Fastest, most focused four-cylinder Lotus sports car ever
0-60 mph in 3.9 secs, 243 hp & from 283 hp per tonne
Concentrates spirit of latest Elise for new Cup variant
Advanced lightweight materials cut weight to 860 kg
Available to order from Lotus dealers now
Punching well above its weight, the new Lotus Elise Cup 250 offers a scintillating blend of purity of purpose with performance at the apex of the recently revised Elise range.
Supercharged, lightweight and distilled from Lotus’ extensive motorsport knowhow, the new model packs 243 hp into a chassis designed to deliver the benchmark in responsive handling and haptic feedback. The car’s enhanced aerodynamics come from a number of additions including a new lightweight rear wing, front splitter, bargeboards and rear diffuser contributing to 125 kg of downforce at 140 mph.
As the latest car to receive the Cup treatment, the new Lotus Elise Cup 250 bridges the gap between road and track to offer racecar capabilities in a package that can be used every day. Focused on cutting weight and boosting performance, Lotus’ development team has built on the significant updates introduced for the latest Elise, which has already been hailed as a five-star car by the international motoring press. Dry weight has been reduced to just 884 kg (or 860 kg with all lightweight options) and the adoption of advanced lightweight materials including carbon fibre, titanium and aluminium has helped to cut kilos from crucial areas leading to a 0-60 mph in 3.9 secs and a power to weight of 283 hp per tonne.
The Elise Cup 250 carries the new visual identity, first introduced on the new Elise Sport and Sprint models. Changes to the body include a redesigned lightweight front clam panel with wider radiator apertures and mesh pattern grille, and a new design of rear transom panel featuring two light clusters, rather than four, visually enhancing the design.
The Elise Cup 250 also includes a number of high-performance additions unique to this model. These include revised dampers and ultra-lightweight forged wheels with Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres – 225/45 ZR17 at the rear and 195/50 ZR16 at the front.
Announcing the new car, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “The Elise Cup 250 is the latest edition in an exciting period for the company which has seen us launch a number of very special new cars across our entire range. We know what existing Lotus enthusiasts demand from our cars and we are also bringing in many new customers who can see clearly that we offer an unrivalled combination of performance, styling, dynamics and value for money. A Lotus rewards like no other car, with sharp handling, tremendous speed and a pure, undiluted driving experience. The power and aerodynamic prowess of the new Elise Cup 250 has taken the fight beyond the reach of lesser rivals and, at just 860 kg, it shows that we are ahead of the curve in delivering lightweight, intelligently engineered sports cars.”
The best Elise yet
Cementing its reputation as a purebred driver’s car, the new Elise Cup 250 sets the standard for two-seater sports cars thanks to its winning combination of efficient engineering, agility, grip and speed. Cut from the same cloth as the recently released Exige Cup 380, it’s every inch a track car – but with road-going manners.
Reserved for only the most focused models, the Cup moniker distinguishes Hethel’s highest-evolved sports cars from their stable mates, with the Cup editions sure to become iconic and collectable models in the years to come. Expounding the company’s “simplify, then add lightness” mantra to the next level – it eradicates all but the essential from each model to produce a reference point for handling and performance.
Launched to the media earlier this year, the latest version of the Lotus Elise has retained its trademark handling, but added a number of enhancements which have been rolled out across the range. In addition to the redesigned lightweight clam panels front and rear, the Elise Cup 250’s aerodynamic changes modify airflow over, under and around the car to increase downforce, equivalent to 125 kg at 140 mph, allowing harder and faster cornering and more stability.
Providing 243 hp, the Elise’s all-alloy 1.8-litre engine with chargecooled supercharger, allows the Cup 250 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.9 secs before reaching its top speed of 154 mph. Helping amplify the driving experience, Hethel’s acoustic engineers have further improved the exhaust note, so the Elise Cup 250 now features a stunning soundtrack as standard. An optional full exhaust system in titanium is available which removes a further 7 kg from beyond the rear axle.
