The Lotus Elise Cup 250 will reach sixty in 3.9 seconds while its top speed is at 154 mph. Lotus will only build 200 units per year, probably because they don’t have enough space for storing more of those GT3-style diffusers.

After beefing up the Exige and the Evora, it was time for the open-top Elise to get the Cup treatment, again. For 2016, that meant shedding 46 pounds off the weight and giving it another 26 horses.

To get there, the new Elise Cup has a lithium-ion battery that’s 22 pounds lighter, carbon fibre seats (-13 pounds), forged alloy wheels (-3.3 pounds) and no roof as standard. The hard top remains an option, but in case you want to maximize the added lightness, a Carbon Aero Pack is also available, cutting an extra 22 pounds.

Lotus recalibrated the supercharged 1.8-liter motor’s ignition system to get 243 HP at 7200 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque between 3500 rpm and 5500 rpm. With the carbon fiber front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor-extensions, you also get 145 pounds of downforce at 100mph, or as much as 341 pounds if you dare to get up to 154 mph.

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While the new car gets wider front tires, the rest of the double wishbone suspension was pretty much carried over from the Elise Cup 220, including an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs. The brake calipers are two-piston AP Racings up front, single-piston Brembos at the rear, working in harmony with a track-optimized ABS system and Yokohama AO48 tires (195/50/16 on the front and 225/45/17 on the rear).

Inside, you get red or black Alcantara as standard, or heavier leathers as an option. Lotus says their new, larger buttons will also be easier to use when going sideways.

The Elise 250 goes on sale in April with 10 color choices, just not in North America, where it won’t be sold at all. I’m sorry for your loss.

Photo credit: Lotus


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