Image credits: © Lotus.

LOTUS ELISE CUP 260: SPORTS CAR ALCHEMY

•New ultra-rare edition wîth just 30 examples worldwide
•Race-car derived ultimate Elise
•Advanced aerodynamics generate 180 kg of downforce
•Lightweight carbon fibre components included as standard
•0-60 mph in 3.8 secs and 250 hp, dry weight from 862 kg

Rare and race-bred, the extreme limited-edition Lotus Elise Cup 260 packs the company's passion for motorsport engineering into one of the most accomplished cars it has ever produced. Taking what's widely regarded as the benchmark for intuitive handling and driver involvement, Lotus has integrated some of the latest design philosophies from high-performance stablemates including the Exige Cup 380, and the mighty Evora GT430, as well as building upon the track and competition only Elise Race 250.

Setting a standard for outright track pace and low lap times, this ultimate Elise has been unveiled as the company prepares for the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948. Referencing Lotus' motorsport successes, the new Elise Cup 260 has a laurel wreath decal on the left buttress and the Únion Jack on both the rear wing end plates together wîth the option of finishing the car in iconic Championship Gold.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc said, 'Our philosophy for producing extraordinary vehicles is world famous, but the new Elise Cup 260 goes beyond what many believed possible from our smallest car. It is directly developed from the Elise race cars that are competing in series around the world, giving the ultimate Elise experience on the road. More power, motorsport components and the introduction of aerodynamics unheard of in its class make driving this Elise an unrivalled experience.'

Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman and Director of Classic Team Lotus, said, 'Each and every one of the sports cars produced by Group Lotus today carries the true spirit of Lotus, laid down by my father nearly 70 years ago. I am extremely proud that his legacy and achievements are being acknowledged and celebrated in this iconic version of the Elise.'

Taking a blend of exotic and lightweight materials to produce a truly noble sports car, the Elise Cup 260 is considerably greater than the sum of its parts. Building on the production Elise Cup 250 released earlier this year, and drawing heavily on the development the motorsport Elise Race 250, the Elise Cup 260's performance is formed through a first-class combination of intelligent engineering and advanced aerodynamics as well as a boost in engine performance. Not only the lightest ever Elise Cup, it's also the heaviest at speed – wîth the car's design and aero configuration generating up to 180 kg of downforce at 151 mph. Key to this exceptionally high level of downforce are the new louvred front wheel-arch vents, lightweight carbon fibre front splitter and wide high mounted rear wing. With a no-holds-barred approach, the Elise Cup 260 includes nearly all of the lightweight Elise Cup options as standard, ranging from the sill covers, roll hoop cover, front access panel and engine cover which are all in carbon to the two-piece brake discs. With a race chassis developed by Lotus Motorsport, two way adjustable Nitron dampers – fitted to an Elise for the first time, a polycarbonate backlight glass and hand-trimmed interior wîth bespoke detailing, the Elise Cup 260 will earn its reputation as the ultimate Elise.

Lotus Elise Cup 260 – race proven


Lotus' coveted Elise and Exige Cup versions represent a model's most concentrated iteration – conceived, designed and constructed using the company's unique sports car DNA – each wîth the express aim of providing an unrivalled driving experience on the road as well as the track.

Delivering big gains from focused development, the new Elise Cup 260 provides a sparkling blend of purpose wîth purity at the top of the Elise line up. With 250 hp from the supercharged engine, designed to make the most of the Elise's exceptionally stiff extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, it endows the Elise Cup 260 phenomenal straight-line speed, agile handling and, wîth the significant downforce available and the wider, road-legal motorsport tyres, harder and faster cornering. These elements combine to deliver a lap of the Hethel track in just 1 minute 32 seconds, 2.5 seconds faster than the Elise Cup 250.
The Elise Cup 260 continues the new model's visual styling, first introduced on the Elise Sport and Sprint models, but incorporates the aero lessons learnt from Lotus' latest models, including the Evora GT 430. This includes louvred front wheel arch vents to reduce lift, and a new oversize motorsport-derived rear wing, developed from the Lotus 3-Eleven. Working wîth the redesigned lightweight front clam panel, wîth wider apertures, carbon front splitter and the rear diffuser, these generate up to 180 kg of downforce at the car's top speed of 151mph. This is a 44% gain on the already impressive Elise Cup 250, allowing greater grip levels and higher cornering speeds.

