meanwhile ensure that the brakes are strong enough.

An extensive options list allows customers to follow two distinct themes. For example, those wanting additional comfort could specify the hard top, cruise control, air conditioning, leather upholstery, carpets and sound insulation.

Alternatively, buyers who foresee a lot of circuit use might prefer to pay extra for a quick-release steering wheel, four-point harnesses, a fire extinguisher and towing eyes. What's more, the rear wing, front splitter and side floor extensions can be ordered in carbon fibre, which incidentally saves a further 10 kg (22 lbs).

In the UK, prices for the Elise Cup 250 start from £45,600. Sales will begin in April, but Lotus intends to build just 200 examples each year.

Lotus Elise Cup 250 (2016) InteriorLotus Elise Cup 250 (2016) Rear Side

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Lotus launches the Elise Sport and Sport 220

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