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    Lotus Elise Sprint adds lightness to lightness


    Lotus announced the introduction of a new Elise trim level that exemplifies founder Colin Chapman's famous phrase of "simplify and add lightness." The new Elise Sprint combines the weight savings of the current standard Elise, along with a number of Sprint-exclusive parts for what Lotus claims is the model's most significant weight loss yet of about 90 pounds over the old model, bringing the car's dry weight (not curb weight) to 1,759 pounds.

    The exclusive Sprint parts account for about 57 pounds of that loss. They include a lithium-ion battery, forged wheels, polycarbonate rear window, and carbon fiber for the seats, roll bar cover, engine cover, and access panel. Interestingly, the biggest savings come from the lithium-ion battery, which is roughly 20 pounds lighter than the normal battery. Lotus also includes the optional two-piece brake rotors and carbon fiber door sills to reach the 90 pound total.

    This all translates to slightly quicker 0-60 mph times for Elise Sprint models over their Sport counterparts. Both the 1.6-liter 134-horsepower Sprint and 1.8-liter 217-horsepower Sprint 220 models complete the run to 60 mph a tenth of a second quicker than the equivalent Sport versions, with times of 5.9 and 4.1 seconds respectively. The weight loss also results in a price gain. For either Sprint model, you'll end up paying an extra £5,000, which is a bit over $6,100 at current exchange rates. Of course, the Elise isn't available in the US anyway, so it's a moot point.

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