Forget the SUV for now; in marking the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948, Lotus has revealed the extreme, race-bred, limited-edition, Lotus Elise Cup 260. With inspirations taken from the Exige Cup 380, the Evora GT430 and the Elise Race 250, it is said to be the most accomplished car Lotus has ever produced.
Being 15 kgs lighter than the Elise Cup 250 at just 902 kg (unladen weight), weight savings come from its large rear wing, front access panel, engine cover, two piece brake discs, lightweight race seats and forged alloy wheels along with a polycarbonate rear screen.
The Elise Cup 260 took lessons from the GT 430 with its louvred front wheel arches, a new oversized motorsport-derived rear wing, developed from the Lotus 3-Eleven. Together with the carbon front splitter and rear diffuser, it generates up to 180 kg (a 44% gain from the Elise Cup 250) of downforce when the Elise Cup 260 reaches its 243 km/h top speed.
The Elise Cup is powered by a supercharged 1.8-litre engine delivering 250 hp and 255 Nm of torque through a 6-speed manual gearbox. A race-derived air-filter and a tuned exhaust note ensures that the Elise Cup 260 retains the “best-sounding forced-induction four-cylinder” crown.
0 to 100 km/h takes just 3.8 seconds to complete in a composed manner, supervised by independent double wishbone suspension, adjustable anti-roll bars and two-way adjustable Nitron dampers, fitted for the first time to an Elise.
Stopping power is provided by twin-pot AP Racing calipers in the front and Brembo units at the rear tucked beneath 16-inch ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels in the front and a 17-inch pair at the back. 10 mm wider Yokohama Advan Neova tyres than the Cup 250 promises increased mechanical grip to fully utilise the brute power of the Elise Cup 260.
Centre pieces inside include an in-house manufactured, carbon race seats in Alcantara together with a new carbon fibre instrument cover. The car seen here is painted in Championship Gold to commemorate the forthcoming 70th anniversary of Lotus.