The Elise has a reputation for being slightly pricier than its output, finish, size and sophistication arguably warrant and the Cup 250 hardly alters that view.

The £45,600 starting price includes VAT, but not other on-the-road costs – and if you want air-con, carpets, sound insulation and a stereo, plus the Carbon Aero Pack, you can immediately add £6250 to the cost.

You’ve bought the Cup, so you might as well go the whole hog. Have harnesses, a quick-release steering wheel and the rest of the track options

North of £50k makes the 718 Boxster S a genuine rival, as it does the 4C, BMW M2 and an entry-level Jaguar F-Type.

In a host of tangible ways, the 250 doesn’t measure up to this level of competition. Its tactile performance is the differentiating factor, but here the opposition is no less fierce: the Seven 620S and E10 R offer even more palpable speed for a lower initial outlay.

Neither rival has Lotus’s badge or its broad heritage, but both are similarly resistant to depreciation and light enough to make their efficiency more or less consistent with the combined 37.7mpg claimed for the Cup 250.

Track use dropped that to 15.4mpg, making it a little more thirsty than the 21.4mpg we recorded for the 620S this year. 

Advertisement
Advertisement