Driving report: Lotus Elise Cup 250

She is something of the milf among sports cars. And that is actually meant as a compliment, even with the half-silk connotation. Because even 25 years after its debut, the Lotus Elise is still a wonderfully light girl - and in the cup version a sharp companion for certain laps.  

25 years - some cars are already looking forward to the H license plate and are three generations ahead. But the clocks at Lotus are different and the British are basically still building the same car as they were in 1995. That was when they pulled the sheet off the Elise for the first time, and even though it has been made up a few times since then, it has received a few fresh organs and had to have a new nickname every now and then, nothing has changed in the basic concept of the equally light and airy babe, who is solely committed to driving pleasure. She may therefore be an old girl, but she has retained her youthful charm - and spices it up with a maturity that can only be achieved with years of experience. No other model variant makes this as clear as the Elise Cup 250, which is even lighter than the basic model, more uncompromising, and even more agile thanks to additional downforce - in short. Even more seductive.


You have to come in first

But Elise is not a bride for everyone. Because, as always with Lotus, you need either good weather or a certain flexibility to flirt with the mature speedster. With the roof closed, the British sports car is only suitable for contortionists. If you don't occasionally climb into the drum of your washing machine in search of your lost socks, you have little chance of articulately threading your way through the narrow gap that remains between the high sill and the flat roof. So we look gratefully at the blue sky and fiddle with the towel-sized panel of fabric that is stretched between the front and rear windows. Two bows quickly loosened, as if wrapped on the lid of a sardine can - and the two-seater is open-hearted like a Bond girl in front of the British secret agent. And suddenly boarding becomes easier. Put one foot on the seat, pull the second, support it briefly with your arms, push your feet past the steering wheel and then just let it fall. Gravity does the rest, and we'd better not even think about getting out.

That's not difficult. Because getting out is pretty much the last thing you want to do with an Elise. Better to do another lap and another and another. After all, the flounder, which is only 3,82 meters long and just 1,12 meters high, and which even the passengers turn around in the bus, is a driving machine that is addictive. As soon as the start button is pressed, there is no more escape. The hands rest on a steering wheel no larger than a long-playing record and only switch to the massive aluminum knob for a few seconds, which adorns the switch stub that is led through an open backdrop like a table tennis ball. The feet fly over three slim pedals and the eyes are greedily on the lookout for the next bend, which is more fun in the Lotus than in the roller coaster. This is also ensured by the seating position, which provides more direct contact with the road than in any other production car. You are lying so low that you want to take your wallet out of your pants so that it doesn't rub against the asphalt. The steering reacts free of any power assistance to the slightest hint of a finger, every throttle throws the car a few millimeters closer to the ideal line, unmolested by the control systems, and the brakes bite like an English bulldog.

Fast lightweight

A supercharged 1,8-liter four-cylinder plays the soundtrack to the fast-paced road movie. With 180 kW / 246 PS and 250 Nm it doesn't sound like a super sports car on paper. But because the Lotus with its aluminum frame, plastic body and many attachments made of carbon weighs just 931 kilos and the British have freed the engine of all restraint, it pushes the car properly. In 4,3 seconds the speedometer is at 100 and the end is only at 243 km / h, which are much more breathtaking here than the 300 and more things that are included with Porsche & Co. Again and again you leave the gears in place until you feel that second kick at 6.000 tours that puts such a beautiful smile on the lips of Lotus drivers. And if it weren't for the red warning lights in the cockpit, you probably wouldn't even with 7.500 tours get into gear.

However, you cannot relax while dancing with the Elise. Because the purism also applies to the interior, modern conveniences are in vain. A radio, air conditioning and a few rather superfluous electric motors for the windows, for example, are only available at an additional cost. A glove compartment is missing completely and there are no shelves or cupholders on board. But even if there was always an energy drink waiting there, you get out of the Elise as if you came out of a fitness studio. The shirt sticks to the back, the knees are shaking and the look becomes strangely unsteady if you look straight ahead for too long. And yet, or maybe because of that, the exotic island is just a lot of fun - probably even more than money can buy anywhere else. After all, prices start at 50.600 euros and are well below a comparatively tame Porsche Boxster. And even the Cup model for 63.000 euros, compared to a Boxster GTS 4.0 that is not half as sinful, is fresh and fiery like a young love, passionate and lustful and, with all its maturity, always ready for a frenzy - even if the Elise is something like that in the best sense of the word as the milf is among the sports cars and her charms go back much further than in 1995, in which she was first presented, her vintage license plate can confidently be stolen. Instead, you should be happy that the cup model in particular was still enough for approval. Because this is how the razor-sharp girl becomes a steadfast friend for certain hours for a few rare laps on the racetrack.


Two-seater roadster; Length: 3,82 meters, width: 1,72 meters (width with exterior mirrors: n / a), height: 1,12 meters, wheelbase: 2,30 meters

1,8 liter four cylinder compressor; 181 kW / 246 PS, maximum torque: 250 Nm at 3.550 - 5.500 rpm, rear-wheel drive, six-speed manual transmission, 0-100 km / h: 4,3 s, Vmax: 243 km / h, standard consumption: 7,1– 7,8 liters / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 177 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6d-temp, efficiency class: k. A., Price: from 63.000 euros

In brief

Why Because no other sports car offers more emotions per euro

Why not because boarding is what kind of contortionist

What else certainly no Porsche and no Lamborghini, at best a Super Seven or a Morgan.

When it comes already in the trade

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