The test car, seen here undergoing high-speed testing around the Nurburgring in Germany, wears the aggressive aero kit of the hardcore British track car, but has a few key distinguishing features.
Most obviously, the spied prototype has licence plates and standard headlights, the latter differing from the blacked-out fixtures of the Elise S Cup R that was unveiled in November.
Significantly, the external battery isolator switch and fire extinguisher button on the left rear pillar of the racecar do not appear on the matt red test car, highlighting its anticipated progression from track to tarmac.
The road version is likely to share its powertrain with the Cup R racer, which borrows its supercharged 162kW/250Nm 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed manual transmission from the Elise S.
Lotus is yet to officially confirm plans to introduce an Elise S Cup R road car. CarAdvice has contacted Lotus Australia for more information on the spied car.
If it enters production and reaches our shores, the Cup R would likely sit at the top of the Elise range above the $83,250 Elise S Club Racer.
Click the Photos tab for more images of the Lotus Elise prototype.