Thursday, 30 March, 2017

Lightweight Lotus Elise sprints in

Exposed gear linkage for new Lotus Elise Exposed gear linkage for new Lotus Elise
Mike Hodges | 18 March, 2017, 01:03

Overall, it's 41kg lighter than the vehicle it replaces and means the Elise Sprint models weigh in at just 798kg.

Weight is saved through the use of a new lithium-ion battery, carbon racing seats and new lightweight alloy wheels, while the engine cover and roll hoops are made from carbon-fibre.

The new 2017 Lotus Elise Sprint is on sale now, with prices starting at £37,300 for the lightest Elise yet.

It's Lotus Elise distilled, weighing a featherweight 789kg dry. In total, these parts cut 48.5 lbs. compared to the previous Sport and Sport 220 models, which means that finally, Lotus can say that they have a auto under 800 kilograms.

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Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars, famously said "adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere", and Lotus continues to adhere to this maxim. All these changes will make the Sprint accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, while the supercharged 220 will get there in 4.1.

Various external tweaks help the Lotus Elise Sprint stand out, including a matt black transom panel, stealthy black wheels with contrasting metal spun rims, stripes on the side of the auto and unique badging on the side and rear for a touch of posing potential. The entire Elise range got some styling upgrades for 2017 both inside and out, which sheds 22 lbs. thanks to a redesigned front clamshell with wider radiator apertures, and mesh pattern grille that's 19.2 lbs. lighter. The auto is 23kg lighter than its predecessor, but with all lightweight options included that number increases to 40kg.

Before this becomes too cynical though, a lighter Elise is surely a better Elise: "Less mass means more Lotus", apparently.

Orders for the new Elise range are now open. That's £5000 more than the standard "Sport" models in each case.

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