Taking inspiration from the Exige Cup 280, Evora GT430 and track-only Elise Race 250, Lotus has produced the limited-edition Elise Cup 260; what the British carmaker is calling one of the most accomplished cars they’ve ever built.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO Group Lotus plc, said: “It’s only right that we build the very best (Lotus) cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade.
“Our special editions have always proved extremely popular with our customers around the world, and we know they value the extensive development work that goes into each one. With just 30 examples to be built, there’s no doubt that the Elise Cup 260 is a future classic.”
As an improvement on the Elise Cup 250 that was released earlier this year, the Cup 260 offers more power (+7.4kW), less weight (-15kg) and increased downforce (+44%). Lotus says the Cup 260’s aero package will generate 180kg of downforce at the car’s top speed of 151mph (241kph). Zero to 100kph is achieved in 4.2 seconds, while the Elise Cup 260 can lap Lotus’s Hethel test track 2.5 seconds faster than the Cup 250.
More Power, Less Weight
The extra power from the Cup 260’s supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine comes from revised calibration and changes to the induction system, including a race-derived performance air filter, resulting in 186kW and 255Nm. A tuned exhaust system and six-speed manual transmission with sports ratios are standard. Combined with lightweighting measures, the additional power results in a claimed power-to-weight ratio of 290hp/tonne (216kW/tonne).
While carrying over the lightweight wheels, lithium ion battery, lightweight carbon fibre race seats and polycarbonate rear screen from the Elise Cup 250, the Cup 260 adds more carbon fibre in the form of a fixed rear wing, roll hoop cover, engine cover, sill covers and front access panel. Further weight savings come from the use of lightweight two-piece brake discs for a total kerb weight of 902kg. An optional titanium exhaust system sheds a further 7kg.
Wheels are wider (by 10mm) front and rear than the Cup 250, with the forged alloy wheels (16-inch front, 17-inch rear) shod with Yokohama Advan Neova tyres.
Fully-adjustable independent double-wishbone suspension features an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Nitron coaxial springs and, or the first time on an Elise, Nitron high-performance dampers with 24-way adjustability.
The revised aero package is perhaps the most significant change on the Elise Cup 260 and includes an oversized rear wing, carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser, louvred front wheelarch vents and a redesigned front clam panel with wider apertures. While the changes deliver up to 180kg of downforce at the Cup 260’s maximum speed, they improve grip and handling at lower speeds, too.
Inside, the Elise Cup 260 features black alcantara trim with contrast stitching as standard, with floor mats, full carpeting, a leather interior package and even tartan trim available as extra-cost options. Exposed aluminium and carbon fibre also feature, as well as exposed transmission linkages and simple two-dial instrumentation.
A laurel wreath on the rear buttress and Union Jack on the endplates of the rear wing identify the Elise Cup 260, while Championship Gold (pictured) is a new exterior colour, limited to this new model for now, but it will be offered on the rest of the Lotus range for 2018; a year when the company will mark its 70th anniversary.
Production of the Elise Cup 260 will be limited to only 30 units, most of which are expected to sell to UK enthusiasts. UK price is listed at £59,500 (AU$86,000 approx.). Australian availability is unconfirmed – and unlikely given the limited number to be produced.
Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and Director of Classic Team Lotus, said, “Each and every one of the sports cars produced by Group Lotus today carries the true spirit of Lotus, laid down by my father nearly 70 years ago. I am extremely proud that his legacy and achievements are being acknowledged and celebrated in this iconic version of the Elise.”