Coming in less than 1,800 lbs.
Lotus is bringing back the ‘Sprint’ badge for its newest lightweight sports car. The Lotus Elise Sprint and Lotus Elise Sprint 220 are the physical embodiment of “Less weight equals more Lotus” as they tip the scales at a scant 1,759 lbs. while bringing in new design language and styling inside and out.
“Once again, the Elise continues to redefine what is possible in terms of adding lightness to a sports car. Whilst other manufacturers try to keep pace with Lotus’ weight reduction achievements, we’ve raised the bar beyond their reach,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc. “An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne. It should weigh substantially less and, it is a fantastic achievement from Lotus in ensuring that the fully type approved new Elise now dips below the 800 kg (1,764 lbs.) barrier.”
Slotting in right above the Elise Sport and below the Elise Cup 250, the new Lotus Elise Sprint and Elise Sprint 220 bring back the ultra-lightweight nameplate that adorned classic models such as the Elan.
“Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance. As we say at Hethel: less weight equals more Lotus,” continued Gales.
To get down to that magical 1,759-lb. weight, the new Lotus Elise Sprint was given quite a bit of new goodies that are also available as options on the standard Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 models. A new lithium-ion battery cuts 20 lbs.; carbon fiber race seats shed 13 lbs.; forged alloys drop 11 lbs.; and a carbon fiber access panel, roll hoop cover, engine cover, and polycarbonate rear screen cut 13 lbs. for a total of 57 lbs. over the previous Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220.
In addition to the standard featherweight features, the Lotus Elise Sprint and Sprint 220 can also be had with more optional equipment to shed weight. Two-piece brake discs that will be available in May will save 8.8 lbs. while optional carbon fiber sill covers will cut another 1.7 lbs.
The new Lotus Elise Sprint and Elise Sprint 220 will be available with either the 134-horsepower 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four or the 217-horsepower 1.8-liter supercharged inline-four cylinder engine. Thanks to the lightweight features, this enables the sports car to accelerate to 60 mph from rest in 5.9 seconds (1.6-liter) and 4.1 seconds (1.8-liter), and achieve a power-to-weight ratio of 168 hp/tonne (1.6-liter) and 257 hp/tonne (1.8-liter). The force-fed 1.8-liter also benefits from a new exhaust system designed by acoustic engineers to make it the best-sounding four-cylinder engine on the market, according to Lotus.
Visually, the new Lotus Elise Sprint and Elise Sprint 220 gain the brand’s new design language that’s more modern and focused than before. This also comes with styling touches unique to the Sprint models such as a matte black transform panel, black-finished wheels with contrasting metal-spun rims, side stripes, and special side and rear badging.
Inside, the cabin appears focused on the driver and cutting weight. The weight-saving open-gate gear-selecting mechanism that was introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350 now comes standard. Body-colored inserts are used on the sport seats, transmission console, HVAC surround, and other areas. Special Sprint badge stitching is also featured throughout the cockpit. As an option, hardcore drivers can select the Alcantara trim paneling on the doors, sills, seats, and vents with contrasting stitching.
The new Lotus Elise Sprint and Lotus Elise 220 Sprint are currently available for £37,300 and £44,300, respectively. Customers can also personalize their vehicles through the Lotus Exclusive program.
Lotus Elise Sprint and Elise Sprint 220 Gallery