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Car and Driver: You Can Buy the Lotus Elise in the U.S. Again, But You Can’t Drive It on the Street


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Lotus Elise Cup 250


For the first time in five years, you’ll be able to buy a brand new Lotus Elise in the U.S. But there’s a catch: it’s for track use only. Yep, American Lotus freaks will soon be able to head to their local dealers to order this, the Elise Race 250—as long as they trailer it home.


Lotus announced the Elise Race 250 on Wednesday, and like the name implies, it’s a track-only version of the magnificent Elise Cup 250. It’s undeniably sad that Americans won’t be able to enjoy the car on the street, but a new Elise for sale in our market is still something worth celebrating.


Lotus Elise Cup 250


The Elise Race 250 will run you $76,200 before tax, and for that, you’re getting the fastest Elise Lotus has ever built. Thanks to a supercharger, this Elise squeezes out 243 horsepower from its Toyota-derived four-cylinder, weighing just under 2000 pounds dry. The Race 250 also comes with adjustable dampers, an adjustable front anti-roll bar, track-ready brakes, a carbon-fiber racing seat with a six-point harness, and an FIA-compliant roll cage.


Like the Cup 250, the Race 250 also gets an aero package with a big rear wing, a rear diffuser, a front splitter, and floor extensions. These aero bits help the Elise Race 250 generate 340 pounds of downforce at its top speed of 154 mph. An optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package further reduces weight by 22 pounds. Naturally, shifting is done via a six-speed manual gearbox, as it should be.


Lotus Elise Cup 250


Lotus says the Elise Race 250 is “eligible for many race series around the world,” though it isn’t homologated for any series in particular. Depending on what type of racing is your choice, that $76,000 price tag might be a pretty affordable way to get on track.


Lotus, thank you for sending the Elise Race 250 across the pond. But we’re really looking forward to the next-generation car, which will be street-legal when it arrives in 2020.


This story originally appeared on Road & Track.


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