Featherweight Lotus Elise Sprint launches 2017 Elise range

Some SUVs weigh three times as much as the Elise Sprint, which features carbon-fibre seats, lighter wheels, brakes and bodywork

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars, famously said “adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, and Lotus continues to adhere to this maxim.

The design team behind the new Lotus Elise Sprint has shaved 41kg from the standard Elise thanks to the fitment of a lighter battery, carbon-fibre seats, a carbon engine cover, re-engineered brakes and forged alloy wheels. That brings the Sprint’s total dry weight (calculated without petrol, oil and other fluids) down to just 798kg; to put that figure into perspective, a Ford Focus weighs roughly 1,300kg.

Black wheels and silver side decals mark the Sprint out from other Elises and it comes with a 134bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine. Customers after more speed on the straights can upgrade to the Sprint 220, which features a 217bhp turbocharged 1.8-litre engine. Going from 0-62mph takes 5.9 seconds in the standard car and 4.1 seconds in the Sprint 220.

Lotus is using the Sprint to launch a raft of upgrades across the Elise range. These comprise new front and rear bumpers, fresh rear lights and “significant” interior upgrades – chief among which are an open-gated manual gearbox, a new centre console, fresh graphics for the instruments and a new stereo, with improved connectivity credentials. Under the skin, lighter parts have led to a 10kg weight loss across the Elise range, while aerodynamics have also improved. An updated version of the range-topping 243bhp Elise Cup 250 will arrive in May.

The Sprint’s reduced weight costs, though: the standard 2017 Elise is priced from £32,300, with the Elise Sprint coming in at £37,300. Sometimes less really is more.

Most Popular

Hot car deal: quirky Nissan Juke hybrid for £172 a month
Nissan Juke dynamic
Deals
26 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: quirky Nissan Juke hybrid for £172 a month

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
1 Mar 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

10 smallest cars on sale 2024
smallest cars on sale
Best cars
28 Feb 2024

10 smallest cars on sale 2024

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
19 Dec 2023

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
12 Apr 2023

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
The best electric cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024