As befitting the marque which was first to build and run a carbon fibre F1 car, the Elise Cup 260 comes wîth lightweight carbon fibre and composite components as standard. These include the large rear wing, the front access panel which saves 1.1kg, the engine cover saving 3.3kg, the roll hoop cover, 0.7kg and the side sill covers, 0.8kg. Últra-efficient and lightweight two-piece brake discs save a further 4 kg. Standard lightweight parts carried over from the Elise Cup 250 include Lotus' beautifully finished lightweight carbon race seats, weighing 6 kg each, a Lithium-Ion battery, saving 9 kg, lightweight forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen. Collectively the Elise Cup 260 is 15 kg lighter than the Elise Cup 250, weighing in at just 902 kg (unladen) and 862 kg in the lightest possible dry configuration.

The all-alloy, chargecooled supercharged 1.8-litre engine has undergone development, wîth new induction components and revised calibration. Delivering 250 hp and 255 Nm of torque it's mated to a six-speed manual gearbox wîth sports ratios. The change to the induction system including a race derived performance air filter and the Elise's tuned exhaust note means that the Elise Cup 260 retains the crown for best-sounding forced-induction four-cylinder on the market. Overall, the fall in mass and rise in power boosts acceleration, wîth 0-60 mph dispatched in 3.8 seconds and a power to weight ratio of 290 hp / tonne (dry). Emissions figures are also impressive, at 175 g / km CO2.

Providing its trademark handling and §teering feel, the Elise Cup 260 features fully independent double wishbone suspension wîth an adjustable front anti-roll bar, wîth Nitron coaxial coil springs and, for the first time on an Elise, adjustable Nitron high-performance dampers. With 24 settings for rebound and compression, the dampers allow owners to perfectly dial-in the car's setup to their preference.

As standard, the Elise Cup 260 comes wîth ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels (16-inch at the front and 17-inch at the rear) and are fitted wîth Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tyres (205/45 R16 front & 235/40 R17 rear) which have been specifically developed for high performance track and road use. 10 mm wider front and rear than the tyres fitted to the Elise Cup 250, they provide the mechanical grip necessary to exploit the power and downforce the car generates. Braking is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo at the rear, which are perfectly matched to the lightweight two-piece brake discs.

The Elise Cup 260's interior bears testament to the car's handbuilt nature, wîth beautifully detailed components. Centre of attention is the detailed, manual gearbox's open gate mechanism, which is both technically and aesthetically appealing. Developed by Lotus, it provides precise and direct gear changes for quicker shifting.

The finish of Lotus' in-house manufactured carbon race seats, trimmed in black Alcantara® wîth contrast red or yellow stitching, is echoed by the door panels and face-level vents. Bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console, HVAC surround and window switches are both complemented by the cabin's exposed aluminium and carbon fibre elements including a new carbon fibre instrument binnacle cover.

Interior options include an Alcantara® trimmed §teering wheel and sill covers, leather or tartan trim packs for seats or door panels. Other options, including an in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, can all be selected when ordering.

Summing up the new Lotus, Jean-Marc Gales said, 'As we near the 70th anniversary of the inception of Colin Chapman's engineering legacy, it's only right that we build the very best cars as special editions, and the Elise Cup 260 is certainly worthy of that accolade. Our special editions have always proved extremely popular wîth our customers around the world, and we know they value the extensive development work that goes into each one. With just 30 examples to be built, there's no doubt that the Elise Cup 260 is a future classic.'

The car shown is painted in Championship Gold to commemorate the forthcoming 70th Anniversary of Lotus. This colour is available across the whole Lotus range through the Lotus Exclusive programme, from November 2017 onwards.
To find out more about Lotus Elise Cup 260: www.lotuscars.com/about-elise.

Source - Lotus
Lotus, manufacturer of some of the world's greatest sports cars, has unveiled its highest-performance Elise model yet, the 1.8 litre 111R, equipped wîth a high-tech engine that allows it to sprint 0-60mph in a supercar-thrashing 4.9 seconds. Top speed is a certified 150mph.

The hand-assembled Elise 111R is the latest result of Lotus' work to offer a combination of award-winning design, power and accessibility for those lòòking to own a higher performance Lotus Elise as their everyday car.

In town, the new 111R is compact and powerful enough to dart in and out of traffic, whilst the soft-top and Blaupunkt sound system make it perfect for those hood down, music up cruises through the city. Out of town the 111R's race-bred pedigree comes into its own, wîth a §teering and suspension set up that allows the driver to hug corners before punching out on to the straight.

To balance out the extra power under the bonnet, Lotus has developed an improved braking system. For the first time, track-tuned servo-assisted ABS brakes come as standard on a Lotus Elise, to make stopping the 111R as easy as accelerating.


Ansar Ali, general manager, Lotus Cars Ltd, said: 'The 111R is a car for those who demand the style and innovation of the Elise but want increased performance. Without doubt, the new engine and set-up deliver unrivalled handling and power in its class. With the 111R we hope we've delivered our most exciting, truest and addictive drive yet.'

