2020 Lotus Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition
Lotus is paying homage to Australia’s most famous race by launching the Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition. Limited to just six units — yes, six — the Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition is as exclusive as it’s going to get. The special edition sports car boasts exclusive features befitting its status, none more prominent than a rare paint finish that hasn’t been used in a Lotus since the Lotus Esprit that starred in the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
In addition to the exclusive paint, the Elise 250 Bathurst Edition also comes with interior upgrades and mechanical improvements. The sports car’s 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine, on the other hand, remains in stock form. The cost of owning one of the six Lotus Elise 250 Bathurst Edition models sits at AUD109,900.
That converts to around $73,760 based on current exchange rates. Unfortunately for us here in the U.S., all six units of the Elise 250 Bathurst Edition are exclusive to the Australian market.
2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260
Arguably the most iconic Lotus still in production, the Elise has been around for more than two decades. Now in its third generation, the tiny Elise is heading toward a major redesign that will bring a faster, lighter car into dealerships. But despite working on a brand-new model, Lotus isn’t yet willing to give up on the current Elise, and it keeps pushing the limits of the small roadster with all sorts of limited-edition packages and upgrades. With several new iterations launched in 2016 and 2017, Lotus has prepared yet another version of its supercharged two-door. It’s called the Cup 260 and its the lightest, quickest road-legal Elise built to date.
Developed as the company prepares for the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948, the Cup 260 is based on the Cup 250 model that came in 2016 and includes nearly all of the lightweight Elise Cup options as standard. It also sports the latest visual upgrades that Lotus introduced for the standard Elise, as well as a comprehensive aerodynamic package that adds a tremendous amount of downforce at high speeds. Naturally, it’s the quickest Elise on the brand’s Hethel track, and its production is limited to only a handful of examples. Find out more about that below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Cup 260.
2016 Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition
It seems like every month one automaker or another has a reason to celebrate and create some limited-run, special-edition model. Today, Lotus has announced its latest special edition that was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s Hethel site. The car is called the Elise 350 Special Edition, and it is based on the Elise Cup 250 that launched just a few months ago. Powered by a supercharged four-cylinder, this thing delivers more than 240 horsepower and comes complete with lots of carbon fiber on the outside and a hand-finished interior. As Lotus put it, “It perfectly defines the quintessential British sports car in the celebration year.”
Outside of being quick thanks to that supercharged four-banger, this baby is also pretty aesthetically pleasing and can be had in a number of colors. On top of that, the car can also be personalized through the Lotus Exclusive Program, which means that each of the 50 units slated for production could turn out to be completely unique. For the record, Lotus claims this special-edition model can lap its Hethel test circuit in just 1 minute and 34 seconds – the fastest so far of any road-going Elise.
Jean-Marc Gales, the CEO of Group Lotus plc, said, “When we first introduced the Elise, it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilized, a sports car could be. As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that’s even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we’ve ever produced. The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that, so it’s supremely quick and agile, but it’s also wonderfully finished and stunning to look at.”
So, with that said, let’s take a good look at this special-edition Elise and see what all the hype is about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition.
2017 Lotus Elise Race 250
Now entering its second decade in production, the Lotus Elise is simply one of the most capable speed machines on the planet, as evidenced by the numerous platform iterations (Tesla Roadster, Hennessey Venom GT, etc.) and high-spec track day specials that have sprung up over the years. Now, Lotus is offering its most hardcore track-oriented Elise to date, and it’s called the Race 250. The number is a reference to the car’s blown 1.8-liter output figures, which are complemented by a slew of standard performance options, including a race-ready interior, full aerodynamics, adjustable suspension, and a fiber-rich diet. And, as luck would have it, it’s coming to the U.S.
According to Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc., “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favorite with our racers around the world.”
Backing Gales’ claim is the Race 250’s 1:33.5 lap time around Lotus’ Hethel test track, a time that bests the Elise Cup 220 R by a full half-second and secures the 250’s spot as the fastest racing Elise that Lotus has ever developed.
So what exactly makes this mighty little giant slayer so darn potent? Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Race 250.
2000 Lotus 340R
When you’re a company like Lotus, you can build things that are a little out of the ordinary from time to time. Take, for example, the Lotus 340R. It’s a special-edition model derived from the Lotus Elise. It shares the same underpinnings, but features a custom-built body shell with no roof or doors to speak of – that’s right, the only way to get into this bad boy is to jump over the edge. There’s more to it than its unique body style, though. Only 340 examples were built, all of which sold out prior to the car’s official debut, and it comes equipped with exclusive tires made by Yokohama.
