Is the fastest race car the company has ever created
Lotus is introducing its latest race car, dubbed the Elise Race 250. Based on the Elise Cup 250 that was revealed in Geneva this year, it is, unfortunately, a track-only machine and is eligible for many race series around the world.
It has the same 1.8-litre supercharged petrol engine as its road-legal brother that boasts 243 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The motor is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
But that’s nearly the only thing identical between the Race 250 and the Cup 250. The track-ready Elise comes with Nitron adjustable dampers, uprated brake pads, FIA approved carbon fibre race seat with six-point racing harness, a removable steering wheel, and a polycarbonate rear windscreen.
Also, a full aerodynamic body kit that includes a front splitter, a rear diffuser, floor extensions, and a rear wing generates additional downforce that equals to 66 kilograms (145.5 pounds) at 161 kilometres per hour (100 miles per hour) and 155 kg (342 lbs) at maximum speed of 248 km/h (154 mph).
But that’s not everything. In fact, probably the most important improvement has been done by the company’s Motorsport division through the so-called “Lightweight Laboratory.” A new lithium-ion battery saves 10 kg (22 lbs) compared to a standard battery, and carbon fibre race seats shave additional 6 kg (13 lbs). An optional Carbon Aero Pack which replaces the standard front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser, and side floor-extensions with lightweight carbon components reduces the mass by a further 10 kg (22 lbs). With all these lightweight options, the Elise Race 250 weighs less than 900 kg (1985 lb) – some 31 kg (68 lbs) less than the Elise Cup 250.
Speaking of lightweighting, that’s the philosophy the next generation Elise will follow – a vehicle that should be “ready in 2020,” as Lotus chief Jean-Marc Gales explained recently. We are also promised the new car will remain faithful to the DNA of its predecessors and won’t be big and expensive.