Lotus lets loose two giant slayers

Lotus 3-Eleven

Ready to humble some of the fastest cars that money can buy, two of the greatest, most extreme Lotus models ever produced, the Lotus 3-Eleven, finished in matt and gloss Black colour scheme and the Lotus Elise Cup 250 in Red, have driven off the production line for the first time at the famous Hethel factory.

The two, hard-hitting lightweights represent the latest generation of Lotus sports cars, combining high-output engines with the company’s dedication to cutting mass, and so boosting performance through intelligent engineering. Developed through the company’s Lightweight Laboratory philosophy, every component in each as been assessed, optimised and re-engineered as required.

Surrounded by some of the production and engineering teams responsible for the two cars, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “The lucky owners of these will be the first to find out just how special the latest Lotus cars really are. We’ve raised the bar yet again, to produce two vehicles which the competition cannot hope to match. From the outright firepower of the 3-Eleven, to the sublime handling of the Elise Cup 250, these cars, better than any other, encapsulate our ‘light is right’ mantra.”

3-Eleven

Showing clear intent for the Lotus high-performance sports cars of the future, the 3-Eleven is the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever.

The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

Designed to deliver a pure, undiluted driving experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight carbon composite body, and a bespoke chassis evolved from Lotus’ ground-breaking work with extruded and bonded aluminium sections.

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

One year on from its global unveiling, this matt and gloss Black 3-Eleven will be on display at this years’ Goodwood Festival of Speed with Bell & Colvill, the most successful and longest serving Lotus dealer in the world. A second giant killing Lotus 3-Eleven will be taking part in the Michelin Supercar run on all three days of the Festival.

Elise Cup 250

With the Lotus Elise recently crowned as Readers’ Champion during the Autocar Awards, this latest version of the legendary car is the faster ever – with a 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h).

Powered by a new higher-output version of the supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp. However, in order to make the most of its power, it’s shed 21kg compared to its predecessor, to weight just 931 kg. Customers wanting to cut weight still further, and so boost performance, can select the optional Carbon Aero Pack to reduce the vehicle’s mass to 921 kg.

The hand-built sports car has long been regarded as a benchmark within the industry, providing a level of precision and driver involvement that rivals cannot match. Capable of lapping the company’s test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, the changes and engineering adaptions to the Elise Cup 250 have taken an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup 220’s best time.

The arrival the new cars coincides with the 50th celebrations for the founding of the famous factory in Hethel, Norfolk, when, in 1966, founder Colin Chapman moved Lotus to the purpose-built facility. Lotus is marking this milestone in the company’s history with special edition cars and events throughout the year.

Every new Lotus 3-Eleven and Elise customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.

Lotus Elise Suspension comparo: Base Vs Nitron 46mm SA Vs Penske SA

One of the great things about being a car guy in CA is that there is a large number of fellow addicts around. This means that if you ever want to put some high dollar upgrades on a car you can usually find someone with a similar setup and get some first hand info about it. The latest to take advantage of this was Vincent from the GGLC who has been thinking of getting a set of single adjustable coilovers for his Elise and was having a tough time deciding between the Nitron 46mm Race Pro 1-Way and the BWR Penske Single Adjustable. Since the shocks run $2500+ he sent out some feelers on the forums and was able to get 3 cars together to try some back to back to back driving on some interesting roads for a highly subjective and completely unscientific comparison.

IMG_20160403_124643

Mag Blue (Vincent)
2005 Elise
Base suspension
LSS wheels
R888 tires

Black (Scott)
2008 Exige S 240
Nitron 46mm Race Pro 1-Way (450/600 “soft” springs)
Exige Wheels
R888 tires
A-arms for extra camber

Titanium (Rahul)
2006 Elise
BWR Penske SA (500/700 “street/track” springs)
Rota wheels (15/16)
RA1 tires wider than stock (205/50R15 245/45R16)
Aligned, lowered and corner balanced to BWR spec

Route
The road we used for the test was CA-35 from CA-92 upto Alices Restaurant which is an extremely bumpy road with lots of cracks and undulations. It is however quite a twisty road so is very popular with sports cars, bikers and cyclists. We also did drive La Honda road from Alices down to CA-1 but that section of road is so smooth that we could barely tell the difference and ended up using the original stretch again.

