Quicker than a Porsche Cayman GT4

2015 was a busy year for Lotus. Not only did the Brits revamp the Elise and Exige with updated models, but they also launched a significantly upgraded Evora, the brand-new 3-Eleven, and announced plans to develop their first-ever SUV. Having already launched the new Lotus Exclusive customization program in January 2016, the brand introduced the beefed-up Elise Cup 250 as its first new model for the year.

Essentially an lighter and more powerful version of the previous Elise Cup, the Cup 250 is the quickest road-going Elise ever from 0 to 60 mph as well as on Lotus’ iconic Hethel test track. As with most updates, the Cup 250 comes with new and revised features, extra options, and access to the company’s new Lotus Exclusive program. The Cup 250 joins the less track-oriented Sport and Sport 220 in the 2016 Elise lineup. The new Elise Cup 250 went on sale in most markets in April 2016 and in 2017 gained an update with revised looks and aerodynamics. Unfortunately, the sports car won’t cross the pond to the U.S., where Lotus can only sell the Evora 400 due to America’s strict safety requirements.

Keep reading to find out more about the Lotus Elise Cup 250.

  • 2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6 speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    243 @ 7200
  • Torque @ RPM:
    184 @ 3500
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    154 mph
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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If you’re familiar with the previous Elise S Cup, the Cup 250 won’t take you by surprise. Styling-wise, both are almost identical, which is far from surprising given that most recent updates have remained similar to their predecessors. Is this a bad thing? Depends on where you stand, but I think that the Elise sports a timeless design that will look fresh for many years to come.

Essentially a standard Elise on steroids, the Cup 250 features an aggressive aero pack

A closer look at the car reveals that the Cup 250 is a perfect copy of last year’s S Cup. Essentially a standard Elise on steroids, the Cup 250 features an aggressive aero pack that includes a protruding front splitter, massive side skirts, a race-spec rear diffuser, and a large rear wing. Just like its predecessor, the front hood is half body-colored and half black, while both the wheels and the side intake inserts are also finished in black.

There are two notable differences that set the new Cup model apart from its forerunner. The mirror caps are black instead of silver and the roadster is now the standard body style, with a hard-top available as an option.

Speaking of options, the Cup 250 can also be ordered with a Carbon Aero pack that replaces the standard front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side skirts with carbon-fiber components. This reduces mass by a 10 kg (22 pounds), taking the car’s curb weight down to just 921 kg (2,030 pounds). That’s a 21-kg (46-pound) reduction compared to the previous S Cup and a 3-kg (7-pound) decrease over the track-only Elise S Cup R.

The sports car can be had in one of ten exterior colors. Two are no-cost options, seven are metallic, and one is the Signature Grey option. Lotus says that the Cup 250 can be personalized through its Exclusive program, meaning customers should be able to pick between race-themed body colors such as Essex Blue and Motorsport Black, as well as a range of racing stripes.

New For 2017

*** Lotus ditched the quad taillights arrangement in favor of a dual light layout with smaller reverse lights ***

The Elise Cup 250 carries over mostly unchanged design-wise, but Lotus updated a few features in order to improve aerodynamics. A closer look up front reveals larger intakes on the sides and a redesigned carbon-fiber splitter. The latter no longer has the big winglets on the sides. Moving onto the sides, the most noticeable change is the redesigned intake in the rear fender. Although it remained virtually unchanged in terms of size and shape, the vent is no longer split into two distinct elements by a center-mounted wing.

More noticeable changes are visible around back, starting with the reshaped carbon-fiber wing. Below, Lotus ditched the quad taillights arrangement in favor of a dual light layout with smaller reverse lights on each side of the "Lotus" lettering. The diffuser was also redesigned, and, even though it’s smaller and doesn’t look as menacing as before, it makes the Cup 250 easier on the eyes.

In addition to these visual changes, Lotus also managed to reduce the curb weight of the car by using additional carbon-fiber and aluminum elements, as well as a plastic rear window.

Interior

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Interior
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The interior of the Cup 250 is also similar to the S Cup, but Lotus is offering several updates with the new model. Arguably the most important of them are the carbon sport seats. Available in either black or red Alcantara, the race-inspired seats come standard. Other equipment offered at no extra cost include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a polished aluminum gear knob, a leather handbrake sleeve, engine start push button, and driver and passenger air bags.

Arguably the most important of them are the carbon sport seats.

