Lotus Elise review – is the featherweight sports car as good as ever? - Performance and 0-60 time

The Elise, with exceptional feel and control as well as compliance and ride quality, couldn’t be anything other than a Lotus

Evo rating
Price
from £31,500
  • Sublime involving chassis as well as a compliant ride; rorty four-cylinder engines
  • More powerful, hardcore models are expensive

Performance and 0-60 time

The 0-60mph acceleration times in the Elise range are affected as much by each model’s weight as they are its power. The slowest accelerating car is the basic Sport, it hits 60mph from a standstill in 6sec. The Sprint, with its 830kg kerb weight (26kg less than the Sport) reaches 60mph in 5.9sec.

The Cup 250 is the heaviest Elise in the line-up with a kerb weight of 917kg. However its extra 26bhp over the 220 models means it’s able to break below the four-second barrier, with a 0-60mph time of 3.9sec. The Cup 260 weighs in at 895kg, 22kg less than the 250, and has 7bhp more power, it reaches 60mph in 3.8sec.

The Elise has never been about ultimate top speeds. Its close sprint-style gearing has never allowed to hit hugely impressive top speeds, not that it’s ever bothered anyone. The Sprint and Sport models top out at 127mph and the 220 versions at 145mph. The less powerful Cup 250 has a higher top speed compared to the 260, 154mph and 151mph, respectively. The 260’s 3mph lower limit can probably be explained by all the extra drag its downforce-generating wings produce. 

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