This was far from a scientific test and is basically about subjective feel of the various suspensions on a fairly bumpy road. We did not have any specific test criteria going into this and just wanted to drive all 3 cars. I am just going to describe my feedback from all 3 in the order I drove them:

Nitron 46mm Race Pro 1-Way (450/600)
The first car I drove was Scotts Exige S240 on the Nitrons. The car was set to 15 FFH front and rear which is a little softer than the recommended Nitron settings. The two things I noticed were that the steering was a lot lighter (extra camber A-arms) and that ride did feel pretty harsh on the on the bumpy sections. I had plenty of confidence in the car but I was feeling a lot of bumps and vibration through both the seat and the wheel. That said it certainly was not undrivable – just harsher than I would want on an everyday drive.

Lotus Base Suspension
I thought the Nitrons were harsh but when I drove the base car over the same section of road I realised just how much worse the base car is. It was crashing and skipping over the bumps and got lots of unpleasant feedback through the wheel. I should add that this is in relation to the Nitron/Penskes only – the base suspension Elise is still an incredibly capable car and I drove mine for 90k miles on that suspension including dozens of trips down CA-35. Driving the base car is still a great experience and only felt bad because it was sandwiched between two more capable (and more expensive) setups.

BWR Penske Single Adjustable
After driving the other cars I took my car for a spin down the same road just to see how it handled those bumps. While I have ~800 miles on these shocks most of them were at COTA and I had not driven a truly bumpy road on them before. The car started the day in my “highway” settings of FS/FS-5 which are significantly softer than BWR suggested settings for the street. These settings disconnect you from road harshness and expansion joints but can hit the stops on big bumps which is no fun. After Vincent drive in my car he said it felt too soft so I moved it up to FS+10/FS+25 for Scott before following him on the second run. I did notice that the rear appeared to be “bouncing” a lot over the bumps which is something he reported as well at the next stop. I started out the first couple of miles on the same settings and quickly realised that while there was no high frequency harshness the car was just too bouncy and underdamped over the bumps. I pulled over and bumped it to FS+15/FS+35 which gave it a much more compliant ride with minimal harshness (less than the Nitrons).

Final results
In the end I have to say that the Nitrons and the Penskes are both a significant improvement over stock in terms of comfort and drivability. From this informal test I’d have to say that the Penskes can be adjusted to a softer setup (this might also be due to the extra tirewall from the 15/16 wheels) but some folks can find that to be too “Cadillac-y” and unconnected. The Nitrons were very good on the smoother sections but cannot be made as “soft” as the Penskes. That said we dont know if the softer adjustments cause the Penskes to lose a bit on track (not AutoX). I have driven 3 days at COTA with Penskes but that is possibly the smoothest track in the US plus without a back-to-back its hard to really judge.

In the end if you want a good aftermarket suspension you cant really go wrong with either of these options and both vendors will work further with you to come up with the right package for your specific needs. They are both a massive upgrade over stock in terms of drivability and I wish I had bought them years ago instead of waiting 90k miles to make the change.

IMG_20160403_131546

Update: Added a note that the ride comfort of the Penskes is affected by the extra tire wall from the smaller wheels.

Lotus Elise celebrates 20 years

20 years ago, the Lotus Elise revolutionised the sports car world, setting the benchmark for handling, purity of the driving experience, lightweight and efficiency. Its pioneering and advanced bonded aluminium chassis was a market-leading technological innovation at the time and over the years has improved and evolved and remains core to the Elise’s exceptional performance today.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, welcomes the Elise 20th Anniversary model, “It is sometimes hard to believe that the Elise has been around for 20 years. It was ground breaking when it was launched and continues to be the benchmark for handling and performance in its class. Over the years we have improved and refined the Elise but we have also ensured that we have retained the purity of the driving experience and for the Elise to remain as the sports car to which other marques aspire.”

