Lotus has added another lightweight special edition to its lineup, in the form the Elise Cup 260.
Just 30 examples of the lighter, more powerful Elise will be built to celebrate the British marque’s long history in motorsport.
The eye-catching new aero package on the 260 takes inspiration from the Evora GT430, with louvred front wheel arches and a massive rear wing. Working in tandem with the revised front splitter and rear diffuser, the tweaks help generate 180kg of downforce at 243km/h – 44 per cent more than the standard Elise Cup 250.
Having found a way to create more downforce, the team in Hethel has also shaved 15kg from the Elise Cup 250, thanks largely to the generous use of carbon-fibre. The carbon engine cover and bonnet save a combined 4.4kg, while the lightweight weave has been used to shed 1.5kg from the roll hoop and side skirt covers.
Two-piece brake discs cut another 4kg from the weight figure, while the seats weigh just 6kg each, and the lithium-ion battery is 9kg lighter than a conventional unit. The net result is a 902kg (wet) weight sticker.
Power comes from the same supercharged four-cylinder engine found in the Elise 250, treated to a revised tune and fresh induction system. Drivers have 186kW (+6kW) and 255Nm (+5Nm) on tap. Power is put to the road through a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, for a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.2 seconds.
Lotus also says a performance air filter and exhaust make for the "best-sounding forced-induction four-cylinder on the market", although there is still an optional titanium exhaust available.
Above: Lotus Evora GT430
The car rides on forged alloy wheels (16-inch front and 17-inch rear) wrapped in Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tyres, which are 10mm wider than those on the 'regular' Elise Cup 250. Suspension has been provided by Nitron, with an adjustable front anti-roll bar and 24-way adjustable dampers for owners who want to precisely tailor their ride and handling characteristics.
Behind the wheel, there are special body-colour inserts for the seats and transmission console, along with a new carbon-fibre cover for the instrument binnacle. The open-gate gearbox is fully functional, but looks utterly stunning and highlights the attention to detail that goes into building a car like the 260.
Lotus Cars Australia is currently working with Lotus Group to determine whether if it's feasible to bring the Cup 260 to Australia. If it does come Down Under, only one example is likely to be imported.
UPDATE: Lotus Cars Australia has confirmed the Elise Cup 260 won't be available in Australia. The extremely limited build run, coupled with the fact the car won't have ADR compliance, sealed its fate.