New even lighter Lotus Elise launched

The 2017 Lotus Elise Sprint 220. — Group Lotus plc handout
The 2017 Lotus Elise Sprint 220. — Group Lotus plc handout

LONDON, March 18 — British boutique sportscar maker Lotus has given its most popular car a lightweight makeover for the new year and has added a new Sprint edition.

When the new car goes on sale in April all variations will have a sharply restyled front and rear and a reimagined interior with better fit and finish, more Alcantara trim, a very racy looking completely exposed gear shifter — i.e., mechanics on show — and, in a nod to 21st century digital convenience, after 20 years and nearly 33,000 hand-built examples, optional Bluetooth connectivity.

Opt for the new Sprint edition, available with either a 1.6-litre (134hp) naturally aspirated or 1.8-litre supercharged (217hp) engine sitting in its centre, and keen drivers will get a car that tips the scales at less than 800kg. The company has managed to ditch over 40kg in dry weight from the model through generous use of carbon fibre in the construction (including the seats), opting for a lithium-ion battery, using two-piece brakes, forged alloy wheels and going for a polycarbonate rather than glass rear screen.

“An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne. It should weigh substantially less and, it is a fantastic achievement from Lotus in ensuring that the fully type approved new Elise now dips below the 800 kg barrier,” said Group Lotus plc CEO, Jean-Marc Gales. “Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance.”

The new Sprint (in supercharged guise) will sit just below the ultimate top model — the extra lean Elise Cup 250, in the new five-model range when the cars go into hand-built production in April. — AFP-Relaxnews

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