20th anniversary elise

The Elise 20th Anniversary, with its lightweight aero-optimised, composite body, is powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged engine. It reaches 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 145 mph (237 km/h). The benefit of this light weight is that the Elise 20th Anniversary consumes just 5.9 litres / 100 km (47.6 mpg) extra urban and emits just 173 g of CO2 per km.

Weighing just 914 kg, 10 kg less than the Elise S, the Elise 20th Anniversary is the sports car that both enthusiasts and newcomers to the brand will desire. Lightweight, efficient and totally pure in its driving experience, its benchmark in handling remains the envy of the sports car scene. Additional equipment compared to the Elise S comes as standard and is designed to reduce weight, including lightweight matt black forged wheels, lightweight centre console in body colour and lightweight sports seats in leather or Alcantara with colour coded stitching. A sport mode is also included which increases throttle response and alters the traction slip thresholds allowing the driver enhanced control before intervention.

Four classic Elise colours are available in Blue, Green, Yellow and Silver and the rear diffuser, wing mirrors, roll hoop cover and rear transom are in matt black. Elise 20th Anniversary decals inside on the dashboard and seats and outside above the side indicator identify the anniversary special edition.

All this additional equipment amounts to £5,150 worth of extra value, for only £2,700 more than the standard Elise S (£37,200) and the Elise 20th Anniversary will become a driving investment for the future.

The Elise is the most successful Lotus model in terms of numbers built, with a total of almost 32,000 built and sold globally. In addition to the Elise, the Lotus small platform technology has been used to great success in the Lotus Exige, Lotus Europa and Lotus 2-Eleven models, all of which are, or have been manufactured by Lotus at its Headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk.

The Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary is on sale now with an MSRP of £39,900. It replaces the Elise S Club Racer. For other currency prices, please contact the Lotus press office. Orders can be placed now.

Specifications:

Each 20th Anniversary Lotus Elise Edition will have the following as standard:

  • Body colour, lighter weight interior centre console
  • Leather, or Alcantara (no cost), lighter sports seat trim option
  • Colour-coded stitching on seats and door cards
  • Colour-coded seat hoops
  • Matt Black forged alloy wheels
  • Matt Black distinguishing exterior trim
  • A choice of four exterior colours – Classic Blue / Green / Yellow / Silver
  • Auxiliary driving lights
  • Elise 20th Anniversary decals externally and on dashboard stereo blanking-plate

Lotus Elise Oil Line Recall details

LOTUS IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2005-2006 ELISE AND EXIGE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 1, 2004, THROUGH NOVEMBER 30, 2006. THE OIL COOLER LINE MAY BECOME DETACHED FROM ITS FITTING.

A number of owners have reported that the oil line(s) have detacted from the oil line fitting at the oil coolers or at the engine. A detacted oil line can potentially spray oil on a tire increasing the risk of a crash or spray oil throughout the engine compartment increasing the risk of fire.

The NHTSA notified Lotus Cars of the recall on October 26, 2011. See NHTSA letter to Lotus Cars NHTSA Letter (pdf).

In January 2012 Lotus Cars USA sent a preliminary notification letter to all current owners of the affected cars. Owner Preliminary Notice (pdf).

On September 6, 2012, Lotus Cars sent a letter to the NHTSA with a proposed for the oil cooler line problem. The letter is in two parts. The body of the letter outlines the solution and how Lotus will reinburse owners cost of repairing oil lines that have detached.
Lotus Cars Letter to NHTSA (pdf).

