Lotus Elise Sprint: even lighter weight Elise slims down to 798kg

Published: 17 March 2017

► New Lotus Elise Sprint unveiled
► Slices 41kg from the kerbweight
► Now weighs 798kg, costs £37,300 

If ever a car didn't really need to go on a diet, it was the Lotus Elise. But that's not the Hethel mentality - and so they've sent their entry sports car off on a Weight Watchers course.

The result? The new 2017 Lotus Elise Sprint, with a nifty 41 kilogrammes shaved from the kerbweight.

It's Lotus Elise distilled, weighing a featherweight 798kg dry.

How've they made the Lotus Elise Sprint even lighter?

This is the biggest cut to the mass of the Elise since launch, Lotus claims. As you might expect, it's all about marginal gains across the board:

  • Lithium-ion battery -9kg
  • Carbonfibre race seats -6kg
  • Forged alloy wheels -5kg
  • Polycarbonate rear screen and carbon roll hoop cover -6kg
  • Two-piece brake discs -4kg
  • Carbon sill covers -800g

That Sprint name is a nod to Lotuses past: it was used on the original Elan to denote sharper versions. Here it's one step up from the Sport models and below the range-topping Elise Cup 250.

Lotus Elise Sprint: a lighter kind of Lotus

The Sprint package is available on the regular, naturally aspirated 1.6 Elise Sport and the supercharged 1.8 Elise Sport 220 models.

All Elises benefit from a 2017 model year makeover, with a new front clamshell, an open-gate gear selector (below) and other interior details.

Lotus Elise Sprint prices, performance and specs

Less weight = more performance, naturally. Lotus quotes an improved power-to-weight ratio for the Elise Sprint, climbing to 168bhp per tonne. Nought to 60mph now takes 5.9sec.

Striking exposed gear linkage on new Lotus Elise Sprint

Prices start at £37,300 for the lightest Elise yet, with first deliveries due later in spring 2017. Black alloys, transom panel (that's the rear lighting bar) and windscreen surround mark out the Sprint. 

Trade up to the equally lightweight Elise Sprint 220 (pictured) for £44,300; its supercharged 1.8-litre Toyota engine is good for 257bhp per tonne and 0-60mph in 4.1sec.

CEO of Group Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales, said: 'Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance. As we say at Hethel: less weight equals more Lotus.'

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Lotus Elise Sprint cabin

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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