The fastest race-spec Elise, ever.
With a Lotus vehicle, you know what you’re getting – a no BS lightweight approach to going as fast as possible around a track. No unnecessary options; just a lightweight track weapon, even when it comes to their race-spec vehicles. The new Lotus Elise Race 250 is just another example of pure lightweight driving performance.
“Lotus was established to build race cars and with 68 years’ experience, no one knows more about extracting the best performance possible. The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favorite with our racers around the world,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc.
The track-only Lotus Elise Race 250 is eligible for a number of racing series across the globe and has a range of FIA-spec equipment. It’s also built using Lotus’ aluminum vehicle chassis tech using epoxy adhesive to body the joints. The chassis tips the scales at a mere 150 lbs. Engineers also installed a lithium ion battery to cut 22 lbs. and carbon race seats for an additional 13 lbs., while customers can opt for a Carbon Aero Pack that sheds another 22 lbs. When all the lightweight boxes have been checked, the racer tips the scales at just 1,984 lbs. dry. Even the headlights were replaced with black composite banking panels.
From the ground-up, the Lotus Elise Race 250 is designed to carve up corners thanks to the brand’s motorsports experience. Nitron one-way adjustable dampers, Eibach coaxial coil springs, double-wishbone suspension, and adjustable front anti-roll bar all work to create a precise and nimble dynamic.
Up front, a pair of AP Racing two-piston calipers clench down on the discs while a Brembo single-piston rear setup provides ample stopping power with the factory ABS system. Ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels measuring 16 inches up front and 17 at the rear are shod in sticky 195/50/16 and 225/45/17 rear Yokohama AO4 tires, respectively.
Part of what makes that suspension work so efficiently is the downforce-inducing body work on the Lotus Elise Race 250. The standard full aero package utilizes a front splitter, rear diffuser, extensions on the front bumper, and a rear wing to generate 146 lbs. of downforce at 100 mph and a maximum 342 lbs. at 154 mph.
Performance is equally as impressive as the engineering behind the Lotus Elise Race 250. A supercharged 1.8-liter inline-four creates 243 horsepower at 7,200 RPM and 184 lb-ft. of torque from 3,500 to 5,500 RPM. The power is sent through a six-speed manual transmission. Armed with the force-fed four-cylinder, the racer set a lap record for a race-variant of the Elise with a 1:33.5 time around the test track at Hethel, beating the Elise Cup 220 R by 0.5 seconds.
Safety is also a key with the Lotus Elise Race 250. Inside, a carbon fiber racing seat with six-point harness secures the driver while a removable steering wheel adds another layer of protection. The rear windscreen is made from shatter-resistant polycarbonate. Drivers are surrounded by an FIA-compliant roll cage and A-Frame harness bar. A fire extinguisher, battery isolator, and front and rear tow hooks complete the main list of safety equipment.
The launch of the new Lotus Elise Race 250 also coincides with the 50th anniversary for the factory in Hethel, Norfolk where their track that has seen their iconic Grand Prix racers tested is still used. The new Lotus Elise Racer 250 will be available in the UK and United States for £44,583 and $76,200 without VAT, respectively.
Lotus Elise Race 250 Specifications
Displacement: 1.8 liters
Number of Cylinders: Inline-four
Maximum Horsepower: 243 at 7,200 RPM
Maximum Torque: 184 lb-ft. / 250 Nm from 3,500 to 5,500 RPM
Hethel Test Track Time: 1:33.5
Lotus Elise Race 250 Gallery