The proposed reinbursement plan looks like this:

Customer Reimbursement Plan
1. Claimants(1) to be reimbursed for repairs conducted between 5th October 2010 and 19th January 2013 (customer notification + 10 days)
2. Claims will be refused if:
a) Repairs2 are not of the same type as the recall remedy (i.e. hose repair or replacement)
b) The repair did not address the problem that led to the recall
c) The repair was not reasonably necessary to correct the defect that led to the recall
3. Claims will only be paid if adequate documentation is provided:
a) Name and mailing address of the claimant;
b) Vehicle make, model, model year, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle;
c) Identification of the recall (either the NHTSA recall number or the manufacturer’s recall number);
d) Identification of the owner or purchaser of the recalled motor vehicle at the time that the pre-notification remedy was obtained;
e) A receipt for the pre-notification remedy, which may be an original or copy
f) Receipt must indicate that the repair addressed the defect or noncompliance that led to the recall or a manifestation of the defect or noncompliance, and state the total amount paid for the repair of that problem.
4. Within 60 days, claimant will be reimbursed for lesser of:
a) Cost paid by claimant for repair – OR
b) Lotus retail cost of parts + labour, taxes etc
5. Claims for reimbursement should be sent to: Mr Ron Mann, Customer Services & Warranty Manager, Lotus Cars USA Inc.

The letter proposes replacing the oil cooler hose end fitting where the original hose end fittings are removed and replace with new end fittings secured by Oetiker clamps.

It is proposed to replace the oil cooler hose end fittings, using a bespoke dealer fitting kit. This technique involves removal of the original hose end fittings and installing new end fittings, secured by Oetiker clamps. This repair will be carried out on the left and right longitudinal oil cooler hoses (4 end fittings). The lateral oil cooler hose will be replaced in its entirety. Following repair, the vehicle will be leak checked to verify oil cooler system integrity.

The letter continues to propose that Lotus Cars will need time to build and distribute the repair kits and train dealer technical staff. Thus the estimated date(s) that notifications will sent to owners, dealers and distributors will be subject to parts and tool availability, notification dates are as follows:
Dealer notification: 2nd January 2013
Owner notification: 9th January 2013

The proposed dealer service bulletin is available here (PDF)

Lotus Recalling 05 and 06 Elise/Exige

Lotus is recalling over 5000 Lotus Elise and Exige in the US due to the oil cooler line potentially getting detached and spraying oil on either a tire or the engine. This will affect all cars of model 05 and some cars of 06. Owners of cars manufactured between 1-June-2004 and 30-November-2005 will be contacted by Lotus Cars or can directly contact Lotus at 1-800-245-6887. Since this notice was only issued yesterday dealers may not yet be aware or the issue and we recommend waiting a month before contacting Lotus.

The full NHTSA notice can be read here:Lotus Recall Notice – 05-06 Elise/Exige (PDF).

Lotus to cease production of 2ZZ-GE engined Elise/Exige

Lotus Cars has notified US dealers that the current generation of 2ZZ-GE engined Exige and Elise will cease production this July on Model Year 11. Toyota has already stopped production of the 2ZZ-GE engine and Lotus has been buliding cars using stockpiled engines ever since.

There are to be 3 final Elise and Exige versions – “Final Editions” to be built between now and July 2011, for arrival in the US and Canada between June – August 2011. These are to be produced in strictly limited numbers as the supply of engines for production is approaching exhaustion. Interested customers need to reserve their cars NOW. The specifications of the 3 final edition cars are listed below:

Exige S260 Final Edition

Production Run: 30
An excellent value proposition, available in choice of color, these are based on the current Exige 240 spec with power enhanced to 260bhp. Tour pack, track pack and LSD are standard equipment.

Basics
• 257 horsepower supercharged and intercooled 1.8 Liter, mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine
• Multi-point fuel injection system with electronic ignition and throttle control
• Synchromesh 6-speed transaxle with lockout reverse gear
• Variable slip traction control
• Launch Control

Standard Fitment
• Touring Package with sport seats trimmed in your choice of black, red, magnolia or biscuit
leather.
• Track Package with double adjustable Ohlins dampers.
• Torsen (Torque-sensing) Limited Slip Differential.
• Black Y type 5 spoke forged wheels with A048 tires.
• Metallic paint range at no additional charge.