Perfectly complementing the car’s personality, the Elise’s slick six-speed manual gearbox uses Lotus’ beautifully detailed open-gate design. First introduced on the Exige Sport 350, but optimised for the Elise, it provides a much more positive and direct operation – giving faster, cleaner gear changes.
Benefiting from the recent weight savings delivered across the Elise range, the Elise Cup 250 is a significant 14 kg lighter than its predecessor. As standard, the Lotus Elise Cup 250 includes a Lithium-Ion battery, Lotus’ hand crafted carbon race seats, ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen, all of which combine with optional weight-saving components to deliver a benchmark power to weight ratio of 283 hp per tonne.
The Elise Cup 250 features fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Compared to the Elise Sport and Sprint models, damper rates for the Elise Cup 250 are higher (compression: 12% front / 9% rear and rebound: 20% front / 30% rear).
AP Racing twin-piston front and Brembo single-piston rear calipers with cross drilled and ventilated 288 mm diameter brake discs, front and rear, provide stopping power, with new optional lightweight two-piece brake discs providing the opportunity to save a further 4 kg. Like the other 1.8-litre Elise models, the Cup 250 benefits from driver selectable ESP driving modes (Drive / Sport / Off). To maximise traction, and to make the most of the aerodynamic downforce and firmer damping, the Elise Cup 250 uses Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres which are equally suited to both road and track and provide phenomenal grip and under a broad range of temperatures and conditions.
Adding to the Elise’s strong and torsionally stiff chassis architecture, the Cup 250 also features a T45 steel roll over bar as standard.
The Elise Cup 250’s cabin bears the hallmarks of a beautifully handcrafted high-performance sports car, including Lotus’ in-house manufactured carbon race seats, clad in black Alcantara® with contrast red or yellow stitching; the trim design is carried through to the door panels and face-level vents, complementing the exposed aluminium and carbon fibre elements of the Elise Cup 250’s cabin.
Interior options include an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel and sill covers, leather or tartan trim packs, bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, and additional weight saving carbon components including face-level vents (-0.3 kg), HVAC surrounds (-0.1 kg), and sill covers (-0.8 kg). As well as saving weight, the optional, lightweight carbon fibre sill covers provide easier ingress and egress thanks to a 10mm lower profile.
Buyers wanting to extract extra kilos from the car can select the beautifully finished optional Carbon Aero Pack, which adds a composite front splitter, rear wing and side boards (saving 3.7 kg), whilst further weight savings can come from separately specified carbon items including a hard-top (-3 kg), front access panel (-1.1 kg), roll-over hoop cover (-0.7 kg) and engine cover (-3.3 kg).
The Elise’s instrument panel features new graphics, making it easier to read, and a new in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality and uprated speakers, can also be selected when ordering.
Every new Lotus Elise Cup 250 customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.
Dramatic bodywork revisions boost downforce to 200 kg
Limited to 60 editions worldwide, confirming collector status
Without equal and without compromise, the ballistic new Exige Cup 380 coupe provides the perfect balance between fully type approved road car and genuine race car to deliver the ultimate track-and-back street-legal Lotus.
Evolved from the hugely successful and capable Exige Sport 380, this latest Lotus supercar is the purest manifestation yet of the company’s Cup concept for sports cars. Genuinely eligible for competition yet undeniably elegant, just 60 editions of this extreme Exige are planned for worldwide markets – assuring its status as one of Lotus’ most collectable road cars.
