If you think that this talk of lap times, larger front tyres and Cup suspension has given the Cup 250 a different character from less aggressive Elise models, you’d be right.
For the most part, Elises are delicate cars to drive, with light, ultra-accurate and rarely corrupted steering and a ride that’s scarcely credible for a lightweight sports car. The Cup is prepared to sacrifice some of that for lap times.
Part of that is due to the springs and dampers and adjustable anti-roll bar, no doubt, but we strongly suspect the Yokohama tyres and their new-found width at the front are equally responsible.
The basic Elise themes are still there: it’s light and feels it, and it’s agile, but on the road, part of what makes the Elise so Elisey has given way to heavier steering.
It’s still feelsome and accurate – perhaps even more so than usual – but it’s also heavy, almost fearsomely so at parking speeds, and it gets knocked around by lumps and cambers far more than in any other Elise.
The ride, too, is firmer, more brittle and more attacked by cambers on the kind of road that lesser Elises shimmy down with their wheels deftly and quickly nudging up into the wheel arches.
The Elise has road poise to spare, of course, and despite the hunkering down the chassis receives here, it’s still a vastly more habitable, mature car than the 4C. But it has been designed with the track in mind.