This is the Lotus Elise Cup 250

The Elise was already a very light vehicle, but the new Cup 250 is even lighter.

Announcing the new vehicle, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, "The Elise Cup 250 is the latest edition in an exciting period for the company which has seen us launch a number of very special new cars across our entire range".

It's been at least a few weeks since Lotus fiddled with one of its cars, so it should come as no surprise that Hethel now has a new-ish, tweaked Elise to show off. But, don't worry; the new vehicle is very much like the old model and only the most perceptive of Lotus fans will be able to spot the differences. The back-end of the vehicle has also been redesigned, now housing two light clusters instead of four as well as a large rear wing.

As is the way with Lotus, the car's weight is very important.

The optional Carbon Aero Pack brings in a front splitter, rear wing and side boards. Generous use of carbonfibre, plastic and aluminium has reduced the Cup 250's weight to 917kg, 14kg lighter than previous model.

It's 14kg lighter than the auto it replaces, thanks in part to the fitting of carbonfibre bucket seats, forged wheels, a polycarbonate rear windscreen and a lithium-ion battery. Focused on cutting weight and boosting performance, Lotus' development team has built on the significant updates introduced for the latest Elise, which has already been hailed as a five-star auto by the global motoring press. A lightweight titanium exhaust system is a £4,000 option, while lighter, two-piece performance brake discs are available too. Other carbon-fibre parts can be selected as well - the hard top saves 3 kg, 1.1 kg for the access panel, 3.3 kg for the engine cover, 0.7 kg for the roll-hoop cover, 0.8 kg for the sill covers, 0.3 kg for the face-level vents, and 0.1 kg for the HVAC surround.

Getting back to the car's performance, the Elise Cup 250 has a lithium-ion battery, a polycarbonate rear window, and ultra-lightweight forged wheels with Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tires.

With a supercharged 1.8-litre engine that develops 246bhp, the Elise Cup 250 can go from standstill to 60mph in just 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 154mph. Lotus claims the damper rates have been improved by as much as 12 per cent front and nine per cent rear, with rebound improved 20 per cent front and 30 per cent rear.

Last year, the Cup 250 replaced the old Cup 220.

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