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Lotus Elise Race 250; “most accomplished” Elise racer yet

July 29, 2016

Lotus has released its most hardcore track-only variant of the Elise, named the Elise Race 250.

Elise Cup 250 R Front Static

On the outset, sadly, this isn’t a road-legal car. It takes its platform from the Elise Cup 250 that made its first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, and is purely built for the track.

Before we get to the upgrades we thought we’d let you know that the Race 250 has set the fastest lap time at Lotus’s test track, with a 1:33.50. This is half a second quicker than the Elise Cup 220 R.

It’s powered by the same Toyota-derived powertrain as its road-legal brother, comprising of a 1.8-litre supercharged four-cylinder developing 181kW and 250Nm. This is thrown to the rear-wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

Looking past this similarity, you won’t spot any more connections to its road-legal brother. The Elise Race 250 comes fitted with an FIA-approved carbon fibre race seat with six-point harness, polycarbonate rear window, Nitron adjustable dampers, upgraded brakes and a removable steering wheel.

The Elise Race 250 rides on 16-inch front and 17-inch rear lightweight forged alloys wrapped in Yokohama AO48 195/50 (front) and 225/45 (rear) tyres. It also comes fitted with AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear calipers.

In addition, Lotus engineers became fanatical about shedding weight in the development of the Race 250. Ten kilograms is saved by using a lithium-ion battery over a conventional one, while the carbon fibre seats shave an additional 6kg.

If this isn’t enough, Lotus is also offering an optional carbon aero package, which adds a carbon fibre rear wing and diffuser and front splitter. This areo kit is said to produce 66kg of downforce at 161km/h, and 155kg at its v-max speed of 248km/h.

The end result of all this maniacal automotive dietary is a kerb weight of just 900kg; representing a 31kg drop from the already featherweight Elise Cup 250.

Lotus says the Elise Race is eligible for numerous FIA race series across the globe.

Elise Cup 250 R

Alexi is a contributing news journalist and junior road tester at PerformanceDrive. He has a passion and appreciation for the engineering in cars, as well as new technologies that lessen the impact on the environment. His dream cars are an M3 to drive to work, and a LaFerrari for the weekend.