Extreme Elise-based ncircuit car to offer 400bhp per tonne
16 June 2005

Lotus has announced bold plans for a ‘circuit car’ based on the Elise, and set to challenge the plethora of super-lightweight track such as the Caterham CSR, Radical and Ariel Atom 2.

Unveiled at Lotus Club International’s annual dinner last week, these renderings provide the first indication of how the new pared-down Lotus will look. According to highly-placed Lotus sources, its sculpted composite body panels have been designed to maximise downforce without consideration for practicality or suitability for the road. This single-seater is an out-and-out racer intended solely for track day and competition use.

The car will weigh just 600kg, and will be powered by the same Toyota 1.8-litre variable valve timed engine as the Elise 111R. In 189bhp tune, Lotus estimates a 4.0sec 0-60mph sprint and 100mph in 11.0sec. A supercharged version is likely to pack 240bhp, like the forthcoming Exige 240R, but with 300kg less to carry, it should rocket to 60mph in 3.5sec and pass the ton in 9.0sec.

Prices have yet to be set, but the normally aspirated car is likely to cost £32,000, while its supercharged sibling is expected to come in at around £35k. Volume is expected to be limited to around 100 cars per year. Production begins at Hethel this December.

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