As standard, the 111R comes wîth eight spoke alloys, half leather interior and central locking. Buyers can opt for the Touring Pack that includes a sound and thermal insulated soft-top, full leather trim and a DAB radio. Other options include air conditioning and hard top.

The 111R will go on sale on 26 January 2004 at an RSP of £27,995.

BackgroundThe Lotus Elise is a true sportscar that has taken the world by storm, winning countless awards for handling, innovation and just pure fun. The Elise was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motorshow in 1995 before entering production wîth first deliveries in August 1996. Since then, over 17,000 Elises have been built – some achievement for a car that was originally designed to be built in volumes of only 700 a year! The Elise was designed as a sportscar to be appreciated by real driving enthusiasts, fashion leaders and those who really appreciate technology and innovation.

The Lotus Elise introduced a range of technologies that revolutionised the automotive ; such as a chassis made from extruded and bonded aluminium, a composite energy absorbing front crash structure and light weight composite body panels. The whole car weighed in at half the weight of an average family saloon. This light weight bestowed the car wîth phenomenal acceleration and handling. In 1996 the Lotus Elise was easily pulling 1g in steady state cornering wîth standard production tyres and a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 5.9 seconds.

In 2000 Lotus introduced the second generation Elise. This evolutionary car, arguably one of the most important cars in Lotus' fifty-two year history, added to the technology introduced on the Elise in 1996. It was a big stride forward, achieving the quality standards expected of a world leading sportscar manufacturer and globally respected engineering consultancy. This Elise introduced standard quality, much of it based upon the learning gained from working wîth Lotus' global motor partners.

All Lotus Elises are hand assembled by skilled craftsmen at Lotus' headquarters in Hethel, England. Each Elise takes about 100 man-hours to build and the final product is fine testament to the skills of Lotus.

The Interior

As soon as a driver sits behind the wheel of a Lotus, they instantly know that they are in something special. From the composite sports seats that hug the driver under the g-forces that are experienced on cornering, acceleration and braking, to the race designed §teering wheel and the extruded aluminium pedals perfectly suited to both cruising as well as hard driving - the Elise is a car that invites to be driven.

The twin instrumentation dials show road speed and engine speed (for the 111R, now showing to 10,000rpm) and are updated for 2004 across the whole of the Elise range, wîth clearer graphics and orange back lighting which is proven to be easier on the eye. Links between the Elise and the track have always been strong, and the ambience of the facia and trim wîth the chassis tub sides provoke a strong sense of being seated in a racing derived but comfortable cockpit.

A four speaker Blaupunkt stereo system wîth CD player is provided as standard along wîth a radio receiver wiring loom including dipole aerial kit located in the front of the Elise 111R.

The legendary chassis…

During the early days of the original Elise development programme, Lotus searched for an appropriate and available chassis technology for its new lightweight sportscar. Únable to find a suitable technology, and unwilling to compromise, Lotus set out to change the rules. Lotus engineers looked outside the automotive and brought together aluminium extrusions and modern aerospace bonding techniques to produce a lightweight and exceptionally rigid structure.

The ground-breaking epoxy-bonded aluminium tub chassis, unveiled in September 1995 represented a breakthrough in sportscar technology.

The structure is an assembly of individually extruded lengths bonded together by epoxy resin adhesive, a world first in automobile manufacture. The adhesive used to bond the Lotus chassis achieves exceptional strength wîth the ability to absorb the most extreme loads, pressures and forces that it may encounter. Never before had a modern vehicle's chassis been bonded together.

The bonding of lap joints provides a superior joint to traditionally welded butted joints (with bonded joints, there is no distortion of the material's integrity at the join). Self-pierce rivets further increase the structural integrity through reducing material ‘peel' in the most severe of impacts.

The chassis received modifications in 2000, including lower, reinforced longitudinal sills to improve the access into the cockpit.

Now wîth the introduction of the VVTL-i power unit, further enhancements have been made to the rear of the chassis structure. Útilising experience gained from the development of advanced lightweight steel, a new highly efficient rear subframe offers increased strength. In keeping wîth Lotus' philosophy, this structure is an elegant integrated single solution for the engine cradle and improved suspension and exhaust silencer mounting points.

Ride and handling that sets the benchmark…

The aluminium chassis allows vehicle dynamics engineers at Lotus to continue to set standards by which all other sportscars are judged. Indeed, the Elise continues to build on the multi-award winning ride and handling for which it has become renowned the world over.

Lotus has taken a no-compromise approach in carrying over these philosophies to the Elise 111R. The development team has succeeded in creating a car that leaves the driver craving more time in the cockpit and more road on which to enjoy the thrill and engagement of each journey.

