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RE: Lotus Elise Sprint

Friday 17th March

Lotus Elise Sprint

Raft of new measures gets the Elise back under 800kg (dry) and looking rather sharp too!



Putting 'Sprint' on the back of a Lotus is clearly not something taken lightly at Hethel, given how seldom the badge is seen. Elan is the obvious thought, along with an Exige S2 special edition, but it's certainly not as common as other nameplates.

Fewer lights mean fewer grams...
Fewer lights mean fewer grams...
The headline news for this Elise is a 41kg mass reduction, taking the dry weight to 798kg, although that does come with certain caveats. The standard Sprint equipment takes out 26kg and includes a lithium-ion battery (minus 9kg), carbon seats removing 6kg, forged wheels saving 5kg and a 6kg reduction through a polycarbonate rear screen as well as carbon for the access panel, roll hoop cover and engine cover.

Contributing another 10kg though are tweaks being rolled out across the Elise range, with a new design front and rear (note the two light clusters at the back now, rather than four) saving 9kg. The other 1,000g comes from the lovely exposed manual shift first seen on the Exige Sport 350.

That takes us to 36kg, with the remaining weight coming from optional lightweight brake discs (another 4kg eliminated) and the optional carbon sill covers, taking out 0.8kg which makes for a total 40.8kg. Or 41kg, if you're feeling generous.

Before this becomes too cynical though, a lighter Elise is surely a better Elise: 'Less mass means more Lotus', apparently. Available with both the 1.6 and supercharged 1.8-litre engines, the Sprint is - appropriately enough - more accelerative than the regular versions, boasting 0-60mph times of 5.9 and 4.1 seconds respectively.

The end of stringy Elise gearshifts?
The end of stringy Elise gearshifts?
Marking out a Sprint from other Elises are black paint for those forged wheels, Sprint side stripes and badges, plus colour coded inserts inside; 'Electric Light Blue' is a new colour for the entire Elise range.

Jean-Marc Gales said of the new Sprint: "An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne. It should weigh substantially less and it is a fantastic achievement from Lotus in ensuring that the fully type approved new Elise now dips below the 800 kg barrier." Could that be a swipe at the new Alpine perhaps?

Whatever, should you be seduced by a Sprint, it's available to order now ahead of first deliveries in April. It carries a £5,000 premium over the regular Sport models, meaning £37,300 for the 1.6 Sprint and £44,300 for the 1.8 Sprint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

GroundEffect

Original Poster:

10,310 posts

77 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
What is the delta between 1.6 and 1.8 mass? The 1.8 must be heavier, all else equal.

Luke.

7,170 posts

171 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
5.9 to 60. More of a stroll than a sprint really.

Krikkit

10,542 posts

102 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
That new gear shift looks mega - any word if it'll make it to other cars?

Lefty

14,744 posts

123 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Too expensive still.

The s1 was £18k in 1996. 20 years of CPI inflation takes that to about £27k. At £30k this would be a lot more attractive than it is at £37k.

kambites

51,746 posts

142 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
That new gear shift looks mega - any word if it'll make it to other cars?
I think it's already in the Exige, isn't it?
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jl34

374 posts

158 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Luke. said:
5.9 to 60. More of a stroll than a sprint really.
how many 1.6 N/A cars do you know that can do it it sub 6 seconds !? 4.1 for the 1.8 sounds pretty impresive to me.

kambites

51,746 posts

142 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
All that effort and it's still heavier than my S2. biggrin

Actus Reus

3,190 posts

76 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Agree with the comment on price - that is a big chunk of cash, when an s2 111R won't depreciate at all, costs £20k less, weighs about the same, and is faster... Still, it's a nice looking car.

Cold

2,491 posts

11 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
That's no Elise Sprint. This is an Elise Sprint:





biggrin

Onehp

263 posts

204 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
I like it.

Please do not start with silly dry weights too, can't drive a car starved of all fluids. Yes interesting for the sake of comparison, but still want the know the kerb wet weight with a full tank. Thanks.