With a purity of drive unheard of in road cars, and a power-to-weight ratio of 355 hp per tonne, the Exige Cup 380 delivers genuine race pace, with 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds) and top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). Key to the Exige Cup 380 reaching its low weight of 1,057 kg is the comprehensive adoption of carbon fibre and extreme engineering. Making their first appearance on a road-going Lotus, heavily revised bodywork elements contribute to the increased downforce of the Exige Cup 380, with the car generating up to 200 kg, 43% more than the Exige Sport 380. Making the most of this aerodynamic downforce and maximising mechanical grip, the Exige Cup 380 features larger rear tyres (285/30 ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2) as standard.\
About the Exige Cup 380
At the heart of the new Exige Cup 380 lies a concept from the core of one of Lotus’ founding principles. With an unrivaled lineage, the new thoroughbred Lotus Exige Cup 380 is endowed with race car sensibilities and road car manners.
Honing the Exige Cup 380’s high speed abilities was paramount in its development, and the inclusion of new wind tunnel developed aerodynamic elements allow this road-going Exige to deliver up to 200 kg of aerodynamic downforce at a top speed of 175 mph.
Located over the wheels, the front louvers equalise the pressure differential within the wheel arches, increasing downforce at high speed and under hard braking, whilst the cut-out sections behind the rear wheels work with the aero blades mounted either side of the race diffuser. Even the Exige’s windscreen wiper has been aero tuned – now resting in a vertical position to avoid disrupting air flow.
To harness the huge hike in downforce, and provide increased mechanical grip, wider 285/30 ZR18 rear tyres are required – a step up from the 265/35 ZR18 as fitted to the Sport 380. With the two elements working in combination, this huge boost in grip allows the car to corner harder and faster which, given with the Exige’s existing reputation as a driver’s car, elevates it to a whole new level.
An integral part of the car’s aerodynamic prowess, the high-gloss, hand-made carbon fibre components include new front splitter, front access panel, bargeboards, roof, diffuser surround, new larger aperture air-intake side pods, a new one-piece tailgate and a straight-cut high efficiency motorsport derived rear wing.
The new design one-piece carbon rear tailgate reduces weight by 6.5 kg and the removal of gas struts deletes 1 kg. The new carbon side pods save a further 0.5 kg.
Inside the Exige Cup 380, the carbon continues with visible-weave, handmade sections including beautifully detailed carbon race seats and door sills as standard. Cumulatively these composites contribute to the Exige Cup 380’s low weight, but every part of the car has been considered, even down to the removal of the boot carpet, to reduce mass. Optional carbon fibre components include one-piece inner door panels, HVAC console and face-level vent surrounds, which together offer an additional 1 kg reduction over the standard car.
In addition to the Exige’s strong, stiff and durable aluminium chassis architecture, the Cup 380 comes with a T45 steel roll over bar as standard. Tremendously strong, yet light compared to alternatives, its cost means that it’s only used in the highest of motorsport applications. Other racing additions include a towing eye at the front and a fabric tow strap at the rear.
Extremely quick off the line, the Exige Cup 380 laps the Hethel track in 1 minute 26 seconds – a record for a road-legal Exige. Packing the same 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine as the Exige Race 380, the new Exige Cup 380 boasts 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 410 Nm (302 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm.
Available as standard with a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the Exige range features Lotus’ now famous open-gate manual gearbox design.
There are four user selectable ESP modes (Drive, Sport, Race and Off). Sport, Race and Off increase throttle response, lower traction slip thresholds and remove understeer recognition to provide a finer degree of driver control before intervention and utilises an engine exhaust bypass valve which reduces exhaust back pressure at higher engine speeds. In a new development, the Lotus Exige Cup 380 includes a variable traction control function which is linked directly to the ECU and allows the amount of wheel slip to be set by the driver. The six-position rotary switch is located on the steering column and is only available with ESP switched off, with the percentage of target wheel slip from 1% to 12% in five settings and “off”, displayed via the instrument cluster.
The Exige has long been regarded as delivering benchmark handling, but owners of the Exige Cup 380 can configure the set-up, thanks to the Nitron two-way adjustable dampers and Eibach adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars fitted as standard. The substantial Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (285/30 ZR18 rear and 215/45 ZR17 front) are fitted to ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels, available in red, black or silver as standard. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing forged, four-piston brake calipers and grooved performance two-piece brake discs.