Options
• Choice of full range of current colors
• StarShield

Production Details
• Limited to 30 units for North America
• May/June production

MSRP
• $67,500 plus destination

Exige S260 Final Edition – Matte Black

Production run: 25
Based on the stunning Matt Black Exige Scura sold in Europe with great success, some changes for the US market to ensure that this car is even better value.

Basics
• 257 horsepower supercharged and intercooled 1.8 Liter, mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine
• Multi-point fuel injection system with electronic ignition and throttle control
• Synchromesh 6-speed transaxle with lockout reverse gear
• Variable slip traction control
• Launch Control

Standard Fitment
• Touring Package with sport seats trimmed in black Alcantara
• Track Package with double adjustable Ohlins dampers
• Torsen (Torque-sensing) Limited Slip Differential
• Black 5-spoke ultra lightweight forged wheels with A048 tires
• Special Matte Black paint
• Special numbered plaque

Options
• No options available

Production Details
• Limited to 25 units for North America
• May/June production

MSRP
• $69,900 plus destination

Elise SC Final Edition

Production run: 15
With a color scheme based upon the “Club Racer” Elise sold in Europe. Available in four colors with a high standard specification makes this Final Edition Elise an excellent value proposition. Extremely limited production run of 15 cars to close out the model in North America.

Basics
• 220 horsepower supercharged 1.8 Liter, mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine
• Multi-point fuel injection system with electronic ignition and throttle control
• Synchromesh 6-speed transaxle with lockout reverse gear

Standard Fitment
• Touring Package with sport seats trimmed in black Alcantara
• Bilstein sport pack dampers with Eibach springs
• Torsen (Torque-sensing) Limited Slip Differential
• Black 5 Y- spoke forged wheels with A048 tires
• Black rear diffuser
• Matte Black painted hard top, roll bar cover, transom panel and door mirrors
• Special numbered plaque

Options
• 4 no charge color options: Ardent Red, Aspen White, Chrome Orange and Carbon Grey
• StarShield

Production Details
• Limited to 15 units for North America
• May/June production

MSRP
• $57,500 plus destination
• $995 StarShield

Information via Lotus of Atlanta and Lotus of Newport Beach

2015 Lotus Elise – The Grown Up

Oh yes, here it is! There’s still room for the Elise at Lotus but what a difference a decade or two makes. The Elise due for release in 2015 is a sexy, agile beast of a car. Finally the Elise comes of age.

2015 Lotus Elise

Aesthetically it’s definitely pleasing to the eye, it’s bold directional body gives you subtle hints of the Elise of old so it still seems a touch familiar but at the same time, it couldn’t be more different.

2014 Lotus Elise

Perhaps a small example of how the car has changed would help. Aside from strong graphic styling, the practicality of the car has had a major overhaul too with sizeable improvements made to the ingress and egress – in simple terms, no more acrobatics but still all the fun you expect from the Elise.

2015 Lotus Elise

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus, said: “We worked very hard on getting the Elise 2015 exactly right, it’s our entry level car so it needs to give a proper introduction to the Lotus driving experience.”

“The Elise you can buy now is still a fantastic car, make no mistake, Lotus remain very proud of it, but this is a natural progression for us moving forward. The Elise 2015 will also be class-leading in terms of performance and efficiency but it will do more than that it will take the Elise model to the forefront of its class across the board.”

“The design of the Elise 2015 is perfect for the target market, it’s young, strong, confident, verging on ruthless, it mirrors the engineering and technology. It’s the next generation Elise for a new generation of Lotus drivers.”

2015 Lotus Elise

Fear not though, despite the dramatic upgrades the Elise 2015 has lost none of the cheeky charm that made the two-seater sports car famous, it still retains performance through lightweight and handles like a dream – albeit a quite aggressive and tension filled dream. With a 2.0 litre inline 4 pressure charged engine delivering up to 320 PS, the Elise 2015 should reach 0-100kph in under 4.5 seconds.

The Elise 2015, proving great things come to those who wait.