The 340R is a mid-engined roadster, and all 340 examples were built with the same silver and black two-tone finish. It was built at the brand’s Hethel factory and was never slated for the U.S. market, so it’s not exactly road legal here in the states. It is, however, road-legal in the U.K. – the market it was originally built for. That said, there are a few that may have crossed the big drink to the U.S., but there is only one that is claimed to be road-legal in the states, and that is the one pictured here.
The car you see in our photo gallery was listed for sale on Ebay back in 2014, and, as of this writing, it’s now being sold by a local dealer in Hollywood, Florida, with just over 3,500 miles. So, let’s take a few minutes to go over this special-edition model and see what it brings to the table.
Continue reading to see what made the Lotus 340R so special.
2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250
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.
The British made Lotus Elise debuted back in 1996, sporting a fiberglass body and a bonded aluminum chassis that helped the car set the market standard for efficiency, handling, and driving experience. The car helped launch Lotus back into the lightweight sports car market and was actually named after the granddaughter of Romano Artioli’s – Lotus’ chairperson at the time. At its birth, the Elise put out 118 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque. It tipped the scale at 1,521 pounds, hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, and had a top speed of 126 mph.
That was 20 years ago, and now Lotus is releasing an all-new Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 – that’s right, Lotus is bringing the “Sport” name back after being used previously on the Lotus Espirit. The Elise Sport is the entry-level model. It has significantly less power than the Elise Sport 220, but it still provides the handling and performance you would expect from the lightweight two-seater.
The most significant benefit of the Elise Sport is its drop in weight compared to the previous Elise. With that weight loss comes more efficiency and better fuel consumption, plus a price tag that makes the car a bit more affordable. Will the Elise Sport appease newcomers and loyal customers? Well, let’s take a deeper look at the car and see just what it offers.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Lotus Esprit Sport.
Jean-Marc Gales’ arrival at Lotus in May 2014 marked the beginning of a new era for the struggling British manufacturer. Under his leadership, Lotus revamped the Evora, launched a new 3-Eleven, and made big steps toward building its very first SUV. The aging Elise, however, has yet to be redesigned, and according to Gales that won’t happen until 2017. There is some good news for Elise fans though, as the sports roadster has just received a significant update for 2016.
Set to hit the European dealerships in December 2015 and other markets in January 2016, the updated sports car will be sold as the Elise Sport and Sport 220. The models replace the previous Elise and Elise S and mark a return of the "Sport" nameplate on a Lotus after a 16-year hiatus. The previous model to use the moniker was the Esprit, which spawned 300 Sport and Sport 350 versions in 1993 and 1999, respectively.
“We have further refined, distilled and sharpened the driving experience offered by our best selling sports car of the last 20 years, the Lotus Elise. Over the years, with each improvement to the Elise, we have ensured that the purity of the driving experience has been retained and improved upon and with these two new models, we have taken it on to the next level,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.
The updated Sport 220 is lighter than the previous Elise S and received a number of new features inside and out. Keep reading to find out more about these changes.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Sport 220.
With the Elise looking as fresh as ever, it’s pretty hard to believe that the model was unveiled approximately two decades ago, in the fall of 1995. Naturally, it has been through a number of extensive refreshes since then, but the current Elise is basically the same car underneath. If the original 1996 model isn’t a testament to the forward thinking of Lotus engineers, then I don’t know what is. The car’s lightness and nimbleness are still widely regarded as benchmarks for mass-produced sports cars, even though more than a few pounds were gained over the years.
Lotus has decided to celebrate the model’s unveiling 20 years ago with a limited edition. Called the Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition, the new model has less weight and a host of extra features, replacing the Elise S Club Racer in the Lotus lineup.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition.
Launched in 1996 as a rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine roadster, the Lotus Elise replaced the aging Elan in the company’s lineup. Initially powered by a 118-horsepower, 1.8-liter Rover engine, the little roadster weighed only 1,598 pounds and was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds. More powerful iterations, including one that came with 190 horsepower on tap, were released until the first-generation model was replaced in 2001. The second-gen sports car came with revised exterior styling and a refreshed interior, while the Rover engine was dropped in favor of a Toyota-sourced, 1.8-liter four-banger. The second-gen Elise received a mild facelift in 2011, when an entry-level, 1.6-liter unit was introduced for the European market. As we’re moving closer to 2015, Lotus began testing a new version of the Elise on the Nurburgring track and, as it turns out, the Brits have launched yet another iteration of its iconic sports car. Dubbed Elise S Cup, the lightweight coupe is nothing more than a road-legal version of the Cup R race car that was launched in 2013.
