Prototype Sprint

Back in 1996 the then Group Lotus Chairman Romano Artioli wanted to know what effect the removal of the Elise's windscreen would have from his request an Elise chassis #16 was donated to the project.

The cars standard windscreen was removed instead a couple of ducts which collect air from the top surface of the bonnet (ahead of the scuttle, but behind the radiator air outlets) and channel it beneath a low perspex fairing, then abruptly upward to form a sort of fresh airscreen (Lotus had used this system in their single-seater racers in the late '60s and '70s).


Despite a good reception at the British Motor Show in Birmingham it was decide due to the fast expanding order bank for the standard Elise and the limited production capability to shelve the racing version. The car stood guard for many months in the foyer of Lotus's HQ before being pensioned off to the museum.

It was by sheer luck that Ian Coles then a director of the Haydon Group was at the factory a few days prior to the infamous Coys "family silver" auction of Lotus historic cars and purchased it. One off's like this are rarely seen after motor shows let alone been registered to drive on public roads.


·  Exhibited at the 1996 Birmingham Motor Show

·  Driven "up the hill" at the Goodwood Festival of Speed by invitation of Lord March 1998&1999

·  Exhibited at the Lotus 50th Anniversary Heritage Display 1998



·  Lotus Elise Sprint (LHD)

·  Manufactured 1996 Registered 1998

·  Styled by Julian Thompson (now Advanced Design Chief at Jaguar Cars)

·  Metallic Titanium Silver Paint work

·  1.8 K-Series engine producing 158 BHP

·  Upgraded cams, throttle bodies, ECU (Fully programmable)

·  Lotus Carbon Fibre air intake box

·  Lotus fully adjustable uprated sports suspension

·  Stainless steel sports exhaust

·  Quick release sports steering wheel

·  Four point harness'

·  Engine immobiliser

·  1 owner

·  7800 miles

Immediate Release

The Elise Sprint - Competitive and Affordable Motorsport

With The Ultimate Racing Version of the Elise

After successfully launching the innovative Lotus Elise, the British sportscar manufacturer is presenting its new basic racing version - The Elise Sprint. It embodies the whole of Lotus’s racing tradition but with a 90’s spirit and affordable price tag.

The Elise Sprint is a radical evolution of the initial model and takes all its special features to extremes: the sporty lines, use of lightweight components, the drivability, superlative handling and ultimate driving sensations. It is an essential basis to develop a competition car with a full road-homologation.

The new car will appeal to racing enthusiasts worldwide, combining competition car performance and sensations

with the usability of a road car. The Elise Sprint can be driven to the track and back and used in any racing discipline. Its competitive pricing (approximately £20,000) and general usability make it a perfect entry-level car for motorsport - no high budgets are necessary. The Elise Sprint offers probably the most affordable and fun way on four wheels, to get from 0 to 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds.

To reduce weight as much as possible, the Elise Sprint features no windscreen or side windows but a wind deflector to prevent passenger cell turbulence. A reduced total weight of only 650kg, the strong but lightweight spaceframe bonded chassis, the 1.8-litre 16-valve homologated engine, will contribute to boosting all vehicle performances.

Available from mid 97, the Lotus Elise Sprint will be available through all Lotus dealers.Lotus will also be appointing one exclusive race preparation company in each country. Elise Sprint owners will be able to get their cars race-tuned to participate in the future Elise Racing championship to kick off in 1997. Options will include FIA approved roll cage (inc. full four-point harness), competition springs, dampers, anti-roll bar, competition STACK instrument pack with data logging facility, a closer ratio gear box and competition silencers. Tonneau cover is optional. The championship will cover all motoring events from sprints to hill climbs, circuit and ice racing and offer many opportunities to Elise Sprint owners to experience the full driving potential of their car.The Elise Sprint will also be available in a range of new Lotus colours: nautilus blue, charcoal, electric green, pacific green, inferno red, ivory, deep purple, racing yellow, chrome and titanium..

Geneva 1997

Au Birmingham show