Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

New Lotus Elise arrives with lightweight 'Sprint' edition

New Lotus Elise arrives with lightweight 'Sprint' edition

Lotus is using the Sprint to launch a raft of upgrades across the Elise range.

Named the Elise Sprint, the new edition of the Elise has removed 41kg from the previous model, to reach a benchmark dry weight of just 798kg. Its most important features include a lithium-ion battery, (which saves 19.8 lbs), carbon race seats (-13.2 lbs.), a set of new lightweight forged alloy wheels (-11 lbs.), a carbon access panel, roll hoop and engine covers, plus a polycarbonate rear screen, saving another 13.2 lbs. Under the skin, lighter parts have led to a 10kg weight loss across the Elise range, while aerodynamics have also improved.

The base Lotus Elise Sprint starts at £37,300, while the Sprint 220 costs £44,300.

The list goes on with optional two-piece brake discs (-4kg) and optional carbon sill covers (-0.8kg), giving the new Elise Sprint a power-to-weight ratio of up to 168hp/tonne for the 134hp 1.6-litre model and 257hp/tonne for the supercharged 217hp 1.8-litre version.

Some 21 years ago, the first-generation Lotus Elise weighted 1521 lbs. without its fluids.

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 vehicle and unique badging on the side and rear for a touch of posing potential.

Lotus has revealed a refreshed Elise for 2017, with a new lightweight variant of its sports vehicle headlining the updated range that will go on sale this spring. The centre console has also been lifted in from the Exige as well as a new infotainment system with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth.

Reducing the weight does more than just help with performance, it helps it care for polar bears more effectively. That's £5000 more than the standard "Sport" models in each case. Full details are on hold, but orders are open now.

The basic Elise Sprint will land in showrooms this spring, with United Kingdom pricing starting at £37,300 (~$46,100 USD).

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