Sports Car, News, Convertible

Lotus reveals new Elise Sprint edition 

A new Sprint edition of the Lotus Elise has been unveiled, featuring styling tweaks and weight-saving techniques that see it tipping the scales at under 800kg. 

In the biggest weight cut to the Elise since the introduction of the first-generation, the Sprint edition has shed 41 kg over the previous model, to reach a benchmark dry weight of just 798 kg. This is, in part thanks to lightweight and carbon components fitted as standard. External design touches for the Sprint range include a matt black transom panel, black wheels which come with custom contrasting metal spun rims, subtle side stripes on the bodywork and unique side and rear badging.

The new Elise is available with two engine options: the 1.6-litre or the supercharged 1.8-litre, delivering power and torque of 134 hp / 160 Nm and 217 hp / 250 Nm, respectively with CO2 emissions of 149 g / km  and 173 g / km. The reduction in weight translates into quicker acceleration - with 0-60 mph at 5.9 seconds for the Sprint and 4.1 seconds for the Sprint 220.

Integrating a new front and rear aesthetic within Lotus’ design language, the latest Elise also receives a range of cabin enhancements - including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism, first introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350. Other highlights include bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, along with Sprint badge stitching. The Sprint’s detailing continues inside with optional Alcantara trim panels on the doors, sills, seats and vents surrounds, all with contrasting stitching.

The whole of the new Elise line-up benefits from a range of improvements and a 10 kg mass reduction with changes to the body including a redesigned lightweight front ‘clam panel’, with wider radiator apertures and mesh pattern grille provide a more aggressive aspect and 8.7 kg less weight. The new design of rear transom panel now has two rear light clusters, rather than four, with reversing and fog lights now mounted inboard so reducing weight by 0.3 kg and 'visually enhancing' the rear design. Rubber elements mounted on the flat underside and ahead of the front wheel, together with an additional diffuser vane at the rear, help modify airflow under the car reducing drag and increasing stability.

Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear-calipers - optional lightweight two-piece brake discs are also available. All cars benefit from user selectable ESP driving modes - Drive / Sport / Off.

The new Elise Sprint can be ordered today, priced at £37,300 OTR or £44,300 for the Sprint 220. First deliveries are expected from April.