Surprise, Surprise: The New Lotus Elise Sprint is Even Lighter

The Lotus Elise has received minor updates for 2017, including the addition of an all-new, ultra lightweight Elise Sprint model variant.

The Sprint trim line can be specified with Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 models and will shave 41 kg (90 lbs) from the outgoing Elise Sport. Following Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s famous mantra of “simplify and add lightness,” the Elise Sport features a lightweight lithium ion battery that saves 9 kg, lightweight alloy wheels saving 5 kg (11 lbs) and carbon fiber race seats saving 6 kg (13.2 lbs).

Other standard lightweight components on the Elise Sprint include a carbon fiber roll hoop, access panel and engine cover and a polycarbonate rear windscreen, which save a further 6 kg. Optional weight saving parts include two-piece brake discs saving 4 kg (8.8 lbs) and carbon fiber doorsill covers saving 0.8 kg. With these boxes ticked, the Elise Sprint tips the scales at 798 kg (1,759 lbs) dry.

Sprint trim line is available on the 134 horsepower 1.6-liter naturally aspirated Elise Sport and the 217 horsepower 1.8-liter supercharged Elise Sport 220. The former will sprint (no pun intended) from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, while the latter will do the same dance in 4.1 seconds.

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The interior of the Sprint range is adorned with model exclusive equipment including colored inserts for the seats, transmission surround and HVAC surround, optional Alcantara trim and contrasting stitching. The exterior of the lightweight model is set apart with special alloy wheels, black trim, some stripes and ‘Sprint’ badging.

The addition of the Elise Sprint to Lotus’ model range comes amid the arrival of an updated version of the Elise. The entire Elise range will now benefit from a lighter front ‘clamshell’ section with wider front intakes, a new rear panel with different taillights and a revised underbody for improved aerodynamics. The British automaker says the new Elise is 10 kg lighter than the outgoing model.

Orders for the new Elise range are now open. Initial deliveries are expected to commence in April.

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