The optional full exhaust system in titanium removes 10 kg from beyond the rear axle, and buyers can specify a number of additions and deletions, including FIA compliant roll cage, full race harness, electrical cut-off and fire extinguisher controls as well as airbag deletion and a non-airbag steering wheel.
Despite its pure performance credentials, the new Lotus Cup 380 retains its dramatic aesthetic thanks to the high-gloss, visible-weave carbon fibre, but complementing this are a range of five hand finished paint options, including Essex Blue, Metallic White, Metallic Silver, Metallic Grey and Metallic Black. Further accentuating its shape, a unique red highlight line defines the Exige’s front access panel, while key details, including the front canard wings, are finished in matt black. Coordinating wheels, spoiler uprights and mirror caps in red, silver or black contrast with the main paint colour, and the whole car is finished with unique Cup 380 badging.
The hand finished nature of the Exige Cup 380 continues inside, with Lotus’ carbon fibre sports seats trimmed in Alcantara®, with leather or tartan as a no cost option, with contrast stitching and an Alcantara® steering wheel. As standard, lightweight carbon fibre sill covers reduce the weight by 0.9 kg and provide easier ingress and egress by up to 10 mm, thanks to their lower profile and contoured finish. The Exige Cup 380’s instrument panel has also received attention, with new graphics making it easier to read.
For owners wanting more, the new Exige Cup 380 can be personalised through the increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive programme. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options. Since its introduction this has proved increasingly popular, with 25% of all new cars undergoing some form of personalisation.
• Unique, one-off Evora Sport 410 created by Lotus Exclusive • Tribute to one of Lotus’ most famous liveries • Lotus Sport 410 sales success continues
Representing the state of the supercar art, a one-off Evora Sport 410 has been commissionedthrough Lotus Exclusive as a tribute to one of its most famous ancestors, the Lotus Esprit S1. Launched in October 2016, the Evora Sport 410 has wowed motoring press and customers with its combination of effortless pace and intuitive handling. With production limited to just 150 examples a year worldwide, the build schedule is filling up fast. The benchmark was set by the original Lotus Esprit S1 as seen in the Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and Lotus’ in-house personalisation department has crafted a special, one-off Evora Sport 410 in commemoration.
Combining the latest in Lotus engineering with period details, the new pure-bred supercar takes design cues from the iconic Esprit and integrates them into a car with class-leading performance. Packing 410 hp into a car that weighs just 1,280 kg, it sprints from 0-60 mph in just 3.9 secs.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, “So many of us recall the impact of the Lotus Esprit when it hit the big screen in The Spy Who Loved Me, and we wanted to honour that with a special Evora Sport 410. It’s the perfect tribute to such an influential Lotus, but a world away in terms of its abilities and performance. Supremely fast and agile, rivals’ cars look overweight and underpowered in comparison. Lotus was founded on the principle of lightweight engineering and, even today, nobody does it better.”
Lotus Exclusive The work of the in-house personalisation department, Lotus Exclusive, this one-off Evora Sport 410 features many unique design touches. A special, colour-coded bumper modifies the car’s front end, while the one-piece carbon-fibre tailgate is part keyed white to give the illusion of a traditional liftback. In addition to a black coach line, delineating the car’s waist, it sports a bespoke badge script on the B pillar – in the style of the original Esprit’s graphics.