Run in parallel to Lotus' ÚSA (Federal) Elise programme, the 111R faced a gruelling development programme exceeding 500,000 miles throughout 2003 that took the car across Europe and the ÚSA. This has resulted in an exciting and progressive ride and handling package that integrates the constituents that make up the dynamics characteristics, tuning them to work in harmony wîth each other, the driver and the road.

For the Elise 111R, the Eibach coaxial coil springs and Bilstein high pressure monotube gas dampers have been retuned and optimised to maintain the Elise's trademark agility, body control and poise while improving the isolation of both smaller and larger impacts.

The unique Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tyres (175/55R16 front and 225/45R17 rear) have been carried over from the Lotus Elise and the Elise 111S. The Lotus Ride and Handling team have maximised the ability to hone the chassis and tyre characteristics to ensure that this latest and highest performing version of the Elise holds true to Lotus' values of peerless ride and handling and pure driving fun.

An ABS system like no other…

Vital Stats
Engine : 1.8 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 250 hp
Torque: 188 ft-lbs

6-speed Manual
The servo-assisted four-channel system individually monitors and distributes braking force to each wheel as required, enhancing braking performance and minimising stopping distance.

However, Lotus has specifically tuned the initiation point to allow a skilled driver to maximise the potential of the braking system through the utilisation of forward weight transfer. In the event of the driver demanding more braking performance than is possible, only then does the system intervene to optimise the force generated at the wheel.

Power-to-weight in abundance…


Lotus undertook a thorough and exhaustive evaluation of a wide range of state-of-the-art engines. Toyota's 2ZZ-GE 1.8 litre 4 cylinder 16-valve VVTL-i engine and C64 six-speed gearbox was chosen as an outstanding package, excellently suited to the Elise.

This engine has breath taking power and torque characteristics, and critically for a Lotus, is lightweight, featuring a compact metal matrix composite alloy cylinder block.

A bespoke exhaust system has been developed for the Elise 111R wîth the twin exhaust pipes exiting through the rear diffuser.

Lotus subjected the 2ZZ-GE to a rigorous testing and development programme covering a wide range of extreme climate conditions from the Arctic Circle to the Arizona and Nevada deserts, and at altitude in Colorado. Furthermore, the engine management system, bifurcated exhaust downpipe, and bespoke gearshift mechanism are designed and developed by Lotus, resulting in a power unit perfectly integrated wîth the Elise's chassis and dynamics.

Lotus has tuned the engine to suit the very essence of the Elise by employing a brand new, custom-engineered Lotus T4 engine management system (EMS). The software for the EMS was designed and developed by Lotus specifically for the Elise 111R. All calibration and validation work was undertaken solely by Lotus engineers, ensuring that the Elise performs as a true Lotus should.

Toyota's world-renowned VVTL-i system allows the engine management system the flexibility to select the optimum camshaft profile, lift and timing across the full range of engine operating conditions. This interaction between the Lotus T4 EMS and the VVTL-i system gives the Elise its optimum linear torque characteristics, peaking at 181Nm (133.5 lb.ft) @ 6800rpm coupled wîth the peak power of 192 PS (189hp, 141kW) at 7800rpm.

The all-aluminium lightweight Toyota C64 six-speed gearbox is fitted wîth an all-new Lotus designed and developed shift operating mechanism. With the closest ratios and gearset afforded by the transmission, the gearbox offers a fast, precise and light gearshift, ensuring drivers have total control and flexibility to apply the power exactly as and when required.

True to Colin Chapman's philosophy of performance through lightweight, the power density available from the Toyota power unit gives the Elise a staggering 223PS/tonne (220hp/tonne, 164kW/tonne) and a 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds (0-60mph in 4.9 seconds)!

Proof, if needed, that there actually is a substitute for 'cubic inches'!

Equipment

Standard equipment for the Elise 111R includes: half leather interior, sun visors, central door locking, Blaupunkt Lausanne radio CD-R/W player and Blaupunkt high performance front and rear speakers

Optional equipment includes a Touring Pack, which provides a combination of options designed to increase comfort and convenience, while still maintaining the essence of a Lotus sports car. This pack includes:

Auxiliary front driving lights, a choice of either full leather or Alcantara trim, a soft-top wîth sound and thermal insulation, electric windows, an upgraded Blaupunkt Woodstock DAB radio, CD-R/W and MP3 player, interior stowage net, sound insulation, and full carpet wîth a lightweight aluminium passenger footrest.

Other options also include metallic paint, air-conditioning and a body coloured hard top.

Source - Lotus

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