Lotus confirms new Elise S CupTue, 09 Sep 2014 08:45:00 EST
Head on over to the Lotus website, and though the Elise isn't offered in the United States anymore, buyers in other markets can choose between numerous models: there's the base Elise, the Elise Club Racer, the Elise S and the Elise S Club Racer, and that's before even getting into the even more extreme Exige that's also based on the Elise. Track-day enthusiasts can also go for the full-on Elise S Cup R, but now the British sportscar manufacturer has confirmed a new variant.
Called the Elise S Cup, it slots in between the CR and the Cup R as an extreme performance model that can actually be driven to the track and back home on public roads. The S designation tells us it packs the 1.8-liter supercharged four that already produces 217 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque in the existing Elise S, Elise S CR and Elise S Cup R, but as we saw when Lotus was testing the new variant around the Nürburgring, the Elise S Cup packs some key upgrades.
It's got an aero kit – including front splitter, winglets, side skirts, rear diffuser and rear wing – that's more aggressive than other road-going models (though apparently less extreme than the track-focused S Cup R), helping to generate 145 lbs of downforce at 100 mph and 275 lbs at top speed and besting the Elise S around the Lotus test track by an impressive three seconds.
The Elise S Cup also gets a fixed roof and competition-spec roll hoop, and buyers can opt for a fire suppression system, kill switch and other track-ready add-ons.
The Lotus Elise S Cup, a road-going variant of the Elise S Cup R completes testing.
After a successful first season of racing the Elise S Cup R completes the next stage of its development and is evolved with a road focus to bring a touch of motorsport to the road-going Elise. To ensure its race car pedigree is not lost, the Lotus Test and Development team has been putting the newest version of the Elise through its paces on the Lotus test track and the famous 'ring'.
The Elise S Cup has received the same unmistakable and unique aerodynamics as the 'R' version and delivers a significantly enhanced dynamic performance over the standard Elise S. Not only does the focused 'R' inspired aero package have a striking visual appeal, the unique combination of front splitter and winglets, barge boards, rear diffuser, rear wing and a fixed roof create 66kg of downforce at 100 mph and an incredible 125kg of downforce at top speed. As a result, the Elise S Cup generates enough downforce in the corners of the Lotus test track to beat the Elise S by 3 seconds.
Designed for driving enthusiasts looking for a road car that can be taken on track days with ease, the Elise S Cup is a compelling alternative to race biased products. Priced at around €47,500 (excluding taxes, on the roads costs and delivery), the standard car can be upgraded with a selection of road and track options which can be introduced according to preference. A competition spec roll hoop is fitted as standard while wiring harness modifications mean that a fire extinguisher system and electrical kill switch can be retrofitted if a phased conversion from road car to race car is desired.
Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, said, "The Lotus Elise S Cup is all about the pure driving experience with the Lotus attributes of high performance, light weight and excellent ride and handling. It is perfect for the driver who desires a quick, authentic, desirable and competitive sports car."
The Elise S Cup is the most track focused of the Lotus Elise range. Carrying the 'Cup' brand synonymous with the Lotus Motorsport division, it sits above the Elise, Elise S and Club Racer variants in terms of price and levels of extremity and will be available for purchase through the Lotus dealer network.
By Noah Joseph
See also: eBay Find of the Day: 2000 Lotus 340R, claimed only street-legal example in US, Lotus said to be planning new sedan, crossover [w/poll], Lotus spotted testing more extreme Elise on the Nordschleife.