When it comes to special edition models, the Lotus Elise is one of the most common culprits. In the past year or so, we’ve witnessed the Elise 250 Limited Edition and the featherweight Elise Sprint, and it’s happening again with this: the super-exclusive, track-only Elise Cup 260.
This super-rare model (only 30 examples will ever be built) is based on the Elise Cup 250 and uses the same Toyota-sourced 1.8-litre supercharged four-pot petrol engine that produces 250bhp and 255Nm of torque.
It incorporates lightweight carbon fibre components (such as the large rear wing, engine cover, roll hoop cover and race seats) to reduce the weight from 884kg in Cup 250 to 862kg, which equates to a power-to-weight ratio of 290bhp per tonne.
This also results in an acceleration boost, with the 0-60mph dash snipped by half a second on the Elise Cup 250 to 3.8 seconds, making it the lightest lightest ever Elise Cup.
Top speed has dropped from 154mph to 151mph, due to the race-car derived aerodynamics, but topping out at more than a ton and half, we’ll let it off…
Up to 180kg of downforce is generated by these aerodynamic tweaks, which are pieced together from elements of the Exige Cup 380 an Evora GT430.
In a first for the Elise, the Cup 260 comes fitted with adjustable high-performance dampers, as well as independent double wishbone suspension and coaxial coil spring. Meanwhile, its grippy Yokohama tyres have been widened by 10mm to deliver the kind of track day performance you’d expect from a car like this, while remaining road legal.
The car is finished in iconic Championship Gold as a nod to Lotus’ forthcoming 70th anniversary.
Jean-Marc Gales, chief executive of Group Lotus, said: “As we near the 70th anniversary, it’s only right that we build the very best cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade.
“Our special editions have always proved extremely popular with our customers around the world, and we know they value the extensive development work that goes into each one. With just 30 examples to be built, there’s no doubt that the Elise Cup 260 is a future classic.”
Prices start from £59,500 and you can order one now.