Lotus-Elise-Cup-R

Seems everyone is building non-road legal track day cars right now, and Lotus most definitely wants a piece of that action.

Its latest effort is the startling bright and bewinged Elise S Cup R, pictured above.

Based on the 1.8-litre supercharged Elise S road car, Lotus has done a lot more than simply lose the number plate here. This is a properly potent little circuit soldier.

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While there’s no mention of any more power – and at 217hp, the standard car isn’t exactly shy in this regard – at the heart of the Lotus S Cup R is a new motorsport specification engine management system.

But that wouldn’t be nearly enough to get the juices flowing, so it’s also been treated to a full aerodynamic makeover, with new front splitter, winglets, barge boards (the upright elements behind the front wheels), side skirts, extended rear floor, rear diffuser and rear wing.

This, in combination with the race-spec adjustable suspension and sticky Yokohama Advan Neova tyres, is potent enough to shave 4 seconds off a ‘5km lap’ (3.1 miles) compared to the standard supercharged Elise. Impressive.

Other mods include an FIA compliant roll cage and fire extinguisher, battery isolator, racing harness, racing seat for the driver (a passenger seat is optional), quick release steering wheel (essential for pit lane cool), upgraded brake pads, and a hardtop.

Despite the additions, the S Cup R also maintains the standard car’s low, low 924kg weight – helped by swapping out the rear screen for polycarbonate, adding forged alloy wheels and leaving the air con on the options list.

You can even have an FIA approved fuel cell in place of the regular fuel tank if you really want to splash the cash. There are also various bespoke exterior and trim colours to choose from.

Lotus hasn’t announced any performance details for the S Cup R, but expect it to be at least as fast as the standard 4.6 seconds 0-62mph – although it’s possible the extra downforce generated by the new bodywork may peg back the 145mph top speed.  You swap cogs with a six-speed manual, and like every Elise, it’s rear-wheel drive.

The car is eligible for the production class in the various 2014 Lotus Cup series taking place around the world. So if track days just aren’t doing it for you any more, there is the opportunity to get a little more competitive.

What price all this fantastic Lotus goodness, you ask? £39,125 plus VAT – which by our calculations makes the Elise S Cup R £46,950. So luminous Lotus, or Alfa Romeo 4C? You decide.

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