Lotus’s decision to launch a Bathurst Edition Elise Cup 250 “in honour of the famous race” might seem a little odd at first. Not only does the British marque not compete in the circuit’s 12 Hour event - although there have been privateer entries in the past - but its 1.8-litre four-pot Elise is a far cry from the V8 beasts for which Mount Panorama is most famous.
Rather than invoking a connection to its glorious competition history, then, the Bathurst Edition is connected to its namesake by something rather more appropriate for Lotus in 2020: track days.
For the past few years Lotus and its Australian owners’ club have held a single-make track day immediately following Bathurst’s endurance extravaganza. Not only is the opportunity to drive the circuit a rare one as, much like Le Mans, it is partially comprised of public roads, but the event is one of the largest Lotus track gatherings in the world.
With Australia being the manufacturer’s sixth largest market, over 150 owners have been known to attend. Supported by a team of Lotus engineers and featuring corporate-style hospitality, the exclusive event gives owners a chance not only to enjoy their cars in their natural habitat, but to tick one off the world’s most famous tracks off their bucket list as well.
So, existence explained, we can take a look at the car in question. The Elise Cup 250 Bathurst Edition is available as a limited-run special, and as such comes with a series of minor upgrades which add up to a majorly enticing package. These include carbon fibre seats, a lighter lithium ion battery, a plastic rear window and black-painted forged alloy wheels.
The model is finished in ‘Monaco’ white - the same colour as the amphibious Esprit which Roger Moore famously drove in The Spy Who Loved Me - and adorned with a special numbered build-plate and bespoke Bathurst Cup 250 decals. At $109,990 (roughly £57,000) the Bathurst Edition includes access to next year’s owners’ track day (a $1,395 expense), although, as you may have guessed by now, it’s only available in Australia.
UK readers shouldn’t be too disheartened, however, with plenty of beautifully specced alternatives available in the PH classifieds.