The Lotus Elise was never a particularly fat car, but the British marque has stuck it on a treadmill anyway, resulting in a lighter and more lean Sprint edition. Here is everything you need to know, including the power-to-weight ratio and interior adjustments.
1) How light is the Lotus Elise Sprint edition?
The Lotus Elise Sprint is obviously based on the latest Elise, but it has undergone the biggest weight reduction since the first-generation car. The result is a saving of 41kg, giving the Elise Sprint a dry weight of 798kg ─ nearly half that of a Ford Focus RS.
2) How did Lotus save weight?
The last Sprint edition was the Esprit, which is a legendary Lotus and perhaps why the modifications are extensive. A new lithium-ion battery saves 9kg, carbon fibre race seats save 6kg, lightweight forged alloy wheels another 5kg. Two-piece brake discs are available to reduce the weight further still.
3) What about the 0-62mph?
All that effort gives the Lotus Elise Sprint a 0-62mph time as little as 4.1 seconds. It can be had on both the standard Elise and the Elise 220, giving them a power-to-weight ratio of 168hp and 257hp per tonne, respectively ─ more than what the forthcoming Alpine A110 can do.
4) Will it sound any different?
Work has been done to not just improve performance, the engine note has been the focus of Lotus engineers for the Elise Sprint 220's 1.8-litre supercharged petrol. Lotus claims it has created the best-sounding four-cylinder engine on the market and that could well be true.
5) What about the Lotus Elise Sprint design?
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 car and unique badging on the side and rear for a touch of posing potential.
6) Any love for the interior?
The interior has been adjusted, too, to make it fresh. It gets an open-gate manual gearbox for a different look and what Lotus claims is 'a much more positive and direct operation' with quicker shifts. The centre console has also been lifted in from the Exige as well as a new infotainment system with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth.
7) Bet it is a nightmare to get into
Actually, no. Well, sort of. Climbing into the Lotus Elise Sprint should be easier as the door aperture has been increased by up to 10mm. Not a lot, admittedly, but it could make life that little bit less awkward.
8) What about the efficiency stuff?
Reducing the weight does more than just help with performance, it helps it care for polar bears more effectively. The Elise Sprint's 1.6-litre outputs 149g/km of CO2, while the 1.8-litre of the Elise Sprint 220 comes in at 173g/km.
9) Is there a new Lotus Elise Cup 250, too?
Lotus also took the time to announce a new version of the range-topping Elise Cup 250 will be available from May, 2017. It will be 23kg lighter than its predecessor and has access to a Carbon Aero pack for saving up to 40kg. Full details are on hold, but orders are open now.
10) UK price of the Lotus Elise Sprint?
As for the price of the Lotus Elise Sprint (available this very second), expect to pay from £37,300, which is £5,000 more than the Elise Sport. An Elise Sprint 220, meanwhile, costs from £44,300, which is also £500 more expensive than the Sport 220 (bit of a pattern here) and £3,100 less than the Elise Cup 250.