What’s the Lotus Elise Cup 250 like to drive?
One word…exhilarating. The Toyota-sourced supercharged 1.8-litre engine, which literally sits behind your headrest, is very responsive as soon as your right foot hits the pedal and, as you work your way through the sports ratio six-speed gearbox, the rather loud acoustic notes emanating from the central tailpipe are truly sublime.
It’s a pure pleasure to drive, even if you have no specific destination, and just want to enjoy the countryside in the company of some exquisite engineering. However, it’s fair to say that you’ll extract the most fun and potential from the Lotus Elise Cup 250 on rural lanes, rather than the motorway where you’ll struggle to get above 2,500 rpm when cruising at 70 mph.
With the grippy Yokohama Advan Sport AO52 tyres, the car didn’t feel agitated and took everything in its stride, even on slightly damp roads, like we encountered. The Lotus Elise Cup 250 sits on Eibach springs and Bilstein high-performance gas dampers at the front and rear, and the ride is reasonably firm.
This means that you do feel a judder through your posterior if the wheel runs over the slightest of undulations, a cattle grid or the smallest of potholes in the road surface. However, at no stage did it ever feel uncomfortable. At the end of the day, the Lotus Elise Cup 250 is designed for pure driving pleasure, rather than occupants being cocooned in a haven of luxury.
As you would expect with a Lotus, the handling is extremely precise, and you can guide the car into corners with almost pinpoint accuracy, but my only very minor criticism, is that it gets extremely heavy when manoeuvring the car at a slow pace, so getting in and out of tight spots does take some extra effort.
Stopping power comes courtesy of the AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and the Brembo single-piston rear calipers, and although we never realised the potential of this setup, they do provide a sufficient level of reassurance that you’re in safe hands.
Combined fuel consumption for the Lotus Elise Cup 250 sits at 36 mpg, and the rate at which the digital fuel gauge drops obviously depends on how hard you push the car. However, on a leisurely cruise with the occasional blast within legal limits, you won’t have to rush to the pumps to fill up.
At a smidgen below £50,000, it’s a tightly contested space for the Lotus Elise Cup 250, and there are some worthy competitors in the mix. Nevertheless, the Lotus driving experience has always been unique, and always will be, and that’s ultimately what you’re buying into. Granted, there may be other models that offer a high degree of comfort and are plusher in their appearance, but it’s not what this car is about.
It’s about enjoying a raw driving experience and doing away with the “nice to haves” so that ultimately, you can get the most out of the car.
Lotus Elise Cup 250 – Specification at a glance:
- Price as tested: £49,595 OTR (before options)
- Engine: Supercharged and water-cooled 1.8-litre I4, DOHC, 16 valve, dual VVT-i
- Power: 243 hp @ 7,200 rpm
- Top speed: 154 mph
- 0 – 60 mph: 3.9 seconds
- Transmission: Sports ratio six-speed manual transmission
- Combined fuel economy: 36 mpg
- Combined CO2 emissions: 177 g/km
- Fuel tank capacity: 48 litres
- Close rivals: Alpine A110, BMW M2 Competition, Caterham Seven 620S, Porsche Cayman T and the Toyota GR Supra
Lotus Elise Cup 250 – Where and How?
For more information on the Lotus Elise Cup 250, visit www.lotuscars.com.
Take a look at our Instagram page for pictures from our Lotus Elise Cup 250 road test.