Lotus Elise Cup 260: ‘ultimate Elise’ is a racer for the road | CAR Magazine

Lotus Elise Cup 260: ‘ultimate Elise’ is a racer for the road

Published: 23 October 2017

► New special edition Elise revealed
► Advanced aero and light weight 
► Very limited production run

The Lotus Elise is the gift that keeps on giving, with a new race car-derived version of the lightweight sports car from Norfolk ready for launch.

With just 30 examples available it’s certainly exclusive, with (an optional) Championship Gold paintjob to commemorate the upcoming 70th anniversary of founder Colin Chapman’s first Lotus car creation.

What’s different about it?

The big news is the advanced aero kit fitted to the Cup 260 to create even more downforce – no fewer than 180kg of negative lift at the 151mph top speed. Those kilos come from a combination of oversized rear wing, carbon front splitter and rear diffuser and redesigned panels at the front.

Add to that a set of wider, road-legal motorsport tyres and the Elise Cup 260 laps the firm’s Hethel race track 2.5 seconds faster than the already seriously quick Elise Cup 250.

Lotus Elise Cup 260

Lotus sees this as the ‘ultimate Elise,’ and as such it comes with a selection of Elise Cup options fitted as standard, including two-piece brake discs, two-way adjustable Nitron dampers and an engine cover in carbon, as well as an elegantly bare-bones interior with black alcantara trim, carbon fibre sill covers and a distinctive open-gate gearbox.

What’s in the engine bay? Give me the numbers!

The Cup 260 uses the familiar Toyota-derived 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder engine to produce 248bhp (286bhp per tonne) and 188lb ft of torque. It’s capable of completing the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.2 seconds.

Less appealing figures relate to how much you’ll be spending on this exclusivity. You’re looking at parting with £59,500 to get your hands on this exclusive Elise, with the option to easily add more on a £4000 titanium exhaust, paint options up to £2850, £1250 on air conditioning (yes, really), £1000 on a tartan interior trim pack or £3000 for a carbonfibre hard top.

And if you really want, Lotus will fit a set of mud flaps for £150. 

Lotus Elise Cup 260

By Tom Goodlad

Bauer Automotive's former continuity editor and CAR contributor