To commemorate the 50th year that Lotus has occupied its Hethel headquarters, production facility and proving grounds - a site that’s now synonymous with the British sportscar maker, they’ve unveiled the Elise 250 Special Edition.
The car is based on the Elise Cup 250 that was launched earlier this year which was limited to a production run of just 200 units. Where it differs, though, is that the 250 Special Edition comes with added bits of bespoke carbon fibre to produce an extraordinarily lightweight body that weighs in at just 899 kilograms.
The car, though, isn’t without some creature comforts as some versions of the Elise are. One could argue that the extra carbon is there as an appropriate offset. The 250 Special Edition comes, for example, with air conditioning, cruise control, and even an entertainment unit that supports Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
The mid-mounted supercharged Toyota ZZ engine is shared with the Cup 250, generating 183kW and 250Nm from it’s 1.8-litres of displacement and four-cylinders, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission that, provided the driver’s adept at rowing through the ratios, can sprint to 100km/h from rest in just 3.9 seconds.
The Elise 250 Special Edition also comes with an electronic rear differential to intelligently deliver grip to wheels that could do the most with it, giving the car a leg up in terms of in-corner speed and allows for earlier power delivery at corner exit. This works in tandem with the excellent Bosch ESP system that received praise with the Exige S for its uncanny ability to eliminate understeer and heaps of vehicle control without limiting engine power.
It’s suspension is a double wishbone setup with dampers from Bilstein and coaxial coils from Eibach. Braking is tended to by twin-piston calipers at the front while Brembo single-piston calipers provide auxiliary stopping support at the rear.
Unfortunately, though, Lotus is rather serious about the 250 SE being a truly special edition. They plan to produce only 50 units and costs a hefty £47,900 in the UK, or around $83,000 in our money.