The options list is quite extensive for a Lotus and includes a matt black hard-top, air conditioning, cruise control, floor mats, quick-release steering wheel and airbag delete, harness cross bar and four-point harnesses, a fire extinguisher and battery isolator, and a leather trim pack. There’s also an integrated in-car entertainment system with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth functionality.

Buyers who want to customize the car beyond the standard options can take it to Lotus Exclusive for additional leather and contrast stitching colors, among other features.

New For 2017

The cabin carries over unchanged, so customers will enjoy the standard in-house manufactured carbon-fiber race seats in black Alcantara with contrast red or yellow stitching, matching door panels, and exposed aluminum and carbon elements. Optionally, it can be equipped with Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel and sill covers, leather or tartan trim packs, bodywork keyed color inserts for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, and additional weight saving carbon components including face-level vents, HVAC surrounds, and sill covers.

Drivetrain

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
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These updates, the extra oomph, and the lighter curb weight enable the Cup 250 to hit 60 mph from a standing start in only 3.9 seconds, making it the fastest road-going Elise ever.

This is where the Cup 250 becomes really interesting, as the supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine borrowed from the S Cup has received a significant upgrade. The revised mill cranks out 243 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque between 3,500 rpm and 5,500 rpm, a 26-horsepower increase over the previous Cup model. The four-banger mates to a revised six-speed manual gearbox with sports ratios and a Bosch locking differential. The Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) now provides a Sport mode that increases throttle response, lowers traction slip thresholds and removes understeer recognition.

These updates, the extra oomph, and the lighter curb weight enable the Cup 250 to hit 60 mph from a standing start in only 3.9 seconds, making it the fastest road-going Elise ever. Also, the Cup 250 lapped the Hethel test track in one minute and 34 seconds, shaving an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup time on the same circuit. This significant improvement was aided by the aerodynamically optimized body kit that provides 66 kg (145.5 pounds) of downforce at 100 mph and an impressive 155 kg (341.7 pounds) at a maximum speed of 154 mph. Speaking of which, maximum speed has increased by 14 mph compared to the previous version.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type All alloy, 1.8 litre DOHC 4-cylinder, dual VVT-i, 16-valve with chargecooled Magnuson R900 supercharger utilising Eaton TVSTM technology
Max power 243 HP @ 7,200 RPM
Max torque 184 LB-FT @ 3,500 - 5,500 RPM
0-60 mph 3.9 seconds
Max speed 154 MPH (248 KM/H)
Transmission 6 speed manual gearbox with sports ratios

New For 2017

The Elise Cup 250 carries over with the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 243 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. And, despite being up to 158 pounds lighter than last year’s car (depending on packages selected), its performance features remain unchanged. Specifically, the sports car needs 3.9 seconds to hit 60 mph toward a top speed of 154 mph. Owners will get the same race-inspired chassis features, including the fully independent double wishbone suspension, front anti-roll bar, Bilstein dampers, Eibach coaxial coil springs, AP Racing and Brembo brakes.

Chassis, Suspension and Brakes

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
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The Elise Cup 250 rides on a lightweight, extruded aluminum bonded chassis structure and carries over the motorsport-derived suspension and braking components from the previous Elise Cup. The system includes an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs and double wishbone suspension. Stopping power comes from AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear calipers that work in conjunction with a track-tuned ABS system. The lightweight, forged alloy wheels measuring 16 inches in the front and 17 inches in the rear are wrapped in Yokohama AO48 rubber.

Prices

The Lotus Elise Cup 250 retails from £45,600 in the United Kingdom, which represents a £15,700 premium over the standard Elise Sport and a £9,100 premium over the Elise Sport 220, which is powered by the same supercharged, 1.8-liter, but rated at 217 horsepower. In Germany, the new sports car fetches €61,100 before options. Due to safety regulations, the Lotus Elise isn’t available in the United States.

Competition

Porsche 718 Boxster

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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The new Elise Cup 250 arrives just in time to go against the revised Porsche Boxster, which has been renamed the 718 Boxster. Now powered by a 2.0-liter flat-four, the base Boxster comes with 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet at its disposal. But, despite being more powerful than the Lotus, the Porsche is significantly heavier, which makes it slower than the Cup 250. Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.9 seconds with the manual, 4.7 ticks with the PDK, and 4.5 seconds with the PDK and the Sport Chrono package. Move up the range and you can get the Boxster S with 350 horses and 309 pound-feet coming from a 2.5-liter flat-four. However, this version won’t help you defeat the Lotus in a straight line, as the quickest variant with PDK and Sport Chrono is still a tenth-second slower at four seconds from 0 to 60 mph. On the other hand, the 718 Boxster has a far superior top speed, rated at 170 mph for the base model and 177 for the S variant. As far as prices go, the Boxster is the slightly more affordable roadster in base trim, priced from £41,739 in the U.K. Unlike the Elise Cup 250, the 718 Boxster is available in North America.

