Lotus is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Hethel site with the unveiling of the Elise 250 Special Edition.
Based on the Elise Cup 250 launched earlier this year, the 250 Special Edition tips the scales at 899 kg, thanks to the use of advanced materials including carbon fibre and aluminium, remaining true to the Lotus philosophy of ‘Light is Right’.
Powered by a supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine delivering 243 hp (246 PS) at 7200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 3500 rpm and 5500 rpm, the roadster will sprint from 0-60mph in under 4 seconds.
Lotus says the car is designed to appeal aesthetically as well as dynamically and as such it features a selection of hand-made carbon-fibre components as standard, including a front splitter, rear wing, tailgate and front access panel.
Inside, the carbon-fibre sports seats are finished in either dark blue or dark grey leather, and stitched with a choice of contrasting colours. The door trim is afforded the same hand-stitched finish.
An integrated in-car entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth functionality, along with air conditioning, cruise control, auxiliary driving lights, full carpets, floor mats and enhanced sound insulation.
Limited to just 50 examples, the Elise 250 Special Edition has been conceived, says Lotus, as a tribute to the 1963 Lotus Elan, which established itself as one of the icons of 60’s motoring and even became a star of screen in hit TV shows of the time, including the classic series The Avengers.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented, “When we first introduced the Elise, it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilised, 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.”
The new car laps the company’s Hethel test circuit in 1 minute 34 seconds, the fastest recorded time for a production road-going Elise. It carries over the same suspension and braking components from the Elise Cup 250, including 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.
Fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, it includes an Electronic Differential Lock as standard to give better traction and faster exit speeds when cornering.
The Elise 250 Special Edition is available in choice of four colours, each a long-standing favourite over the last 50 years. Classic metallic blue, red, yellow and white finishes are all complemented by ultralight forged wheels in silver, or black as an option. An optional carbon fibre hardtop roof panel is also available, as is further personalisation through the Lotus Exclusive programme.
Prices for the Elise 250 Special Edition start from £47,900.