To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the company's Hethel headquarters, Lotus has launched a faster, lighter and edgier version of the Elise, dubbed the Elise 250 Special Edition. Production limited to only 50 units.
British sports-car manufacturer, Lotus, might not have a vivid history as some of the other biggies like Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche, but even then one can’t deny the fact that it has made – infact, it's still making - some truly great cars. So to mark the achievement of the company’s Hethel (UK) headquarters over the past five decades, Lotus has launched a 50th anniversary limited production model, called the Elise 250 Special Edition. Only 50 examples will be made.
The Elise 250 Special Edition is based on the Elise Cup 250 but gets a number of exclusive components as standard. Since the company believes in the philosophy of ‘Light is Right’, a major chunk of work has gone into making the special edition version lighter than the model it’s based around. The anniversary special only weighs 899 kilograms, thanks to extensive use of aluminium and carbon fibre in its bodywork. That means the front splitter, rear wing, tailgate and front access panel are all finished in carbon fibre in the Special Edition.
Powering the car is the same supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that is found in the Elise 250 Cup. It develops 243bhp @ 7,200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 3,500 rpm and 5,500 rpm. Coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox and that feather-light body, the powertrain pushes the Elise 250 Special Edition from a naught to 100km/h in a claimed time of just under 4 seconds. To put that into perspective, Lotus claims that the new car has lapped the company’s Hethel test track in 1 minute 34 seconds - the fastest any production road-going Elise has ever gone on this track!
There is a lot of hand-work involved in producing the Special Edition, too. The carbon-fibre components, leather seats, door trim, etc. are all hand finished. While the whole car is built with lightness in mind, customers can also spec-up their cars with an integrated in-car entertainment system with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth telephony along with air conditioning, cruise control, auxiliary driving lights, full carpets, floor mats and enhanced sound insulation.
The Elise 250 Special Edition is offered in four shades - Classic metallic blue, red, yellow and white. Buyers can also add the optional carbon fibre hardtop roof panel with this one. Lotus has put a price tag of £47,900 (~ Rs 42.23 lakh) on the Elise 250 Special Edition and it will be sold on first-come-first-served basis.
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