We didn’t think it was possible for Lotus to cut any more weight off the skinny Elise but the British boutique brand has found a way. The new Elise Sprint has a combined weight saving of 41kg and tips the scales at just 798kg. This makes it the lightest Elise variant ever since the original model was launched back in 1996.

The two-seater features new front and rear bumpers not to mention upgrades for the cabin too best of which is an open-gate gear lever (this was first introduced on the Exige Sport 350) and it also packs a smaller lithium-ion battery, carbon-fibre race seats, forged alloy wheels, a polycarbonate rear window and carbon fibre boot lid and roll hoop covers. It has a new exhaust system and Lotus is pretty excited by it saying it is the “best-sounding four-cylinder car on the market.” Customers can have the Sprint with either the naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder which makes 134 horses and 160Nm of torque or the supercharged 1.8-litre which makes 217 horses and 250Nm.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, Group Lotus plc. said, “Once again, the Elise continues to redefine what is possible in terms of adding lightness to a sports car. Whilst other manufacturers try to keep pace with Lotus’ weight reduction achievements, we’ve raised the bar beyond their reach. An agile, lightweight sports car does not weigh just over a tonne. It should weigh substantially less and, it is a fantastic achievement from Lotus in ensuring that the fully type approved new Elise now dips below the 800 kg barrier.”