2015 Lotus Elise

Elise Specification

Layout 2 seater, mid-engined, rear wheel drive
Engine Petrol with start/stop option
Hybrid technology Mild hybrid, i.e. start/stop technology
Cylinder 4
Capacity 2.0 litre
Power/Torque 320 PS / 330 Nm
Rev limit 7,800 rpm
0-100 km/h 4.3 seconds
Top speed 270 km/h
CO2 approx (CO2/km) 150 g/km**
Weight 1,095 kg
Seats 2
Transmission 6 Speed Manual, DCT optional
Drive RWD
Start of production Early 2015
Enters the market Spring 2015
Price indication Circa £35,000
** With new technology

2015 Lotus Elise

Last 2ZZ-GE powered Elise Delivered

Lotus commemorated their successful relationship with Toyota today (17th September) at a celebration at the British Embassy in Tokyo where Lotus CEO Dany Bahar presented Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda with a specially equipped Lotus Elise powered by the last ever Toyota 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine. The occasion marked the end of an era and the start of an even stronger relationship between the two companies.

Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus (left) presented  the keys to the Lotus Elise R alongside a commemorative plaque encased in a leather wallet to Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda (right)
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus (left) presented the keys to the Lotus Elise R alongside a commemorative plaque encased in a leather wallet to Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda (right)

As part of the celebration, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “The presentation of Toyota’s last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a symbolic gesture of our continued respect and deep appreciation for our partner not only acknowledging our past but also looking forward to our future together.”

  David Warren, British Ambassador to Japan (left), Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus (centre) and Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda (right) with the Lotus Elise R
David Warren, British Ambassador to Japan (left), Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus (centre) and Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda (right) with the Lotus Elise R

Toyota Motor Corporation President responded: “A Toyota engine in a Lotus car creates a completely unique drive feeling – a special blend featuring the best of Lotus and Toyota that we hope many car lovers continue to experience and enjoy.”

Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus (right) and Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda (left) in the Lotus Elise R housing the final Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine produced
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus (right) and Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda (left) in the Lotus Elise R housing the final Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine produced

Based on the successful cooperation with Toyota so far, Lotus has decided to take the relationship with Toyota to a new level that will enable Lotus to create tailor-made powertrain solutions for future Lotus cars.

For more details on exactly how Lotus will be partnering with Toyota in the future, simply look to the Lotus global unveiling at the Paris Motor Show on September 30th where Lotus will showcase their new line up to the world’s media. The eagerly anticipated event marks the dawn of a new era for Lotus and will highlight exactly why both companies are so proud of their relationship.

149

Elise 2011_25

We are delighted to announce that the new 2011 Lotus Elise has just been certified with an outstandingly low emissions figure of 149g of CO2 / km which represents a reduction of 16% over the previous Lotus Elise S.

This means that the Elise has the lowest CO2 for its performance level for any gasoline sportscar in the world.

Not only does this low emissions figure give a greener drive with less guilt but it also relates directly to fuel consumption with the new Elise turning in an impressive figure of 56.1 mpg (5.04 litres per 100 km) extra urban. This means that the Lotus Elise could travel a colossal 500 miles (800 km) on one tank of fuel – the equivalent of Paris to Marseille or London to Aberdeen.*

Fed up with the figures yet? Stay with us, there’s more.

These world leading emissions and economy figures are a direct result of Lotus commitment to its core values of performance through light weight and efficiency. The Elise weighs just 876 kg and to put this weight into perspective, a nameless convertible sportscar from Stuttgart (Germany) weighs in at 1335 kg.

Aerodynamics have been improved by 4% and a new super efficient, 1.6 litre 4 cylinder VVT-I engine has been installed which is 200 cc smaller than the engine in the outgoing Lotus Elise S and produces the same power. And the performance figures speak for themselves: 0-60 mp/h in 6.0 seconds and 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds!

Are you ready to celebrate with us?

* driving style dependent!

