Retaining the elements that have always kept the Elise ahead of rivals, the Elise Sport 220 is built around an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis which is both tremendously strong and torsionally stiff – weighing just 68 kg. The new Elise Sport 220 benefits from a range of improvements, which includes a 10 kg mass reduction thanks to a number of new components.
Changes to the body including a redesigned lightweight front clam panel, with wider apertures and mesh pattern grille provide a more aggressive aspect and 8.7 kg less weight. The new design of rear transom panel now has two rear light clusters, rather than four, with reversing and fog lights now mounted inboard so reducing weight by 0.3 kg and visually enhancing the rear design to appear wider. Every single one of the Sprint’s lightweight components can be also specified on the standard Elise Sport 220.
Offering 217 hp / 250 Nm of torque, the 1.8-litre supercharged engine of the Elise Sport 220 has been specifically tuned to deliver a benchmark power-to-weight ratio and class leading efficiency. The car’s reduction in weight translates into quicker acceleration with 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, harder cornering and a power to weight ratio of up to 257 hp / tonne. Being so lightweight, emissions are extremely low with 173 g CO2 / km. Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear-calipers – optional lightweight two-piece brake discs are also available. Like all Elise, the Elise Sprint 220 benefits from Lotus’ Dynamic Performance Management (Lotus DPM) with user selectable driving modes. Last not least, Hethel’s acoustic engineers have spent time altering the aural appeal of the Elise Sport 220: providing the perfect soundtrack at any speed, its new exhaust makes the 1.8-litre supercharged Elise Sport 220 the best-sounding 4-cylinder car on the market.
Featuring the Elise’s distinctive new styling, the Elise Sport 220 integrates a new front and rear aesthetic. The cabin also receives a wide range of cabin enhancements – including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism providing a much more positive and direct operation and giving more precise and quicker shifting. The cabin also benefits from a new centre console and optional carbon sill covers which reduce weight by 0.8 kg and increase the door aperture by up to 10 mm, aiding ingress and egress. The Elise’s instrument panel has also received attention, with new graphics making it easier to read and a new in-car entertainment system, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, can also be selected when ordering. Options for the new car include Alcantara® trimmed steering wheel, vent-surrounds and sills. Further enhancement can be specified, including a new paintwork colour: “Electric Light Blue” joining the Lotus core colour range.
Modifications front and back are more than skin deep and have allowed the careful balancing of aerodynamic downforce across the whole car. Extended rubber elements mounted on the flat underside and ahead of the front wheel, together with an additional diffuser vane at the rear, help modify airflow under the car reducing drag and increasing stability.