Lotus Elise Sprint: even lighter weight Elise slims down to 789kg

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The latest flavor of the Lotus Elise, which isn't offered in the United States, is the Lotus Elise Sprint. That brings the Sprint's total dry weight (calculated without petrol, oil and other fluids) down to just 798kg; to put that figure into perspective, a Ford Focus weighs roughly 1,300kg.

The last Sprint edition was the Esprit, which is a legendary Lotus and perhaps why the modifications are extensive. Its most important features include a lithium-ion battery, (which saves 19.8 lbs), carbon race seats (-13.2 lbs.), a set of new lightweight forged alloy wheels (-11 lbs.), a carbon access panel, roll hoop and engine covers, plus a polycarbonate rear screen, saving another 13.2 lbs. Two-piece brake discs are available to reduce the weight further still. The achievement is said to represent the biggest weight cut since the introduction of the first-generation Elise.

Various external tweaks help the Lotus Elise Sprint stand out, including a matt black transom panel, stealthy black wheels with contrasting metal spun rims, stripes on the side of the vehicle and unique badging on the side and rear for a touch of posing potential. All these changes will make the Sprint accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, while the supercharged 220 will get there in 4.1. The most basic Elise, the Sport, goes on sale in the United Kingdom with a starting price of £32,300 ($39,945).

The interior has been adjusted, too, to make it fresh. Not a lot, admittedly, but it could make life that little bit less awkward.

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Alongside the new model, the rest of the Elise range has been updated and is now 10kg lighter than before.

Less weight = more performance, naturally.

The base Lotus Elise Sprint starts at £37,300, while the Sprint 220 costs £44,300.

The entire Elise line-up seems to have benefited from a range of improvements, foremost of which is a 10 kg reduction in mass. It sits above Elise Sport models and below the Elise 250 Cup in the range.

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