[press release from Lotus]

New Lotus Elise Model Year 2011

The new Lotus Elise probably has the lowest CO2 for its performance for any gasoline high performance sportscar in the world

elises3a

The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sportscar market 14 years ago when the small lightweight agile 2-seat mid engine sportscar was introduced. By ensuring that the Elise stuck rigidly to Lotus’ core values of performance through light weight, the Elise was able to produce supercar performance with city car economy.

Making its debut at the 80th International Geneva Motorshow, the 2011 model year Lotus Elise introduces a number of changes and improvements to maintain its class leading position.

For the 2011 model year, the Elise range will consist of the following variants:

· Lotus Elise – 136 PS, less than 155 g of CO2 /km – new 1.6 litre engine
· Lotus Elise R – 192 PS, 196 g of CO2 /km – 1.8 litre engine
· Lotus Elise SC – 220 PS, 199 g of CO2 /km – 1.8 litre supercharged engine

Key changes and improvements to the whole of the 2011 model year Elise range

· New evolution body design incorporating new front clamshell, rear bumper and engine cover
· New all in one integrated headlights including LED day light running lights and LED direction indicators
· Improved aerodynamics with a reduction in Cd by 4%, resulting in better fuel economy
· New cast and forged wheels
· Vehicle warranty increased from 2 years to 3 years and 36, 000 miles

Additional changes for the 2011 model year entry level Lotus Elise
· New high technology 1ZR-FAE 1.6 litre engine with Valvematic and Dual VVT-I technology to optimise the performance and efficiency of the engine
· Less than 155 g of CO2 per km (an improvement of over 13% compared to the 2010 Elise S)*
· Combined fuel consumption 6.14 litres / 100 km (46 mpg)*
· New 6 speed close ratio gearbox
· Cruise control available as part of the Touring pack

The body – an evolution
Lotus-Elise-front-refresh-Geneva
The new 2011 model year Elise range is on sale now and will be in showrooms from April 2010. The body of the new 2011 model year Elise is an evolution of the iconic Elise design, retaining the character and style, while offering a more planted, purposeful stance and a pure, contemporary look that links it to the Evora. As with all Lotus product the design is an exciting blend of dramatic style and functional efficiency

elises3g
The new Elise body has a fresh sculptured front, including a new bumper, front clam and access panel that combine to give the Elise a wider look with more road presence.

Lotus-Elise-rear-refresh-Geneva
At the rear of the car the new engine has been encased by a distinctive “twin-spine” engine cover whilst lower down a more aggressive diffuser is tightly wrapped by an elegant new bumper design that now includes the rear licence plate.

elises3a
New headlamp units with distinctively sculptured LED lighting guides (incorporating daytime running lamps and direction indicators) give a contemporary twist to this classic design. Elsewhere, the signature, Lotus “mouth” and familiar sculptured forms have been sensitively refined to give a crisper, more dynamic look. The repositioning of lamp functions has enabled the creation of broad clean surface between the fenders which combines with sleek corner intakes and prominent splitter detail to give a broader more planted stance.

elises3i
The theme of purity is carried through to the cooling apertures that are efficiently finished with a new lightweight aluminium mesh that gives the car a classically sporting character.
elises3h

The rear boot is now opened from the cockpit rather than via a separate key operation. The high quality feel of the Elise is continued throughout the car with the Elise graphic incorporated into the new side LED direction indicators, like those on the Evora.
elises3e

The driving position, from the perfectly positioned pedals and steering wheel, to the comfortable and supportive seats with ProBax** technology means that, like all Lotus cars, the driver becomes part of the car rather than being just a passenger.

With the sleek new body the aerodynamics have improved giving a reduction in the coefficient of drag of 4%.

Finally, a choice of two beautiful, light weight wheel designs are available; an incredibly light forged wheel and a new cast wheel completes the picture for this sensitive update of a Lotus Icon.

