Lotus has lived at its legendary Hethel, Norfolk site for 50 years and to celebrate, the storied British sports car company has launched a new Elise 250 Special Edition.
It’s priced at a hefty £47,900, but includes standard carbon fibre componentry that helps cut the kerbweight to below 900kg.
These include a carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing, engine cover and front access panel; they also look rather beautiful, particularly when complemented by the ultralightweight forged alloy wheels.
Offered in metallic blue, red, yellow or white (“four of the firm’s favourite colours,” says Lotus), the Elise 250 Special Edition also has a hand-finished interior including carbon fibre seats with leather stitched by someone’s fair hands and a choice of contrasting stitching colours (the leather’s either dark blue or dark grey).
Based on the high-performance Elise Cup 250, a 243hp 1.8-litre supercharged engine helps it from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and around Lotus’ Hethel test track in 1 minute 34 seconds – that’s the fastest-ever time recorded by any road-spec Elise.
Fancy performance kit as standard include Bilstein dampers, Eibach coaxial coil springs, AP Racing twin-pot front brake calipers and Bilstein rear calipers. But fancy luxury kit such as air con, Bluetooth functionality, cruise control, full carpets and extra sound insulation, cost extra.
“When we first introduced the Elise,” said Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, “it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilised, a sports car could be.
“As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that’s even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we’ve ever produced.
“The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that.”
Lotus will make just 50 Elise 250 Special Editions: ordering is open now.