Tickle

2,403 posts

125 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
I do like this new Sprint, glad Lotus are still trying to save weight.

IIRC the ‘s’ in the 111s also stood for Sprint; it was originally called the Elise Sprint but Mercedes objected due to their Sprinter vans in the late 90’s.

Could just be Hethel BS though!



leglessAlex

2,442 posts

62 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Lefty said:
Too expensive still.

The s1 was £18k in 1996. 20 years of CPI inflation takes that to about £27k. At £30k this would be a lot more attractive than it is at £37k.
I'm not sure. This article indicates that the Elise was £18,990 in 1996, and using the Bank of England inflation calculator that gives £32,712 in 2016. Seems ok to me when this claims the current Elise Sport costs £29,900 today.

Sure, faster or lighter versions are more, possibly too, expensive, but it seems the most basic Elise you can buy is much the same cost as it was 20 years ago once inflation has been taken into account, possibly a little cheaper.

Over over under steer

223 posts

44 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Looks almost identical to my red S3 s'charged cup racer. Had it for six months or so now and is absolutely fantastic, can only imagine this would be more of the same. My thoughts on mine are:

  • Sublime steering, unassisted, small non-fussy wheel and a telepathic front end
  • S/C engine in such a light car makes it hilariously quick to 100
  • Tub means you hear absolutely everything hit the underside, so winter driving is loud
  • Lack of LSD makes wet weather silly stuff a bit less accessible - my MX5 was better

I have this as my only car and to sum it up in one word I'd say the best word is visceral. S/C cars hold their value very well, so although relatively expensive as a three year ownership proposition it's not too bad.

22mpg on mine though...

Cold

2,491 posts

11 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
leglessAlex said:
I'm not sure. This article indicates that the Elise was £18,990 in 1996, and using the Bank of England inflation calculator that gives £32,712 in 2016. Seems ok to me when this claims the current Elise Sport costs £29,900 today.

Sure, faster or lighter versions are more, possibly too, expensive, but it seems the most basic Elise you can buy is much the same cost as it was 20 years ago once inflation has been taken into account, possibly a little cheaper.
Yep, got to remember that the 1996 base price was devoid of any options too, including an undertray. No metallic paint, no leather seats, no radio fitting kit, no front spotlights, no alarm, no nothin'!

Oddball RS

1,754 posts

139 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Well there are a lot of moaners on here for 'petrolheads'.

I would just like to add, after 10 years on Elise nonsense finally a move in the right direction.

swissphil

9 posts

37 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
It looks amazing
- Exposed gear-leaver [Tick]
- Carbon fiber bits [Tick]
- Lighter weight [Tick]

Amazing, I hope Lotus has huge success with the direction their going, because it's definitely ticking all the right boxes. The recent Exige 380 and Evora 410 are also amazing cars.

GO LOTUS!!

jayemdoubleu

48 posts

11 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
That exposed shifter is bloody lovely. Can't stop staring.

AlexS

1,266 posts

153 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
Tickle said:
I do like this new Sprint, glad Lotus are still trying to save weight.

IIRC the ‘s’ in the 111s also stood for Sprint; it was originally called the Elise Sprint but Mercedes objected due to their Sprinter vans in the late 90’s.

Could just be Hethel BS though!
In the original Evo review of the 111s the sticker on the back of the car was actually Sprint.

benjiwengy

26 posts

79 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
This is obviously a far better product than the original s1. If you don't mind the extra 41kg, knock £5000 off, and it will still be better at more or less the same price. Yes, ideally we want everything cheaper. Perhaps this Lotus should be, but they'll have a better idea about marginal returns than us. If people bought Lotus in the same numbers as Porsche then they would be cheaper. It's a Catch 22. Lotus needs to be profitable in order to make desirable product. Maybe Elise2 will crack it.

Tickle

2,403 posts

125 months

Friday 17th March
quotequote all
AlexS said:
In the original Evo review of the 111s the sticker on the back of the car was actually Sprint.
Yep, I have that copy in my nerdy 111s document folder getmecoat