After 25 years in production, Lotus will end production of the Elise this year, farewelling the nameplate with the release of a pair of ‘Final Edition’ models that will offer various upgrades, unique design features and new colours.
The farewell pair - Elise Sport 240 Final Edition and Elise Cup 250 Final Edition - are powered by the existing supercharged and chargecooled 1.8-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, but in the Sport 240 Final Edition, this compact, mid-mounted powerplant has been tuned to deliver an additional 23hp (17kW), increasing maximum power to 240hp (179kW) and 244Nm.
In addition to more power, Lotus says the upgrade improves the 0-100km/h sprint time to 4.5 seconds over the Sport 220 and provides “real world performance and class leading efficiency”.
Reduced weight comes from the inclusion of new 10-spoke forged alloy wheels (that are 500gm lighter) and options like a polycarbonate rear window, lithium-ion battery and a range of carbon fibre panels. The result (with all options fitted) is a 34kg reduction in weight, down to 898kg, improving power-to-weight ratio to a listed 260hp per tonne.
On the Elise Cup 250 Final Edition, power and torque are unchanged at 250hp (183kW) and 244Nm, so the 4.3 second 0-100km/h acceleration is unchanged, too.
The main change on the Cup 250 Final Edition is an upgraded aero package, with improvements to the front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser and side floors producing 66kg of downforce at 160km/h and 155kg of downforce at the car’s maximum speed of 248km/h. To maximise that downforce, Bilstein shocks and adjustable anti-roll bars are standard.
Other new kit includes ultra-lightweight M Sport forged alloy wheels with Yokohama A052 performance tyres, while the optional polycarbonate rear window and lightweight battery from the Sport 240 Final Edition are standard, reducing weight to just 931kg. To drop the weight even further, the carbon fibre body panel option from the Sport 240 Final Edition is available on the Elise Cup 250 Final Edition, too.
Both of the Elise Final Editions feature new colour schemes, inspired by past models. These include: Azure Blue, as used in the first production car images from 1996; Black, the brand colour used when Lotus ran the Autobytel Lotus Elise Championship race series; and Racing Green, an homage to the colour of the original Elise unveiled at the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Australian release of the Elise and Exige Final Editions is confirmed, with arrival expected sometime in the second half of 2021.
2021 Lotus Elise Final Edition pricing*
Elise Sport 240 Final Edition $97,990
Elise Cup 250 Final Edition $109,990
*list pricing, excluding on-road costs