What’s the deal?
Lotus is celebrating its Hethel headquarters turning 50 this year. To commemorate the milestone, they've just introduced their latest Elise. Simply called the Elise 250 Special Edition, it is based on the outgoing Elise Cup 250 but with an array of carbon-fibre bits.
The 250 SE comes in four colours – classic metallic blue, red, yellow and white – each a Lotus favourite in over 50 years of the company’s history. Forged alloy wheels are painted in silver, while buyers may opt for black wheels and a carbon-fibre hard top to keep weight down.
The purpose built Elise is equipped with a carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing, front access panel and tailgate as standard.
The cabin encapsulates Colin Chapman’s ‘light is right’ philosophy. With sports seats made out of carbon-fibre, the seats will either be in dark blue or dark grey leather with contrasting stitching. However, buyers who want an extra dose of comfort can opt for air-conditioning, cruise control, full carpet, extra sound-deadening and even an in-car entertainment system with Bluetooth and iPod functions.
Lotus has not made any mechanical changes to the Elise 250’s powerplant. Its 1.8-litre supercharged engine is taken directly from the Elise Cup 250, which means it is capable of 243hp at 7,200rpm and 250Nm of torque from 3,500 to 5,500 rpm.
The power figures are enough to send the 899kg car from stationary to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds. The mid-mounted Toyota-sourced 4-cylinder unit sends its power through a 6-speed manual transmission and an electronic diff-lock.
The Elise 250 SE is also the quickest road-legal Elise to ever lap the company’s Hethel circuit with the time of 1 minute 34 seconds.
The Elise 250 is flooded with various motorsport-themed components which include Bilsten sport dampers with Eibach coaxial coil springs and double wishbone suspension. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin-piston calipers up front, and a single-piston unit from Brembo at the rear.
The electronic diff-lock in the Elise 250 is tuned to give it better traction and faster corner exit speeds. There’s also driver-selectable ESP modes; Sport and Race settings, which sequentially increase throttle response, lowering traction slip and removing understeer recognition, improving driver control before the safety system intercepts.
Limited to just 50 examples, the Elise 250 Special Edition is on sale now in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Japan with a price tag of £47,900 in the UK.