Limited to 30 units worldwide.
Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more limited Lotus sports car reveals this year, the British carmaker takes the wraps off yet another one. Following this year’s updated Elise Cup 250, the Lotus Elise Cup 260 has arrived, and it’s predictably faster and lighter than its predecessor. Built to celebrate the upcoming 70th anniversary of Lotus founder Colin Chapman building his first car, the Lotus Elise Cup 260 is derived from the delightfully hardcore, track-only Elise Race 250.
It also shares the same weight-saving aerodynamic parts as the Exige Cup 380 and Evora GT430 to create the “ultimate” street-legal Lotus Elise. Limited to just 30 units, the Lotus Exige Cup 260 is powered by a supercharged 1.8-liter, four-cylinder that produces 250 hp, allowing it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 151 mph. That’s a slight power advantage over the 250 Cup, but what’s most impressive about the 260 Cup is the amount of downforce it generates. By using new louvred front wheel-arch vents, a lightweight carbon fiber front splitter, and a race-derived rear wing borrowed from the Lotus 3-Eleven track car, the Cup 260 generates up to 180 kg of downforce at 151 mph.
Impressively, that’s a 44 percent gain over the Elise Cup 250, resulting in greater grip levels and higher cornering speeds. The Cup 250’s lightweight carbon fiber and composite components have been carried over, including forged alloy wheels, two-piece aluminium brake discs, and a polycarbonate rear screen. It’s also been fitted with two-way adjustable Nitron dampers for the first time in an Elise. With a dry weight of 862 kg, the Elise Cup 260 is 15 kg lighter than the Elise Cup 250. All these enhancements enabled the Elise Cup 260 to set a lap time of one minute and 32 seconds at the Hethel track, which was 2.5 seconds faster than the Elise Cup 250.
The Elise Cup 260's exterior can be finished in a striking Championship Gold to commemorate the forthcoming 70th Anniversary of Lotus in 2018, which will be available across the entire range through the Lotus Exclusive program from November. It also features a laurel wreath decal on the left buttress, and the Union Jack on both rear wing end plates. Inside, the Elise Cup 260 features carbon race seats trimmed in black Alcantara with contrast red or yellow stitching, complemented with the cabin’s exposed aluminium and carbon fiber elements. Options include an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel and sill covers, and leather or tartan trim packs for seats or door panels.
The purist-pleasing manual gearbox also has an open gate mechanism providing precise gear changes for quicker shifting. “As we near the 70th anniversary of the inception of Colin Chapman’s engineering legacy, it’s only right that we build the very best cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade,” said Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. Our special editions have always proved extremely popular with our customers around the world, and we know they value the extensive development work that goes into each one," he continued. "With just 30 examples to be built, there’s no doubt that the Elise Cup 260 is a future classic.”
Prices start at a Porsche 718 Cayman GTS-rivalling 58,500 GBP ($77,143) in the UK. However, there are plenty of tempting optional extras available to bump up the price such as a 4,000 GBP ($5,273) titanium exhaust, 3,000 GBP ($3,955) carbon fiber hardtop, and 400 GBP ($527) two-speaker stereo with Bluetooth. Unlike other special edition Lotus Elise cars, Lotus says the Elise 260 Cup will be sold worldwide.