The Lotus Elise Race 250 is the Closest Americans Can Get to an Elise

Following in the footsteps of the fastest production Elise yet, Lotus has unleashed its track-only variant.

Dubbed the Lotus Elise Race 250, it is the fastest Elise race car yet, having lapped the company’s Hethel test track in 1:33.5. That makes it 0.5 seconds quicker than the previous Elise Cup 220 R, and also means it has the fastest recorded lap time for a Lotus developed race-variant of the Elise. More importantly, the Lotus Elise Race 250 is eligible for many race series around the world, meaning it will be available in the U.S. with a starting price of $76,200.

The lightweight racer is powered by a 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. In total, it packs 243 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The British automaker outfitted it with Nitron adjustable dampers, uprated brake pads, FIA-approved carbon fiber race seats with six-point racing harnesses, a removable steering wheel and and a polycarbonate rear windscreen.

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There’s naturally a full aero package including a front splitter, rear diffuser, floor extensions and a rear wing, which all attributes to generating substantial downforce equal to 66 kg at 100 mph and 155 kg at maximum speed of 154 mph. There are plenty of lightweight options that help bring the dry weight to less than 1,984 pounds, including a lithium-ion battery, carbon fiber race seats and ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels.

“Lotus was established to build race cars and with 68 years’ experience, no one knows more about extracting the best performance possible,” said Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favourite with our racers around the world.”

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