Lotus has just added a new addition to its family – the Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition, especially manufactured for the 50th anniversary of the automobile maker’s Hethel site. Baroque Ground finds out all about it
This limited collectors’ edition was created as a tribute to the Elise Cup 250, launched earlier this year. Simply called the Special Edition, it’s touted as a machine with unrivalled track-ability and an equally appealing aesthetic. Hand-finished, this limited edition Lotus has lightweight carbon components such as sports seats made out of carbon fiber and a sporty, effortless motor.
Buyers can choose from either metallic blue, white, yellow or red. The forged wheels are painted silver, but there is a list of customizable options, including black wheels and a hard top made from carbon fiber. Luxurious additions include air-conditioning, cruise control, extra sound-proofing, and an entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and an iPod jack.
Lotus hasn’t made any mechanical modifications to this limited edition – it’s still powered by a Toyota-derived 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that uses a supercharger to generate 243 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque from 3,500 to 5,500 rpm. That’s enough power for the vehicle to have a capacity to reach from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 154 mph.
Of course, the Lotus anniversary edition does boast many bells and whistles, including beautifully finished aluminum and carbon fiber components such as front access panels, rear wing and tailgate and front splitters. The result? An exciting and civilized sports car that is exquisitely finished and great to look at. Conceived, designed, engineered and manufactured at Hethel, this 50th tribute to the brand is even lighter and faster than any Lotus produced before it. This model is hoping to follow the reputation of the iconic Lotus Elan created in the 1960s, which became famous for its appearance on the TV show, The Avengers.
There are only 50 models of this limited edition gem, which is on sale in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan at prices starting from $63,000. Unfortunately, the vehicle is not on sale in the US as the Elise is not considered street-legal in this country. However, Lotus has promised that the next-generation Elise, which is due to be launched in 2020, will be designed to suit the American market.