Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition-08

Lotus has unveiled the Elise 250 Special Edition to mark the 50th anniversary of the company’s famous Hethel site. The SE is based on the 200-unit Elise Cup 250 launched earlier this year, but comes with a raft of hand-made carbon fibre bits (front splitter, rear wing, tailgate and front access panel) as standard.

The Special Edition is available in choice of four colours, each a Lotus favourite over the last 50 years. Classic metallic blue, red, yellow and white finishes are all complemented by light forged wheels in silver, or black if you wish. An optional CF hardtop roof panel is also available.

Inside, the SE is relatively plush for an Elise. The carbon-fibre sports seats are finished in either dark blue or dark grey leather, and stitched with a choice of contrasting colours. The same hand-stitched finish is found on the doors. An ICE system with iPod and Bluetooth functions can be specified, along with air con, cruise control, auxiliary driving lights, full carpets, floor mats and enhanced sound insulation.

Like the Elise Cup 250, this car is powered by a supercharged 1.8-litre engine with 246 PS and 250 Nm of torque between 3,500 and 5,500 rpm, paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. With just 899 kg to haul (270 hp/tonne), the 0-100 km/h sprint is done in just 4.3 seconds. It laps the company’s Hethel test circuit in 1 minute 34 seconds, the fastest recorded time for a production road-going Elise.

Suspension and braking components include Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs and double wishbone suspension. AP Racing twin-piston front calipers, and Brembo single-piston rear calipers work in conjunction with the track-tuned ABS system.

There’s also an electronic differential lock as standard to give better traction and faster corner exit speeds. Driver selectable ESP modes include Sport and Race settings – proportionally increase throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, it allows enhanced control before the safety net intervenes.

This “antidote to sterilised and staid modern cars” is limited to 50 units worldwide, priced from £47,900 (RM254,363) in the UK.