In other words, it’s the most powerful road-going Elise ever built and it comes with everything you need for a fun-filled weekend at the races. Check out the full details after the jump.
Updated 01/16/2015: Lotus announced that the all-new Elise S Cup is now officially in production and the company has started to accept orders for it. Also, the company released a new set of high-res images, and we have to admit, that green paint fits it perfectly. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read about the Lotus Elise S Cup
Lotus has announced the launch of a new track-only model based on the new Elise S. The new model, which is called the Elise S Cup R, will enter the 2014 Lotus Cup series in different countries around the world. This new race is priced from £39,125 (about $62,700) in Europe and $66,650 in the U.S.
The Elise S Cup R is powered by the same mid-mounted, 1.8-liter 2ZR-FE engine found in the Elise S, but with updates needed for the race track. The engine features a Magnuson R900 supercharger with Eaton TVS technology, and it mates to a six-speed manual gear box as standard. This allows the Elise S Cup R to put down 217 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque — the same as the stock Elise S.
The new Elise S Cup R rides on forged alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Neova tires sized 175/55R16 up front and 225/45R17 on the rear. Lotus also installed a new TCA suspension kit and a new high-performance brake system with twin-piston, fixed aluminum-alloy front brake calipers, 288-by-26 mm (11.3-by-1.02-inch) rotors, and single-piston, sliding rear calipers.
Inside, the Elise S Cup R gets your typical racing equipment, like a roll cage, fire extinguisher, six-point harness, HANS-compliant racing seat, quick-release wheel and a polycarbonate rear window.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lotus Elise S Cup R.
Update 11/12/2013: Lotus has just revealed to us that the Elise S Cup R will be imported to the U.S. at a price just over $66k, though the road-going variant is not available here.
The Lotus Nemesis was able to shatter the U.K. land speed record for an electric vehicle in September 2012, but many people didn’t even know this vehicle existed. Did Lotus create an electric model while no one was looking?
No, the Nemesis isn’t an all-new electric vehicle built by Lotus in an attempt to rebuild its damaged image. The Nemesis is actually a one-off Lotus Elise converted to electric power by Ecotricity – a Great Britain-based renewable energy company.
Typically, when you think of the electric vehicle, you imagine the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV; you think, a slow and ugly buggy that looks as if the manufacturer built it out of spite rather than to actually sell. Well, first we had Tesla eliminating the ugly and slow stereotypes rather effectively and now you have this Nemesis ripping that stereo type to shreds and stomping it into the ground.
Click past the just to read our full review on the Lotus Nemesis.
The sleek and sexy Hennessey Venom GT became a successful model in a very short time and Hennessey is hoping to repeat that success with an open top version of the same sports car. The new Hennessey Venom GT Spyder will be offered with a removable top and will only be produced in a limited run of five units, two of which have already been spoken for. Deliveries will begin in Summer 2012 and prices will start from $1.1 million, about $150,000 more than the Coupe’s top version.
The Venom GT Spyder will be powered by the same Chevrolet sourced V8 engine found in the Coupe with an output of 1,200 HP at 6,500 rpm and 1,155 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. Because of the added weight from the removable roof, performance numbers should be a tad bit slower than the Coupe, which sprints from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and to 200 mph in 15.9 seconds, on its way up to a top speed of 275 mph. The engine will more than likely send its power to the rear wheels via a Ricardo 6-speed gearbox and handling will be facilitated by a KW variant three-adjustable coilover suspension.
As far as its design goes, the Venom GT Spyder will start off with the Lotus Elise base and will follow along the same extreme design lines as its Coupe sibling. We imagine it will also feature the same active aero system with adjustable rear wing that will deploy under varying conditions on both the road and racetrack.
"With the hardtop in place, the Venom GT offers a very visceral, raw, driving experience," said Hennessey CEO, Don Goldman. "With the hardtop removed, the wind and the growl of the twin turbo V8 will offer our clients an even greater driving sensation."