Find out more about the Porsche 718 Boxster here.

Conclusion

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Elise Cup 250 might be nearly identical to its predecessor inside and out, but I have to give Lotus credit for doing what it knows best. Lighter and quicker cars. Not only more powerful and significantly quicker than the previous Elise Cup, the Cup 250 has shed so many pounds that it is know lighter than the race-spec version of Elise S Cup. That’s an aspect gearheads should consider when buying a brand-new track-toy and a feat that should motivate Porsche to develop a new Boxster Spyder. The Elise might be a little long in the tooth, but it looks like Brits aren’t ready to give up on it just yet.

  • Leave it
    • The 718 Boxster comes with the fancier interior
    • Slightly more expensive than the Porsche
    • Not coming to the U.S.

Press Release

Proving that less is more, Lotus’ high performance Cup version of the famous Elise has shed 21 kg and gained 26 hp. Weighing in at 931 kg, and capable of 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, the Elise Cup 250 is the fastest road-going Lotus Elise ever.

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
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Replacing the acclaimed Elise Cup 220, the new Elise Cup 250 perfectly demonstrates the Lotus ‘light is right’ mantra as all vehicle components were optimised to add lightness and speed. Delivered to the marque’s now famous ‘Lightweight Laboratory’, it emerged with a range of features, including a Lithium-ion battery which slashes 10 kg off the weight, carbon fibre seats, reducing the weight by 6 kg, and ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, saving a further 1.5 kg.

Designed to suit all sports car fans, the Lotus Elise Cup 250 is available for the first time as a roadster as standard with a hard top available as an option. For those wanting to cut the car’s weight still further, and so boost performance, a Carbon Aero Pack is available, which cuts an extra 10 kg, reducing the mass to just 921kg.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented, “The Lotus Elise has long set the benchmark in its class, yet we’ve been able to hone its straight-line performance and handling. Yes, it is capable of amazing things on a track, but it also retains its road manners and is perfectly composed for day-to-day driving. No rival offers this level of performance and accessibility.”

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
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With the new car lapping the company’s Hethel test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, the changes and engineering adaptions to the Elise Cup 250 have taken an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup 220’s best time and represent the fastest recorded lap time for a production Elise.

The new Elise Cup 250 benefits from the continuous improvement design philosophy of Lotus and its perpetual quest to evolve all constituent parts, lightening and optimising them. Every aspect of the car has been carefully considered: from the recalibrated ignition system, right down to the wider 195/50 R16 front tyres to give sharper, more-responsive steering.

Powered by a new higher-output version of the supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp (246 PS) at 7200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 3500 rpm and 5500 rpm.

Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) provides a ‘Sport’ mode, increasing throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, allowing enhanced control before the system intervenes.

The aerodynamically optimised body kit provides 66kg of downforce at 100mph and an impressive 155 kg at maximum velocity of 154 mph. Shaping and working airflow over and around the bodywork has been key to delivering the car’s extremely focused handling. An optional Carbon Aero pack replaces the standard front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor-extensions with lightweight carbon components and reduces mass by a further 10 kg.

The Elise Cup 250 carries over the motorsport-derived suspension and braking components from the Elise Cup 220, including an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs and double wishbone suspension. AP Racing twin-piston front calipers, and Brembo single-piston rear calipers work in conjunction with the track-tuned ABS system with ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels (16 inch, front and 17 inch rear) are fitted with Yokohama AO48 tyres (195/50/16 on the front and 225/45/17 on the rear)

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 High Resolution Exterior
- image 665807

New larger switches with improved haptics have been introduced for the Lotus Dynamic Performance Management System (with Sport setting), headlights and rear fog lights, mounted together with the vehicle’s new engine start button.

As standard, the Elise Cup 250 comes with a full Alcantara® interior in red or black, with an optional Leather Pack available. An integrated in-car entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality along with full carpets and enhanced sound insulation.

A total of ten paint choices are available for the Cup 250: two are no-cost options, seven are metallic and one is the Signature Grey option. The new Elise Cup 250 can also be personalised through the recently launched Lotus Exclusive programme. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options.

The Lotus Elise Cup 250 goes on sale in all major markets, excluding North America, from April 2016.

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