October 20, 2017
| On 4 years ago

Lotus Debuts Insanely Light and Wildly Powerful Elise Cup 260

In celebration of its upcoming 70th anniversary, Lotus has unveiled the most extreme expression of its staple model, the Elise. 

Called the Elise Cup 260, the latest model variant fuses the motorsport ethos of the track-only Elise Race 250 with the on-road usability of the standard Elise. It’s powered by a 250 horsepower version of the supercharged 1.8-liter Toyota four-cylinder found in other Elise models, which is linked to a close ratio six-speed manual transmission. The British manufacturer says the Cup 260 will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 151 mph.

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You can thank the Cup 260s lightweight construction for those impressive performance figures. With a carbon engine cover and front access panel, lightweight two-piece brake discs, a polycarbonate rear window, carbon fiber race seats and other lightweight components, the Elise Cup 260 tips the scales at just 1,900 lbs (862 kg). The various aero components, including the carbon front splitter, large rear wing and rear diffuser, aid in track performance and produce 178 lbs (81 kg) of downforce at 151 mph. Lotus says the Cup 260 will lap its Hethel test track in just 1 minute 32 seconds – a full 2.5 seconds faster than the Cup 250.

The interior is well-appointed despite its motorsport inspiration. The carbon seats are nicely upholstered, and like other Elise models, the aluminum shift linkage is completely exposed. There’s also a bare carbon instrument binnacle and door sills and an available Alcantara wrapped steering wheel. Customers can also choose from a variety of optional extras as well, including an in-car entertainment system and leather and tartan plaid trim packs.

Just 30 examples of the Lotus Elise Cup 260 will be built. Prices will start at 76,000 euros, or about $89,000 USD. Surely a better buy than that Lotus crossover they’ve been mulling over.

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