The 1,200 HP will make the Venom GT Spyder the most powerful convertible in the world. Will it also be the fastest? We believe it will, but Hennessey will have to keep that 275 mph top speed intact.
UPDATE 06/01/2012: Following the delivery of the first Venom GT Spyder to Steven Tyler, Hennessey has dropped a pretty impressive picture gallery for their Venom GT Spyder. Enjoy!
Hennessey Performance have revealed the official details on the Venom GT supercar. Based on a Lotus Elise, their kit will be limited to only five units, four of which have already being spoken for.
The Venom GT is powered by a supercharged 6.2 liter LS9 V8 engine, same used in the Corvette ZR1, that delivers a total of 725 bhp. And if this is not enough, the tuner will also be offering 1000 bhp and 1200 bhp twin turbo V8 engine variants. With a curb weight of 2,685 lbs, the 1200 HP Venom GT will hit a top speed of 275 mph.
The supercar features lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels, a programmable traction control system, CFD (computational fluid dynamic) tested bodywork, an active aero system with adjustable rear wing, and an adjustable suspension system.
Prices start at $725,000 for the 725 HP variant, and go up to $950,000 for the 1200 HP Big Daddy model.
“Twelve hundred horsepower combined with in a mid-engine chassis that weighs twelve hundred kilos (2,685 lbs) – no other road car and only a handful of race cars can match the power to weight ratio of the Venom GT,” added HPE president and founder, John Hennessey. “It is a driver’s car, a supercar with a soul that will give you as much speed and performance as you dare ask of it.”
UPDATE 07/06/2012: The Hennessey Venom GT headed back to where it all started - the Goodwood Festival of Speed - to show the crowds just how awesome it is! The proof was in the pudding when the Venom GT shot out flames during its run. Check it out by clicking in the video above.
More details on the Hennessey Venom GT after the jump.
Lotus promised a trio of sports cars occupying their space at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and, next to the new generation Exige S and the Exige R-GT, that promise has been delivered with a new addition to the Elise lineup: the Elise S. This new model will replace the existing Elise SC which just displayed its final hoorah with the special edition Elise SC Final Edition.
The Lotus Elise first appeared about 15 years ago and promised the performance of a supercar, but the fuel economy of a city car. That idea is still going on strong today with a new 1.8 liter super charged engine delivering a total of 217 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. The great thing about the new Elise S is that it has a comparable power output to the Elise SC - it actually has a higher peak torque (184 lb-ft to the SC’s 156 lb-ft) - but it has answered the fuel economy and CO2 emissions issues brought on by the change of regulations.
Want to know more? Hit the jump for details on the Lotus Elise S.
Our spy photographers recently caught the new Lotus Exige hidden under a very strange looking camouflage testing, and now Lotus has announced that they will celebrate the end of production for the renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models with three special editions: the Elise SC, Exige Matte Black, and Exige S260 Final Editions. The Lotus Elise SC Final Edition will be limited to only 15 units and will carry a price tag of $57,500.
For those of you outside North America, don’t worry, both the Elise and Exige models will continue to be available in other markets around the world. The reason for the termination of production in North America is that there was a lack of continued availability for the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.
But hey, at least it can go out with a bang, so hit the jump to get full details on the 2011 Elise SC Final Edition.
The Lotus Elise has never been a car accused of being overweight, but that still hasn’t stopped Lotus from putting the sportscar on another diet to lose a few pounds. The result of that weight loss is the new Club Racer model which is 53 lbs lighter than the standard production model. In order to obtain reduction in weight for the lighter model, Lotus has opted for a stripped-to-the-bare-bone approach, meaning lighter seats, a lightweight battery, and the deletion of noise insulation.
Wolf Zimmermann Chief Technical Officer Lotus Cars said: "The traditional Lotus approach of reduction and purity has lead to one of the most zeitgeist and contemporary sports cars around. For over 15 years the Lotus Elise has become an icon in the sports car market, carving out a niche market with a dedicated following of lightweight fans. The new Club Racer will definitely give these people something extra to get their teeth stuck into. This car epitomizes everything that’s cool about the Elise – it’s fast, raw, responsive and a huge amount of fun to drive."
More details on the Lotus Elise Club Racer after the jump.
With the growing number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis cruising their way through our streets, it’s refreshing to see a Lotus taking its worthy turn at showing off. It’s even better when this particular Lotus has taken part in a little tuning project of its own. Tecnocraft has taken a couple of Lotus models, including the Exige and the Elise, and has molded and shaped a good amount of carbon fiber for a product worthy of a little attention.
