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Lotus Elise Cup 260 Front 3/4

This Gorgeous Lotus Elise Cup 260 is the Next Best Thing You’re Already Late For

The Lotus Elise Cup 260 is Lotus’ Newest Track Weapon

Published November 3, 2017

This is the second leanest car coming from Lotus, the Elise Cup 260. This special edition Elise is almost as barebones as it gets. 

Lotus Elise Cup 260 Front 3/4

The Lotus Elise Cup 260 takes the prospects of small, light cars into a whole other dimension. This car comes to us in anticipation of the 70th anniversary since Colin Chapman produced the first car – the 1948 Lotus Mark I.

1948 lotus mark 1

1948 Lotus Mark I

Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said, “As we near the 70th anniversary of the inception of Colin Chapman’s engineering legacy, it’s only right that we build the very best cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade.”

Lotus Elise Cup 260 Rear 3/4

This hand-built machine makes a case for a rather compelling sports car with a comprehensive aerodynamic kit heavily inspired by the Lotus Evora GT430 kit. That kit alone helped the already seriously light car to lose an additional 150 lbs. This significant weight loss brings the Elise Cup 260 down to only 1,900 lbs dry (1988 lbs wet, it seems). Surprisingly though, it is not the lightest Elise ever. The Elise Sprint, which was released earlier this year, tips the scales at only 1,798 lbs. Nevertheless, the Cup 260 is probably the most hardcore version of the Elise ever made. Mind you, this is a hand-built machine, of which only 30 units will be produced. Not a single one is being produced for the US, either, so unless you know someone special that’s going to import one, which is highly unlikely, you’ll probably never see it in the flesh…

The Lotus Elise Cup 260 is an Aerodynamic-Focused Track Weapon

As an evolution of the Elise Cup 250, the Elise Cup 260 takes the prospects of aerodynamics and downforce to the next level. The sheer size of the rear wing and carbon fiber surfaces at the front and back help the car generate a rather incredible 400 lbs of downforce at 150 mph. It’s quite a feat to have so much pressure on a car as small as this. It’s no wonder the whole Union Jack flag fits on the rear wing.

Lotus Elise Cup 260

The exclusivity doesn’t stop there, though. As part of the special package, Lotus introduced the Champion Gold finish for the car. Such profound changes compared with the Elise Cup 250 reflect on the performance of the Elise. With a retuned 1.8-liter supercharged engine, it will accelerate to 62 mph in a nimble 4.2 seconds with a top speed north of 150 mph.

But is it Faster than the Elise Cup 250?

Of course, you may list tens of cars capable of doing much more impressive shenanigans, but the Cup 260 is the one to have on the track. It already lapped the famed Hethel track 2.5 seconds faster than the next best thing from Lotus – the Elise Cup 250.

Now, that is some serious success.

As for the shoes, the Elise Cup 260 gets 16-inch front wheels and 17-inch rear wheels shod in Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tires, which are 10mm wider than those on the Elise Cup 250.

Lotus Elise Cup 260 Interior

The sheer amount of weight saving measures is rather incredible. The battery alone shaved 20 lbs of weight. The new unit – a proper lithium-ion box – will even provide a bit more juice when needed.

Lotus Elise Cup 260 Front Quarter

The all-inclusive changes did not go past the engine. A fine-tuned revision and new induction system resulted in a 6 kW power gain and a few more torques as well. What is more, a new performance filter and exhaust tune make the Elise Cup 260 engine the “best-sounding forced-induction four-cylinder on the market.” High praise considering it fights in the same ballpark as that mad Alfa Romeo 4C engine.

Lotus Elise Cup 260 Rear

The entry version of the car sells for $78,516 in the UK, but you and everyone else is already late for the party as all the models have been spoken for. This car was designed specifically for the European market, so sadly, we’ll probably never see one stateside, or anywhere else for that matter.


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Safet Satara
About Safet Satara

I do not have spare time. All there is is car time. 12 years and counting. I am a Central European gearhead, but you are probably thinking - aaa a disposable Borg drone! Well, actually, I like to dress up like James Bond too. The only thing I need to be him is an Aston Martin (and I love DBS more than DB5 because, reasons). That's something I guess.

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