The Elise Cup 260 builds on the Cup 250 and takes influence from the Lotus Evora GT430 and Exige Cup 380. Lotus says this car is even lighter than the already pint-sized Cup 250. Downforce is the name of the game with the Cup 260. The car makes 397 pounds of downforce at 151 mph (44 percent better than the Cup 250), helping the car maneuver around a circuit with copious amounts of traction. The key components here are louvered front fenders, a carbon fiber front splitter and a carbon fiber rear wing that wouldn't look out of place on an FIA-spec GT car.
All of the lightweight performance options from the Cup 250 are standard equipment on the Cup 260. The sill covers, roll hoop cover, front access panel and engine cover are all made of carbon fiber. It also uses a polycarbonate backlight glass to save more weight. The Cup 260 has two-piece rotors and two-way adjustable Nitron dampers at all four corners. Strangely, the Elise uses AP Racing calipers up front and a set of Brembo clamps out back.
The Elise Cup 260 is powered by a supercharged 1.8-liter inline four making 250 horsepower and 188 pound feet of torque. In the right hands, the Lotus will hit 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Top speed is listed as 151 mph. Lotus' Hethel track is the true benchmark of any car to wear the green and yellow badge. On it, the Cup 260 is 2.5 seconds faster than the Cup 250.
The exterior has been done up in gold and features a couple of wreaths meant to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lotus' first car. The car comes standard with Alcantara upholstery, but if it were our money we'd spring for either the yellow or red Tartan trim pack. As befitting any Lotus, weight savings was first and foremost. Things like air conditioning, carpeting and sound deadening material are all optional extras.
Pricing has only been announced for Europe, but the UK base price converts to roughly $77,800. Not cheap, but few if any cars provide the pure, unadulterated driving experience of a Lotus.