No official details have been given on the final product just yet, but these pictures show a classy combination of yellow and black for the exterior and the interior of the sports car. Considering carbon fiber was the way to go for these Lotus models, we imagine that a weight reduction is definitely in order. Just how much weight has been schlepped off is anyone’s guess at this point.
The carbon fiber sports seats being used in the Lotus model have already been showcased in Tecnocraft’s version of the C63 AMG, but another new addition for the sport cars will be a news set of wheels to further decorate the exterior.
As a refresher, the standard Elise is powered by a supercharged 1.8 liter engine that develops a total of 217 hp and rockets the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. The Exige gets a supercharged and intercooled 1.8 liter engine with 257 HP and a sprint time of 4 seconds.
2010 Lotus Elise Concept
Sold off to several companies after Colin Chapman’s death in 1982, including General Motors, Lotus ended up under Proton ownership in 1996. Although the British company was still struggling to rebound following two decades of financial hardship, the stability that came with the Proton purchase allowed Lotus to consider redesigning its sports car lineup. Launched in 1996, the Elise was more than 10 years old by 2010 and the company was hoping to offer a redesigned model in 2015. To preview what was supposed to become the Elise Series 4, Lotus introduced the Elise 2015 Concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
Compared to the then-new Series 3 production Elise launched for 2011, the concept was a radical departure styling wise and had a brand-new engine behind the rear seats. It also showcased technology previously unavailable in a Lotus, such as stop/start. On the other hand, the more modern technology made the Elise Concept significantly heavier than the existing model, which made purists rightfully unhappy about the transformation.
Fortunately for them, but obviously unfortunately for the company, the concept sports car never made it into production as Lotus continued to struggle financially and nearly went bankrupt in 2013. The Elise Series 3 soldiered on until 2016 with minor changes and it’s still waiting to get a makeover, which will most likely happen in 2017. With the concept already six years old as of 2016, it’s safe to assume that Lotus no longer wants to put it in production, but it’s a vehicle that deserves some attention for its polarizing design. Also, it’s a good way to understand how Lotus viewed the sports car market back in 2010.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Concept.
Lotus, in cooperation with Roger Becker (former Director of Vehicle Engineering for Lotus), unveiled the Lotus Elise SC and Exige S RGB Special Editions. Both models are the first in a series of special editions that will celebrate the final run of European specification 1.8 liter Elise and Exige sportscars.
The Elise SC RGB Special Edition is powered by a supercharged 1.8 liter engine that develops a total of 217 hp and rockets the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. The Lotus Exige S RGB Special Edition gets a supercharged and intercooled 1.8 liter engine with 257 HP and a sprint time of 4 seconds.
Both models will be offered with a choice of four colors: aspen white, starlight black, solar yellow, & carbon grey. The special editions will feature sports and touring packages as standard. They will be distinguished by a numbered interior plaque, Roger Becker’s signature on the side of the bodywork, and special monochrome Lotus nose badge.
“I am honoured that Lotus has named these two special editions after me, especially as it allows me to offer the customer my favourite specifications. The past 44 years have been an incredible journey and I’m looking forward to watching Lotus progress in the future, I have no doubt that the company will continue to go from strength to strength,”
said Roger Becker.
Press release and specifications after the jump.
The English sports car builder Lotus has refreshed their lightweight Elise roadster with a new front end and have revealed the first details on the 2011 Elise facelift. The redesigned sports car is built on top of a new lightweight structure made up of extruded aluminum alloy bonded with epoxy as opposed to traditional welds that add additional mass featuring integral steel seat belt supports and lightweight rear subframe which serves as the centerpiece for the fully independent suspension that utilizes unequal length wishbones, mono tube gas dampers from Bilstein, coil springs from Eibach and a front anti roll bar.
The 2011 Elise will be powered by a 1.6 Liter naturally aspirated water cooled inline four cylinder engine that delivers a total of 134 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six speed gearbox. The combination is good for a 0 to 60 MPH sprint time of 6.7 seconds and is capable of reaching a 124 MPH top speed. The new lightweight Lotus Elise sports car will go on sale this April in U.K. and will be priced at 26,550 GBP.
Updated 04/22/2010: A set of new high res images added to the picture gallery. Check it out!
Press release after the jump.