There's little that provides a purer driving experience than the Lotus Elise, but now the British roadster has shed even more weight, and gained power, for the limited-run Cup 250.
It was hardly a heavyweight to begin with, but the Cup 250 lops 21kg from the regular Elise Cup 220 to bring it down to just 931kg. At the same time its 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder engine gains 26bhp, up to 246bhp and 250Nm of torque.
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That doesn't sound like an awful lot of grunt, but in a car as featherweight as the Elise it means a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds and a 154mph top speed. It's also enough for the Norfolk-based firm to proclaim it's the fastest Elise ever built for road use, posting a time of 1 minute and 34 seconds around its Hethel test track.
The Cup 250 was worked over by Lotus' aptly-named 'Lightweight Laboratory'. The team added super-light kit such as a lithium-ion battery (which saves 10kg), carbon-fibre seats and forged alloy wheels. Buyers can also choose from a Carbon Aero Pack that shaves off another 10kg.
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The bodykit, including those striking spoilers and splitters, provides 66kg of downforce at 100mph and a full 155kg at the Cup 250's top speed. It gets the same Bilstein dampers, Eibach coil springs and Adjustable anti-roll bar as the Cup 220. Inside, you'll find a full Alcantara cabin in red or black, with leather and Bluetooth optional.
The Elise Cup 250 starts at £45,600, which is £2,100 more than the Cup 220. Only 200 examples per year will be built, however, so you'll have to get your order in quick.
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