Nods to the Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me continue inside, with the insert panels of the carbon-fibre sports seats and door cards trimmed in the popular heritage Tartan, while red contrast stitching complements the Alcantara® dashboard and console finish. Beneath the personalisation, this unique car retains all the engineering elements that make the Evora Sport 410 so formidable. From the supercharged, 3.5-litre 6-cylinder, engine, producing 410 hp at 7000 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 3500 rpm, to the highly advanced aerodynamics, which deliver up to 64 kg of downforce, it’s designed to deliver both on road and track. The Evora Sport 410 remains refined on B-roads, but blisteringly fast when needed. The use of hand-made carbon fibre components has been key in keeping mass to a minimum, with each specifically designed to enhance the car’s performance. Covering the car from nose to tail, they include front splitter, revised front access panel, roof section, tailgate, rear quarter panels, as well as the rear diffuser.
These lightweight carbon components not only reduce the kerb weight of the Evora Sport 410 but also help lower the centre of gravity, allowing for the recalibration of the suspension which, along with re-valved dampers and a reduced ride height, provide better body and roll control – but not at the expense of comfort and composure.
This one-off Evora underlines the work of the increasingly popular Lotus Exclusive service. Combining traditional British craftsmanship with modern design, it inspires buyers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus with a comprehensive array of options. Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc continued, “Our customers have really embraced the Lotus Exclusive service, with 25% of new cars undergoing some form of personalisation. It is well established that Lotus cars come with benchmark performance as standard. Now, thanks to the skilled team at Hethel, responsible for hand building all Lotus cars since 1966, you can specify a Lotus that perfectly reflects your personal tastes.”
The Lotus Evora Sport 410 is limited to a global production run of one-hundred and fifty vehicles per year, and is on sale in Europe and rest of world markets now. A Federal version of the Evora Sport 410 for the North American market will arrive this spring.
• Race only version of sensational Exige Sport 380 • 375 hp and 410 Nm • Weight cut to just 998 kg dry • 0-60 mph in 3.2 secs • Laps Hethel 1.5 seconds quicker than Exige Cup R • Aerodynamic downforce boosted to 240 kg
Unapologetic, uncompromising and built to win, Lotus has announced the development of the mighty Exige Race 380 – the track-only sibling of what has been hailed as one of the marque’s most significant and sensational cars, the critically acclaimed Exige Sport 380. Combining Lotus’ vehicle development skills with its motorsport pedigree, the class-leading competition car will set the pace when the first production cars reach owners in May 2017. As part of the current Exige’s development cycle, the Race 380 will become the race car of choice for teams as well as privateers for the 2017 / 2018 season. Taking one of the world’s best supercars, the Exige Sport 380, the new model provides the ultimate in race-bred engineering and comes with a host of competition-focused components as standard.
Gearbox, suspension, aerodynamics and electrical systems are among the items that have been modified to reflect the car’s role but, despite the fact that the new Race model is not available in a road-legal specification, the majority of the original car’s configuration is retained, thanks to the Exige Sport 380’s highly advanced development.
Unveiled late last year, the Lotus Exige Sport 380 has proved to be one of Lotus’ most successful new models in recent years, with orders for the next four months’ production already allocated. Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “The Lotus Exige Sport 380 is a real giant slayer on the road, and one of the quickest A to B supercars around. It gave us the ideal platform from which to develop the new Exige Race 380 – a peerless competition car designed to beat the best. By setting its weight below 1000kg, its power to weight is unsurpassed in its class. When lapping Hethel, it’s a phenomenal 1.5 seconds faster than the previous Exige Cup R – a massive performance gain. It’s an unparalleled race car that follows the philosophy of Colin Chapman and we can’t wait for customers to experience its capabilities.”
