Lotus was recently bought by Geely, and the Chinese auto giant that also owns Volvo has big plans for its newly acquired British sports car maker. But as of right now, there's no Lotus SUV and the brand continues to churn out new variants of its engaging sports cars. The latest addition is the Elise Cup 260, which sadly won't be available in the U.S.
The Elise Cup 260 is based on the company's race car-derived Elise and features a host of those race-bred parts that, according to the company, make it the ultimate Elise. Produced to celebrate the company's founding by Colin Chapman, the Elise Cup 260 features a 250-hp supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that's capable of sending the minuscule sports car to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, with new closer ratios, and will top out at 151 mph.
According to the company, the Elise Cup 260's weight is down to the lowest weight of any Elise ever. The Elise Cup 260 weighs in at a minuscule 1,988 pounds thanks to a thoroughly lightened chassis.
Lotus says it shaved weight by using more carbon fiber and composite material throughout the car, and saved weight with the new front access panel, new engine cover, new roll hoop covers, new side sill covers, lightweight two-piece brakes, and carbon race seats, in addition to a lightweight lithium-ion battery and forged alloy wheels. Additionally, polycarbonate is used instead of glass for the front, rear, and side windows.
"Our philosophy for producing extraordinary vehicles is world famous, but the new Elise Cup 260 goes beyond what many believed possible from our smallest car," said Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus' CEO, in a release. "It is directly developed from the Elise race cars that are competing in series around the world, giving the ultimate Elise experience on the road. More power, motorsport components and the introduction of aerodynamics unheard of in its class make driving this Elise an unrivaled experience."
Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and director of Classic Team Lotus, said, "Each and every one of the sports cars produced by Lotus today carries the true spirit of Lotus laid down by my father nearly 70 years ago. I'm extremely proud that his legacy and achievements are being acknowledged and celebrated in this iconic version of the Elise."
Only 30 examples of the Elise Cup 260 will be produced and since the Elise doesn't meet current U.S. road standards, none will arrive on our shores for quite some time.
Lotus hasn't released pricing, but given that other special edition Lotuses commanded a hefty premium, it's safe to assume that this flyweight Elise will too. Let's just hope given that Geely injects enough cash into Lotus for it bring more cars stateside.