The Lotus Elise is the latest refinement of the ‘for speed, add lightness’ ideology, and to that end employs lightweight materials including carbon-fibre, titanium and aluminium to help it attain a dry weight of 884 kg (or 860 kg with all lightweight options).

The new Elise Cup 250 employs the latest Elise look first seen on the Elise Sport and Elise Sprint, while changes to the exterior include a new lightweight front clam panel with wider radiator apertures and mesh pattern grille, and a new exterior panel with two light clusters instead of four.

Motive force for the Elise Cup 250 is provided by a 1.8 litre, charge-cooled and supercharged four-cylinder engine, producing 243 hp at 7,200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque at 3,500 to 5,500 rpm, propelling it from a standstill to 96 km/h in 3.9 seconds, and onwards to a top speed of 247 km/h.

According to Lotus, the Elise Cup 250 tips the scales at 14 kg lighter than its predecessor, a weight loss contributed by standard equipment including a lithium-ion battery, carbon-fibre race seats, ultra-lightweight motorsport forged alloy wheels and a polycarbonate rear screen.

Further weight reduction still can be specified – a carbon aero pack comprising a front splitter, rear wing and side boards in carbon-fibre save 3.7 kg. Other carbon-fibre parts can be selected as well – the hard top saves 3 kg, 1.1 kg for the access panel, 3.3 kg for the engine cover, 0.7 kg for the roll-hoop cover, 0.8 kg for the sill covers, 0.3 kg for the face-level vents, and 0.1 kg for the HVAC surround. The optional titanium exhaust saves 7 kg.

Suspension duties are handled by double wishbones front and rear with a front anti-roll bar, Eibach coaxial coil springs and Bilstein dampers, the latter with damping rates increased over the Elise Sport and Elise Sprint by 12% and nine percent front and rear respectively for compression, and 20% and 30% front and rear respectively for rebound.

Brakes are two-piston AP Racing front calipers and single-piston Brembo rear calipers on 288 mm cross-drilled and ventilated discs front and rear, while optional, lightweight two-piece brake discs can help save a further 4 kg. Other options include driver and passenger airbag deletion, harness cross bar and four-point harness (must be specified with airbag deletion), fire extinguisher and battery isolator, plus towing eyes front and rear.

Rolling stock is comprised of lightweight forged aluminium wheels, 16 inches in front and 17 inches at the back, mounted with Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres measuring 195/50R16 at the front and 225/45R17 at the rear.

Other cost options include air-conditioning, Bluetooth-enabled audio, a leather trim pack, tartan trim pack, Alcantara-trimmed sill covers and steering wheel, interior colour pack, floor mats and full carpet. The Lotus Elise Cup 250 starts from £47,400 (RM261,800) including VAT in its native United Kingdom.