Lightweight Lotus Elise sprints in

Inside the new Lotus Elise Sprint cabin see exposed gear linkage

Inside the new Lotus Elise Sprint cabin see exposed gear linkage

Changes to the Sprint include lightweight forged alloy wheels, carbon race seats, polycarbonate rear screen, carbon roll cage cover and engine cover etc.

How've they made the Lotus Elise Sprint even lighter? With these boxes ticked, the Elise Sprint tips the scales at 798 kg (1,759 lbs) dry.

Lotus has revealed a refreshed Elise for 2017, with a new lightweight variant of its sports vehicle headlining the updated range that will go on sale this spring. The new Lotus Elise Sprint falls in the latter category. Standard Sport models are 26kg lighter than the previous Elise.

Opt for the new Sprint edition, available with either a 1.6-litre (134hp) naturally aspirated or 1.8-litre supercharged (217hp) engine sitting in its centre, and keen drivers will get a vehicle that tips the scales at less than 800kg.

What, is your 1,849-pound Lotus Elise is too heavy for you?

If you're not looking for that level of asceticism, the rest of the Elise lineup still receives a 22-pound weight loss, thanks to interior tweaks and revised body panels.

Actually, no. Well, sort of. The Elise Sprint's 1.6-litre outputs 149g/km of CO2, while the 1.8-litre of the Elise Sprint 220 comes in at 173g/km.

When the new vehicle goes on sale in April all variations will have a sharply restyled front and rear and a reimagined interior with better fit and finish, more Alcantara trim, a very racy looking completely exposed gear shifter - i.e., mechanics on show - and, in a nod to 21st century digital convenience, after 20 years and almost 33,000 hand-built examples, optional Bluetooth connectivity. It will be 23kg lighter than its predecessor and has access to a Carbon Aero pack for saving up to 40kg.

The Sprint trim line can be specified with Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 models and will shave 41 kg (90 lbs) from the outgoing Elise Sport.

As for the price of the Lotus Elise Sprint (available this very second), expect to pay from £37,300, which is £5,000 more than the Elise Sport.

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