Lotus Elise Final Edition: The light fantastic

2021 is the 25th and final year of production of the pocket rocket Elise as a fitting tribute to the popular model line Lotus are releasing two amplified variants.

Both the Elise Sport 240 and Cup 250 Final Editions feature the most extensive list of interior and exterior features ever.

For driving enthusiasts one of the single most exhilarating features any car can offer is, well, nothing at all. For all the appeal of horsepower, a distinct lack of weight within the car is what delivers the most rewarding experience.

 ‘Adding lightness’ as Lotus founder Graeme Chapman famously called it, impacts every driver input making steering more precise and handling more agile increasing mechanical grip, braking and acceleration.

Few cars in the modern era are as dedicated to weight saving as the small, but laser sharp Lotus Elise. 2021 is the 25th and final year of production of the pocket rocket Elise as a fitting tribute to the popular model line Lotus are releasing two amplified variants, the Elise 240 Final Edition and the Elise Cup 250 Final Edition.

The exclusivity and rarity will no doubt ensure high demand and guarantee future classic status of each model and they lose none of the core values and features that have made the Elise such an iconic car – a small, light and agile two-seater powered by a supercharged 1.8-litre, four-cylinder mid-mounted engine.

The Elise Sport 240 Final Edition gains an extra 23bhp from a revised calibration replacing the previous Sport 220. Delivering 240bhp and 244Nm of torque, the engine has been tuned to provide stunning real-world performance and class-leading efficiency. The 0-60mph sprint is completed in 4.1 seconds thanks to a power-to-weight ratio of 260bhp per tonne. CO2 emissions of 177g/km are extremely low for the performance on offer.

Both the Elise Spot 240 and Cup 250 Final Editions feature the most extensive list of interior and exterior features ever. The biggest upgrade is the all-new TFT digital dashboard with the choice of two screens, one with a conventional set of dials and the other a race car-style with digital speed read-out and an engine speed bar making the Elise Final Edition an ideal track day companion.

The steering wheel is of a new design and clad in leather and alcantara. It features a flat base to create better leg clearance for taller drivers and to aid ingress and egress. Every car comes with a Final Edition build plaque, plus new seat trim and stitch patterns.

A new selection of colours has been introduced also harking back to some of the iconic colour schemes from the Elise and Lotus’ past. They are split into three; Select, which includes Daytona Blue, Fire Red, Metallic Orange and Motorsport Black; Heritage, which includes Racing Green, Nightfall Blue, Essex Blue and Calypso Red; and Special, which includes Isotope Green, Vivid Green, Pearl Yellow and Burnt Orange.

The Elise Cup 250 takes things up a level in performance and key aspects are its aerodynamics and downforce combined with it’s power and light weight. With aerodynamically optimised components such as the front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floor extension, the Elise Cup 250 produces 66kg of downforce at 100mph and 155kg of downforce at is maximum speed of 154mph.

The car is shod in new 10-spoke Diamond Cut ultra-lightweight M Sport forged wheels (7J x 16” front and 8J x 17” rear) with Yokohama A052 tyres (195/50 R16 front and 225/45 R17 rear). The extensive list of standard equipment includes Bilstein sport dampers and adjustable anti-roll bars help to maximise the aerodynamic downforce available to boost grip whilst maintaining the legendary Elise handling. Also fitted as standard is a lightweight lithium-ion 12v battery and polycarbonate rear window which can be optioned on the Sport 240 as well, along with an extensive range of optional carbon fibre panels, including sill covers and engine cover.

An Elise is among the most pure and unincumbered vehicles to experience from behind the wheel, forgiving, balanced and responsive.

Over 25 years, it’s been fettled and tweaked so that feel and finesse of the original lightweight master remains and now, the Final Editions have perfected the formula.

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