The Lotus Exige Race 380 in more detail In keeping with its name, the new Exige Race 380 includes a wide range of competition-orientated options as standard, covering everything from drivetrain to driver information system – all designed to increase the car’s capabilities. Developed to be eligible for the world-wide Lotus Cup series and a number of clubman championships, this race car is every inch a winner. Retaining the race-proven 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine, the Exige Race 380 boasts 375 hp at 6,700 rpm and 410 Nm (302 lbft) of torque at 5,000 rpm. However, in order to extract every ounce of performance, the car comes with an Xtrac 6-speed sequential transmission, oil cooler, and cassette-type plate limited slip differential, and is operated by carbon paddles located behind the steering wheel. Opting for the full exhaust system in titanium removes a further 10 kg from beyond the rear axle. Extremely quick off the line, the Exige Race 380 sprints from 0-60 in just 3.2 secs, and laps the Hethel track in an outstanding 1 minute 23.5 seconds – the fastest ever for an Exige. Generating even more downforce from the car’s aerodynamics, the Race 380 produces a phenomenal 240 kg at 170 mph, thanks to some careful revisions. Vents are incorporated into the front bodywork and rear bumper to reduce pressure around the wheels and increase downforce; and a grille mounted at the rear aids air circulation through the engine bay. A new front splitter reduces pressure beneath the Exige, whilst the rear diffuser and larger and a straight-cut motorsport rear wing mounted to the bodywork helps modify airflow at the rear of the car.
Helping the Exige exploit its performance, the Race 380 employs Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as standard (wider 215/45 ZR17 at the front; 265/35 ZR18 at the rear), renowned for their predictable handling and high grip, which are complemented by the car’s ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels. The same attention to detail has been applied to the brakes, with AP Racing forged, four-piston callipers and grooved two-piece brake disc providing the stopping power. The Exige has long set the benchmark for handling and, to ensure it remains perfectly poised and agile, the Race 380 uses a revised suspension configuration, incorporating 2-way adjustable Öhlins dampers and adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars. This, together with the Lotus Traction Control System, where the amount of wheel slip can be adjusted by the driver from the cockpit, allows owners to fine tune the vehicle’s handling characteristics.
The Exige Race 380 features a full, integrated roll cage, lightweight FIA Carbon driver seat (HANS compatible) and a six-point harness, as well as ultra-lightweight polycarbonate side windows, competition specification fire extinguisher, battery isolator and front and rear motorsport towing eyes. An ultra-lightweight carbon fibre motorsport specific louvered tailgate panel is fitted over the engine and carbon fibre air intake pods are fitted to either side of the car forward of the rear wheels. As with other race cars in the Lotus range, headlamps are replaced by matt black covers and airbags are not included in the specification.
Helping the driver stay on pace, the new Exige Race 380’s colour TFT instrument cluster offers numerous user customisable and programmable screen configurations. Incorporating a track data logger and GPS unit, owners have the opportunity to upgrade this logger with professional data analysis software. As well as being designed to win, the Exige Race 380 looks exceptional and retains many of the hand-made carbon-fibre components from the Exige Sport 380 including the front inspection cover, hard top and diffuser surround.
The Exige Race 380 is available to order now, priced € 129,500 excluding VAT.
Chris Rea is ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ in zijn fonkelnieuwe Seven 620S. Hij haalde hem deze week op bij Caterham in Engeland.
Heel actief is Chris Rea niet meer, toch kan hij nog prima rondkomen van zijn vergaarde fortuin. Bovendien kan hij ieder jaar rond de kerstperiode weer de nodige euro’s bijschrijven op zijn bankrekening. ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ – dat in december 1988 werd gelanceerd – is namelijk nog steeds een van de favoriete kerstplaten ooit en is met regelmaat te horen op de radio.
En wat doe je dan met die verdiende pegels? Juist, spenderen aan een van de meest pure auto’s ooit gemaakt: de Caterham Seven. Dat Chris Rea smaak heeft, hoeven we niet te vertellen. Hij heeft namelijk gekozen voor een 620S: een van de snelste modellen van Caterham. De 610 kilogram lichte tweezitter heeft een Supercharged 2,0-liter Ford Duratec-motor met 310 pk. Goed voor een 0-100-sprint van ongeveer 3,5 seconden en een topsnelheid van dik 230 km/u.
Nog een keertje dan
En natuurlijk kunnen we het niet laten: speciaal voor jullie nog een keer ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ van Chris Rea