As with the beloved hot hatchbacks of the Eighties, the ultra-lightweight cornering-kings like the Lotus Elise have become significantly less ultra-lightweight since their introduction. From its initial kerb weight of just 725kg at introduction in 1996, the little Lotus now tips the scales at 860kg.
While that doesn’t exactly make the modern Elise a barge (for from it, it drives beautifully), that extra 135kg is the equivalent of two extra passengers… and that’s before you add an actual passenger!
Founded by former Lotus and Caterham personnel, Zenos has retained an ethos of lightness over everything else in order to cater to the needs of the driving enthusiast. The new E10 S you see here benefits from the same single ‘backbone’ aluminium extrusion with a carbon composite monocoque as does the E10 the car which the firm announced first, but with a 250bhp Ford GDTI Ecoboost motor to hurry things along.
The result is a machine which should manage the zero to sixty sprint in under 4.5 seconds and which can go on to reach a maximum rate of travel of 135mph; more than enough performance to make this one of the fastest cars at the track day…
Refreshingly, the price has also been kept down as much as possible at £29,995 (inc. VAT) for the basic road car. Add £3,000 and you also get the ‘Track Pack’ which includes a six-speed gear box, limited slip differential, Zenos composite seats, 4 point race harness, quick release steering wheel, performance wheel pack, heated driver’s seat and adjustable platform dampers for those intent on engaging in some track-day shenanigans.
So it’s light, looks good, goes like a stabbed rat, is relatively cheap, and benefits from the latest construction techniques.
To be released in early 2015, the E10 S has just been added to ‘the list.’