Lotus takes even lighter touch with new Elise Sprint

Lotus takes even lighter touch with new Elise Sprint

"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", said Group Lotus plc CEO, Jean-Marc Gales.

The headline news for this Elise is a 41kg mass reduction, taking the dry weight to 798kg, although that does come with certain caveats.

The last Sprint edition was the Esprit, which is a legendary Lotus and perhaps why the modifications are extensive.

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. Other weight-saving components are shared across other Elise vehicles, including two-piece brake discs (9 pounds).

If ever a vehicle didn't really need to go on a diet, it was the Lotus Elise. A 1.6-litre, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder with an output of 134PS and 160Nm and a 1.8-litre, supercharged, 4-cylinder engine with putting out 217PS and 250Nm.

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Some 21 years ago, the first-generation Lotus Elise weighted 1521 lbs. without its fluids.

The interior has been adjusted, too, to make it fresh. 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. Its manual transmission has an open gate design, which looks the business (check it out in the gallery below). "Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance".

The Elise Sprint is available with two engine options.

What's cool is that all these lightweight parts can be individually specified for the cheaper Elise Sport and the Elise Sport 220 variants as well. Somehow, the new Elise Sprint barely tips the scales at a skinny 1,759 pounds, down 90 pounds from the regular Elise.

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