Only a couple of weeks ago we spotted a Lotus Elise prototype testing at the Nürburgring, which we reported at the time was for a road-going version of the automaker’s Elise S Cup R race car. Now, Lotus has confirmed the car's launch and released this first photo of it.

The new sports car is called the Elise S Cup and it’s set to go on sale in Europe towards the end of the year priced from 47,500 euros (approximately $61,550). The Elise S Cup is the most track-focused version of the Elise and sits above the existing Elise, Elise S and Elise S Club Racer models.

Power comes from the Elise’s familiar 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, supercharged to the tune of 217 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Drive goes to the rear wheels only, via a six-speed manual transmission, and the wheels measure 16 inches across up front and 17 inches at the rear. The standard tires are Yokohamas.

Thanks to a curb weight of just over 2,000 pounds, owners can expect 0-60 mph acceleration of just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 140 mph.

The Elise S Cup is easily recognizable by its aggressive aero components, which help to create as much as 275 pounds of downforce, and inside there is a competition-spec roll hoop for added safety. Interestingly, a heater and electric windows are fitted as standard but an air conditioner is optional.

Sadly, since the Elise (and its Exige sibling) is still not eligible for sale in the U.S., the latest Elise S Cup will have to remain forbidden fruit for the time being. That’s a shame, because it would make an excellent option for autocross and track events. As new Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales explains, the car is “all about the pure driving experience with the Lotus attributes of high performance, light weight and excellent ride and handling” and thus it is “perfect for the driver who desires a quick, authentic, desirable and competitive sports car.”

Stay tuned for a world debut of the Lotus Elise S Cup at the 2014 Paris Auto Show next month.


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