Lotus Elise even sharper act to follow

New Lotus Elise Sport and 220 Sport are even more performance-focused.

New Lotus Elise Sport and 220 Sport are even more performance-focused. - Credit: supplied

The Lotus Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 mark a return the 'Sport' name, used previously on the Lotus Esprit, and with it the Lotus Elise package becomes lighter and even more performance-focused.

Replacing the Elise 1.6 and Elise S, Elise Sport and Sport 220 are 10kg lighter. At just 866kg, the 134hp 1.6-litre Elise Sport is pure in its driving experience with handling and quickness in roadholding the envy of many rivals and reaches 60mph from rest in six seconds.

The supercharged 1.8-litre Elise Sport 220 is a more focused performance package. Weighing 914kg, with peak power of 217hp and 250 Newton metres of torque, 0-60mph takes 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 145mph. The Elise Sport 220 offers an even purer driving experience when compared to the previous Elise S model, due largely to the further weight-saving.

Lightweight sports seats in leather, Alcantara or classic tartan trim as an option are a further sign of sports intentions. First introduced in 1976 in the Lotus Esprit S1, tartan interior refers to a time when making a statement was everything.

Standard sport mode increases throttle response, alters traction slip thresholds and removes understeer recognition, allowing enhanced control before intervention. Bilstein sports dampers further contribute to sharp steering feeling and heightened feedback.

Alongside a weight reduction is a reduction in price when the models go on sale next month. The Elise Sport model is £29,900 and Elise Sport 220 £36,500.