New Lotus Elise Sprint is one of the lightest sports cars ever

Exposed gear linkage for new Lotus Elise

Keen maths enthusiasts will point out that adds to 26kg and not 41kg, but every auto in the Elise range is now 10kg lighter. That brings the Sprint's total dry weight (calculated without petrol, oil and other fluids) down to just 798kg; to put that figure into perspective, a Ford Focus weighs roughly 1,300kg. Its most important features include a lithium-ion battery, (which saves 19.8 lbs), carbon race seats (-13.2 lbs.), a set of new lightweight forged alloy wheels (-11 lbs.), a carbon access panel, roll hoop and engine covers, plus a polycarbonate rear screen, saving another 13.2 lbs.

How light is the Lotus Elise Sprint edition?

The result? The new 2017 Lotus Elise Sprint, with a nifty 41 kilogrammes shaved from the kerbweight.

The latest Elise also receives a wide range of cabin enhancements including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism first introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350.

Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars, famously said "adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere", and Lotus continues to adhere to this maxim. Available with both the 1.6 and supercharged 1.8-litre engines, the Sprint is - appropriately enough - more accelerative than the regular versions, boasting 0-60mph times of 5.9 and 4.1 seconds respectively. The Sprint is marked out with unique design tweaks, including a matte black rear fascia, black wheels, subtle side stripes and Sprint badging. Climbing into the Lotus Elise Sprint should be easier as the door aperture has been increased by up to 10mm. Going from 0-62mph takes 5.9 seconds in the standard auto and 4.1 seconds in the Sprint 220.

Before this becomes too cynical though, a lighter Elise is surely a better Elise: "Less mass means more Lotus", apparently.

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