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Lighter and faster. That’s what the new Lotus Elise Cup 250 is all about. Hethel has managed to trim 21 kg from the already flyweight Elise, which gains a further 26 hp. The result is a trim 931 kg, 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 248 km/h, making the Cup 250 the fastest road-going Elise ever.

Replacing the Elise Cup 220, the Cup 250’s diet included a lithium-ion battery which slashed 10 kg, carbon fibre seats that are 6 kg lighter, and forged alloy wheels which save a further 1.5 kg. A Carbon Aero Pack (front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor-extensions) that cuts an extra 10 kg is available. The Cup is available for the first time as a roadster as standard, with a hard top available as an option.

Powered by a new higher-output version of the familiar supercharged 1.8 litre Toyota engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp at 7,200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 3,500 and 5,500 rpm. It laps company’s Hethel test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, four seconds off the Cup 220’s best time and the fastest recorded lap time for a production Elise. Six-speed manual, of course.

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Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) provides a Sport mode that increases throttle response, lowers traction slip thresholds and removes understeer recognition, allowing enhanced control before the system intervenes. Wider 195/50 R16 front tyres (rear 225/45 R17) give sharper, more-responsive steering, Lotus says.

The 250 carries over the motorsport-derived suspension and braking components from the Cup 220, including an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach co-axial coil springs. AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear calipers work in conjunction with the track-tuned ABS system and Yokohama AO48 tyres.

Inside, new larger switches with improved haptics have been introduced for the DPM, headlights and rear fog lights, mounted together with the new engine start button. A full Alcantara interior in red or black is standard, with a Leather Pack available. ICE, full carpets and enhanced sound insulation can be specified.

The Elise Cup 250 goes on sale in all major markets except North America from April. The global production run will be limited to 200 units per year.