Lotus updated the Elise with a new edition called Sprint, a lightweight version which tries to capture the original spirit of the brand.
The British sportscar maker was able to shave 41kg off the weight figure of the Elise Sprint thanks to the use of carbon-fiber parts, reaching an impressive total of 798kg dry.
Nearly 33,000 examples have been made since the British roadster’s debut back in 1996 and the Sprint represents Lotus’ return to its roots, focusing on making things as light as possible.
The new model employs several lightweight features as standard, including a lithium-ion battery (-9kg), a set of carbon race seats (-6kg), new forged alloys (-5kg). The carbon access panel, roll hoop cover, engine cover and polycarbonate rear screen save an additional 6kg.
The list goes on with optional two-piece brake discs (-4kg) and optional carbon sill covers (-0.8kg), giving the new Elise Sprint a power-to-weight ratio of up to 168hp/tonne for the 134hp 1.6-litre model and 257hp/tonne for the supercharged 217hp 1.8-litre version.
As well as introducing the new Elise Sprint, Lotus has also managed to shave some weight off the whole Elise range thanks to new components, including a redesigned front clam panel, a new rear transom panel with two rear lights instead of four.
Inside there is a new console and a beautifully detailed open-gate manual gearbox while provides a precise and direct throw for quicker shifting. New graphics on the instrument panel and the option of a new in-car entertainment system with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth are also part of the changes.
“An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne”, said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus. “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 barrier.”
The new Lotus Elise Sprint is priced from £37,300 for the 1,6-litre, with the more punchy Sprint 220 asking for £44,300 in the UK.