Article by Anthony Alaniz. Images from Lotus Media.
Lotus has had some troubles over the last few years. Does anyone remember when Swizz Beatz became vice president of the automaker? Or when Lotus named a new CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, in mid 2014 and he didn’t even have a product plan?
Automotive publications haven't driven a new Lotus in years, and while the automaker's latest announcement isn't groundbreaking, it does have most of the Internet in a tizzy.
Recently, a Lotus Elise prototype was spotted at the legendary Nürburgring racetrack in Germany. Lotus has now confirmed that the prototype was the Lotus Elise S Cup R and the road version will go on sale—exclusively in Europe—near the end of this year.
The S Cup is the highest available trim of the Elise model and gains the same aerodynamic treatments as the R version, which sets it apart from other Elise trims. The aggressive aerodynamics help the car create as much as 275 pounds of track-chomping downforce.
For Lotus, this car is a road-going car that can hit the track with ease, combining Colin Chapman's vision of lightweight cars with great handling for racing dominance. With a price not too far out of our reach at $61,500, the car responds to the 217-horsepower, 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder engine by rocketing the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.
This lightning quick acceleration is thanks to the car’s approximate weight of just over 2,000 pounds. Top speed is a spritely 140 mph.
Inside the Elise Cup S is a competition-spec roll hoop, along with a heater and electric windows as standard. Air conditioning is optional. It seems like Lotus could have shaved a few more pounds by forgoing all three options, making it a true track car, but apparently not everyone likes manually rolling down the window for a McFlurry.
This new product gives us hope that Lotus is on to some sort of product revival. It may not be something entirely new, but it is enough to garner hope for the automaker. Hopefully this will be the start of some great things to come... so long as Beatz isn't rehired as VP that is.
The full unveil of the Lotus Elise S Cup is expected at the upcoming Paris Auto Show; so expect more juicy details then.