New Lotus Elise Sprint Weighs Just 1,798 Pounds
That's a ridiculously light dry weight.
- Test Drives
Twenty-four. That's the maximum number of words I think I can type, given the headline, before I mention Lotus Cars' founder Colin Chapman's mantra, "Simplify, and add lightness."
Anyway, on to the new Lotus Elise Sprint 220, the super-lightweight variant (as befits the "Sprint" badge, which also appears on the Elan) that chops pounds at every opportunity. Examples include forged-alloy wheels and lighter, two-piece brake discs, plus a whole bunch of standard bits now rendered in lightweight carbon fiber, including the race seats, engine cover, roll-hoop cover, and some body panels. A revised front bumper saves 19 pounds, and—if the Lotus engineers' obsession with cutting weight wasn't already apparent—the decision to reduce the number of light clusters on the rear from four to two was undertaken, in part, because it saved an additional 0.66 pounds. There's also an open-gate gear selector like the one found on the Exige Sport 350, which contributes to the weight-savings mission but has the added benefit of looking really cool.
In all, the Sprint removed 88.2 pounds from the standard Elise, which means the tiny, 217-hp supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder now motivates the car to 60 mph in just four seconds flat. Top speed is a mere 145 mph—but, given the flyweight nature of the car, any faster and you might go airborne like a kite.