Lotus has returned to its roots and "added lightness" to its latest Elise roadster.
The boutique British brand has revealed a mild update for its entry-level two-seater, which includes the introduction of a new Sprint variant that has a host of lightweight features that culminate in the most significant weight reduction since the car was launched over 20 years ago.
While all 2017 Elise variants receive blink-and-you'll-miss-it new front and rear bumpers as well as interior upgrades such as the open-gate gear lever first introduced on the Exige Sport 350, the Sprint offers the most significant changes. Among the lightweight alterations is a smaller lithium-ion battery, carbon-fibre race seats, forged alloy wheels, a polycarbonate rear window and carbon fibre bootlid and roll hoop covers. With a combined weight saving of 26kg - along with other light weight measures introduced across the entire Elise range - the Sprint tips the scales at just 798kg, making it the lightest Elise variant since the original arrived in 2006.
The Sprint treatment can be had on either the entry-level Elise, which is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre four cylinder producing 100kW, or the more powerful Elise 220 with its 163kW supercharged 1.8-litre four cylinder. Lotus says it has paid particular attention to improving the aural signature of the latter, creating the self-proclaimed "best-sounding four-cylinder car on the market".
Pricing for the the updated Elise models in Australia is due to be revealed ahead of their mid-year arrival.
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