For an automaker with very few resources, Lotus manages to keep things relatively fresh. The new Evora 400 is a blast to drive, even if it is just a heavily revised version of the car that debuted in 2009. The current Lotus Elise debuted back in 2010, and though it may have departed from our shores, Lotus keeps customers worldwide happy with a plethora of new variants. The latest model is the lightweight Lotus Elise Cup 250.

Now, this isn't the same Elise Cup 250 that debuted last year, though the two cars are very, very similar. The main difference is weight, as is typical with a Lotus. Colin Chapman's tried and true saying, simplify and add lightness, is still true here. The new model weighs just 1,895 pounds, or 1,948 without the lightweight package. Last year's Elise Cup 250 was already quite svelte at 2,053 pounds.

While you may think that shaving that much weight from an already light car must be the result of black magic or a localized black hole, the truth is far more simple. The Elise Cup 250 makes extensive use of carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum for components like the bodywork, exhaust, and wheels. The rear window is plastic instead of glass, and the standard lead-acid battery is replaced with a lithium-ion battery.

The rest of the car remains mostly unchanged. The car is propelled by a 243-horsepower supercharged 1.8-liter inline four. It can hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, quicker than the more powerful Evora 400. There's plenty of aero to keep the car planted, but it's not a pure track car like the Exige. The Elise Cup 250 still comes with a full interior with a stereo, though there's no mention of cupholders.

As exciting as all this may be, the Elise Cup 250 won't be coming to the US. Unfortunately, airbags and crash structures all add weight. For everyone else, the Elise Cup 250 is at dealers now.

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