The fastest-ever Elise is expensive, sure, but for those who fully appreciate what driving is all about, there is nothing quite like the Cup 250. This Lotus is a proper road-legal track-day weapon – a car that you happily endure on your way to a circuit in order to relish what it can do upon arrival. And when you do get there, it’ll no doubt demolish pretty much anything that turns up this side of 500bhp. It might not be to all tastes, but the committed few will find the Cup 250 perfect for their needs.
The Lotus Elise Cup 250 is the fastest roadgoing Elise ever made. The 250 in its name doesn’t refer to its power output (243bhp at 7,200rpm), but instead to its torque figure. This particular Elise has a whopping 250Nm of twisting action, available between 3,500-5,000rpm.
That means it has a range of performance that, so far, no other Elise has got near. ‘Focused minimalism’ is the phrase coined by marketeers to describe the intent behind this thundering new range-topper, and for once, the hyperbole fits the product perfectly.
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The 250 is lighter (931kg with fluids), faster and more powerful than the Cup 220 it supersedes. It covers 0-60mph in just 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 154mph. Remove its new soft-top hood (the previous Cup 220 was a hard-top only), and that drops to 149mph, which is still impressive.