If you think that automakers prefer styling finesse over functionality, you’ve thought correctly. Designers trump engineers in almost all modern cars, but Lotus has pulled out all the stops with a new, barely street-legal version of the Elise. The S Cup is armed with a myriad of upgrades over the standard S model, which allowed the S Cup R to destroy the competition at races last year.
A staggering 125 kg of additional downforce (at top speed) is achieved through an aggressive front splitter and massive rear spoiler. The changes were so significant that it allows the S Cup R to beat the Elise S by 3 seconds on the track. Toyota supplies the 1.8L engine, which is topped by a Magnusson supercharger. It has the same Eaton TVS internals as the CTS-V and an integrated intercooler. Power remains at 217 hp and torque at 184 lb-ft.
Inside, a slate grey cloth and SuedeTex® interior have contrasting stitching and embroidered headrests. The removable roof is now permanently fixed and additional bracing has been added to improve cornering and chassis stiffness. An FIA approved fire extinguisher and battery kill switch are new options, as are air bag delete and a four-point racing harness.
Yokohama Advan Neova race tires are mounted to new lighter wheels. The Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) system will allow you to push them harder into corners than any Elise you may have experienced before.
This will be a numbered series, with each receiving its own build plate from Lotus Motorsport. We hope they choose to bring a few examples stateside so we can enjoy the wildest Elise ever built.