Lotus has unveiled a new variant of their lightweight sportscar Elise - the Sprint . The new iteration of the Elise is a lighter and faster variant of the car. The Lotus Elise Sprint receives a 41kg reduction in weight, to achieve a dry weight of just 798kg, which is the biggest reduction in weight since the introduction of the first generation Elise. Till date, Lotus has built 33,000 units of the Elise at the company's factory in Hethel, England.
Changes to the Sprint include lightweight forged alloy wheels, carbon race seats, a polycarbonate rear screen, and a carbon roll cage cover and engine cover etc. On the outside, the Sprint looks largely similar to other variants of the Elise, with the new black alloy wheels being the major differentiator. The interiors of the Sprint also get enhancements like, body colour matched inserts on the seats, transmission console and HVAC surround. The Elise Sprint also gets optional Alcantara trim panels on the doors, sills, seats and vent surrounds, all with contrast stitches.
Lotus has also taken care of the aerodynamic aspects of the car. Rubber elements mounted on the flat underside and ahead of the front wheel, together with an additional diffuser vane at the rear, modifies airflow under the car thereby reducing drag and increasing stability.
The new Elise Sprint comes powered by two petrol engine options. A 1.6-litre, naturally aspirated, 4-cylinder with an output of 134PS and 160Nm of torque, and a 1.8-litre, supercharged, 4-cylinder engine which puts out 217PS and 250Nm of torque.
With a power-to-weight ratio of 168PS per tonne, accelerating from 0-100 takes 5.9 seconds in the Elise Sprint and 4.1 seconds in the Elise Sprint 220, with 257PS per tonne. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front callipers and Brembo single-piston rear-callipers. Lightweight two-piece brake rotors are also available as an option.
The entire Elise line-up seems to have benefited from a range of improvements, foremost of which is a 10kg reduction in mass. All new Elise editions also receive the car's new look and new interior options. Adding to this is the benefit of being able to customise all variants of the Elise with lightweight components from the Elise Sprint.
Prices for the Elise now start from GBP 32, 300 (Rs. 26.12 lakh) for the base Elise Sport, going up to GBP 47,400 (Rs. 38.34 lakh) for the Elise Cup 250. Bookings for the all variants are now open, with deliveries scheduled to begin in April. The Elise Cup 250, though, will be launched only in May.