An extremely limited-edition version of Lotus’ most iconic production car is yet to be revealed, it’s the Elise Cup 260. Based on the Elise Cup 250, it integrates more of the tech used on the Elise Race 250, like carbonfibre and composite components that shave weight down to just 902kg at the kerb; 15kg less than the 250.
It has a load of functional aero, too, taking lessons learned from the Evora GT430 and 3-Eleven. Louvred front wheel arch vents reduce lift and that massive rear wing presses the rear rubber into the ground nicely. It makes for 180kg of downforce at top speed; a 44 per cent boost versus the Cup 250, and a lap of Lotus’ Hethel test track that’s an impressive 2.5 seconds faster. Track-biased Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tyres help, too. Power from the supercharged 1.8-litre engine is 246bhp at 7200rpm, with a lovely six-speed manual at your fingertips complete with gorgeous exposed linkage to copy the Exige Sport 350 and 380. Power to weight is a very handy 286bhp per tonne. The old English 0-60mph dash is clobbered over the head in just 3.8 seconds, while you’ll peak at 151mph if you have enough space. Nought to 62mph takes 4.2 seconds; just a tenth slower than the slightly more expensive Porsche Boxster GTS.
Lotus also says it’s the best -sounding four-cylinder car on the market, but, ahem, we won’t be able to confirm that until we get a drive. How about it, Lotus? The price starts at $62,500, but the options don’t come cheap.