Lotus Elise launched with new lightweight Sprint edition

How've they made the Lotus Elise Sprint even lighter? It sheds 41kg compared to the regular roadster, meaning it dry weight is now just 798kg in total. A new lithium-ion battery saves 9kg, carbon fibre race seats save 6kg, lightweight forged alloy wheels another 5kg. Today, Lotus says the next-generation, America-bound Elise will weigh less than 2200 lbs. with some gas and an airbag in it, but until we get there, the rest of the world can enjoy the current weight-optimized lineup, starting with the new 217 horsepower Elise Sprint. Elise models with the latter carry the "220" moniker. Two-piece brake discs are available to reduce the weight further still.

With the weight saving parts in place, the regular 1.6-litre 134bhp vehicle manages 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds, while the more potent Sprint 220 with its 217bhp 1.8-litre engine does the dash in 4.1 seconds.

All that effort gives the Lotus Elise Sprint a 0-62mph time as little as 4.1 seconds.

Various external tweaks help the Lotus Elise Sprint stand out, including a matt black transom panel, stealthy black wheels with contrasting metal spun rims, stripes on the side of the auto and unique badging on the side and rear for a touch of posing potential.

In the cockpit, the gearstick is now housed in an open-gate mesh.

Actually, no. Well, sort of.

This is the biggest cut to the mass of the Elise since launch, Lotus claims.

The regular 134bhp 1.6-litre Sprint manages the same dash in 5.9sec. The vehicle is 23kg lighter than its predecessor, but with all lightweight options included that number increases to 40kg.

The Sprint trim line can be specified with Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 models and will shave 41 kg (90 lbs) from the outgoing Elise Sport.

"The addition of the Elise Sprint to Lotus" model range comes amid the arrival of an updated version of the Elise.

  • Tracy Ferguson