Lotus has always been associated with lightweight sports cars with sharp handling. This philosophy has become more and more apparent with each new model, so it was no surprise when Lotus unveiled the ultimate road-going versions of the Elise and the Evora. Say hello to the new Elise Cup 250 and Evora Sport 410.
The new Elise Cup 250 replaces the Cup 220 as the highest-performing Elise. The latest Elise Cup variant underwent a weight-loss program, shedding 21kg to achieve a svelte 931kg. This was made possible by using carbon-fiber seats, ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels and lithium-ion battery (the switch to the latter slashed 10kg of load on its own). Want an anorexic even lighter version? Lotus is also offering a Carbon Aero Pack option, which brings down the car's weight to 921kg.
Right behind the driver is a more powerful version of the Elise's supercharged 1.8-liter in-line-four engine. It now produces 243hp at 7,200rpm, and 250Nm at 3,500rpm to 5,500rpm. This enables the lighter Cup 250 to reach 100kph in only 3.9 seconds. Possessing a top speed of 250kph, this is the fastest Elise to date.
Just last year, Lotus unveiled the Evora 400, the latest evolution of the Evora line. Now, the British carmaker is introducing its hotter high-performance sibling, the Evora Sport 410. Thanks to an increased use of carbon-fiber components and ultra-lightweight forged-aluminum wheels, it is 70kg lighter than the Evora 400, giving it a curb weight of only 1,325kg. A retuned suspension that features revised geometry, damping and a 5mm lower ride height further sharpened its handling.
Lurking underneath the carbon-fiber engine cover is a more powerful version of the 3.5-liter supercharged V6. Pumping out an impressive 410hp at 7,000rpm, and 410Nm at 3,500rpm, it is a development of the track-only Lotus 3-Eleven's engine, albeit toned down for the Sport 410. Its lower weight and added power let it zoom from zero to 100kph in only 3.9 seconds. Top speed is 300kph. Production of this beast will be limited to 150 units per year.
The Elise Cup 250 is set to go on sale in all major markets excluding North America by April 2016. Those who fancy the Evora Sport 410 will have to wait until June 2016, when it will become available in all major markets as well. We hope to see these cars reach our shores soon.