And this is not surprising as it sounds: the standard 911 is 240kg lighter than the flagship. That’s half a Caterham. Of course, if we think about it, we all know that lighter means quicker but because it’s far cheaper for a car manufacturer to add power than remove weight, we’ve been fed a diet of ever more powerful cars that only recently have started to lose a little bit of weight.
But then you go to Lotus, drive the latest Elise and realise all over again just how good a really light car can be. The new Elise Sprint (the Sprint name being used on a Lotus for the first time since the Elan Sprint went out of production in 1973) weighs just 798kg if you accept Lotus’s somewhat unorthodox measurement method that weighs the car ‘dry’ rather than full of fluids, and doesn’t include the roof because it’s sneakily been made into an option – a no cost option as it happens – that no sane person would pass up.
Even so, there are genuine weight saving measures in here, including a carbon fibre roll hoop and engine cover, polycarbonate rear screen, carbon seats and a lithium ion battery, all of which account for around 26kg of savings. Modifications to the revised front and rear body panels common to all new Elises save around 10kg more.