Lotus Elise Sport Duo-02

Lotus has announced two new Elise variants. The Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 replaces the Elise 1.6 and Elise S in the sports car range. The new models also mark a return of the ‘Sport’ naming designation, previously used on the Lotus Esprit.

The Sport name is not just for show; both variants benefit from a significant weight reduction of 10 kg, which is a lot when you consider that the Elise is already one of the lightest cars on sale. The Sport tips the scales at just 866 kg and the Sport 220 914 kg, benefiting handling and performance.

The Elise Sport is powered by a 1.6 litre engine with 136 PS and 160 Nm of torque. Not much, but with just 866 kg to pull, 0-100 km/h is a fast 6.5 seconds and top speed is 204 km/h.

Lotus Elise Sport 220-05

Should you want more, the Elise Sport 220’s 1.8 litre supercharged engine packs in 217 hp and 250 Nm. That’s hot hatch levels of output, but acceleration is almost supercar-like when the 220 weighs in at just 914 kg, aided by a new lightweight sports battery. 0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, top speed 234 km/h.

Sport mode is standard and sharpens throttle response, alters traction slip thresholds and removes understeer recognition, allowing for enhanced control before intervention. Bilstein sports dampers further contribute to steering feel and provide heightened feedback from the road.

Lightweight silver or black cast wheels (16-inch front, 17-inch rear) are standard and there is an option to upgrade to a forged wheel design that cuts a further five kgs from the above weight figures.

“We have further refined, distilled and sharpened the driving experience offered by our best selling sports car of the last 20 years, the Lotus Elise. These two new models revive the iconic Sport naming designation and are both worthy of wearing this badge. Over the years, with each improvement to the Elise, we have ensured that the purity of the driving experience has been retained and improved upon and with these two new models, we have taken it on to the next level,” said CEO Jean-Marc Gales.

The familiar spartan cabin remains, but lightweight sports seats in leather, Alcantara or classic tartan trim are options. We like the latter, first introduced in 1976 in the Esprit S1.

They’re not only lighter, but the new variants are lighter on the wallet as well, thanks to a reduction in price. The Elise Sport is priced at £29,900 (RM199,164) and the Elise Sport 220 £36,500 (RM243,126) in the UK. They will go on sale in Europe in next month and will be available to the rest of the world from January 2016.