Additional changes to the 2011 model year Lotus Elise

The new 2011 model year Elise has a number of additional changes and improvements, with the installation of a new advanced 1.6 litre Valvematic engine meeting EURO 5 regulations. This new engine is 200cc smaller than the outgoing Elise S model and produces similar power (136 PS, 100 kW, 134 hp at 6800 rpm) with maximum torque of 160 Nm, 118 lbft at 4400 rpm, but offers a significant improvement to fuel economy of over 23%, to 6.14 litres / 100km (46 mpg)* and a reduction in CO2 emission by more than 13%*. This provides the new Lotus Elise with the lowest CO2 per performance for any gasoline high performance sportscar in the world. This high technology engine is mated to a new 6-speed manual gearbox, providing closer and more performance orientated ratios than the outgoing 5 speed box.

The 1.6 litre engine is controlled via the bespoke Lotus T6 engine management system. Cruise control is available on the Elise for the first time with the controls present on a stalk located to the left of the steering column.

New cast wheels have been designed specifically for the Elise and the new optional forged wheels weigh just 29.26 kg per set, 2.14 kg lighter than a set of lightweight cast versions. Both are available in silver or black colour.

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive of Group Lotus said, “The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sportscar when it was launched 14 years ago and now the Lotus Elise has become greener, giving drivers access to class leading performance with less guilt.”

Donato Coco, Director of Design said, “The Elise is an iconic sportscar and it was important that we did not complicate its design, so we made the car more pure in its look, improved the aerodynamics, and gave it a more contemporary look with high quality detailing.”

Paul Newsome, Director of Lotus Product Engineering said, “We are always looking at ways of keeping the Elise ahead of its peers and for the 2011 model year we have improved efficiency without losing the innate fun that has made the Elise legendary.”

Andreas Prillmann, Chief Commercial Officer for Lotus Cars said, “In its 14 years of production the Elise has accounted for 32% of all the 61 years of Lotus production, illustrating how significant to the brand and well loved it is. The 2011 model year Elise is greener, purer and more desirable, making it even more relevant to today’s marketplace. The new Elise underlines Lotus’ reputation as one of the most innovative sports car manufacturers in the world.”

Performance

Lotus Elise

0 – 60 mph 6.0 seconds*
0 – 100 km/h 6.7 seconds*
Maximum speed 200 km/h (124 mph)*

Lotus Elise R
0 – 60 mph 5.1 seconds
0 – 100 km/h 5.4 seconds
Maximum speed 222 km/h (138 mph)


Lotus Elise SC

0 – 60 mph 4.3 seconds
0 – 100 km/h 4.6 seconds
Maximum speed 233 km/h (145 mph)

The 2011 model year Elise in more detail.

The Elise – the entry model

Engine

The Lotus Elise introduces the new 1598 cm3, 1ZR-FAE engine, provided by Toyota. The key to this engine’s performance and efficiency is the Valvematic system (a variable valve lift mechanism), which is combined with the dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent). The engine continuously controls intake valve opening/closing timing and the intake valve lift to vary the volume of the intake airflow, giving significant improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. This ensures optimal performance based on the engines operational condition, thus helping the Elise achieve both high fuel efficiency and high performance.

First of all, the maximum power output is achieved at near maximum revs (engine speed) of 6800 rpm and maximum torque (a respectable 160 Nm, 118 lb.ft) is reached at 4400 rpm. This gives a good combination of mid range pull but also encourages the driver to rev the engine to the maximum permitted engine speed of 7000 rpm (transient rev limit). Like all Elise sportscars, there are three shift up lights, on the binnacle cumulatively lighting when the driver is getting closer to the rev limiter and when all three are illuminated, they flash to indicate that the driver is almost on the rev limiter so time to change up a gear!

The height of the engine cover has been raised by 34mm to accommodate the taller 1ZR engine compared to the previous 1ZZ engine from the outgoing model due, in part, to the additional Valvematic technology included on the new engine. This has given Lotus engineers an opportunity to subtly redesign the rear engine cover to match the design theme from the front and rear of the car.

Chassis
The Lotus Elise is built around the revolutionary and award winning extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, with a lightweight steel rear subframe. The chassis weighs 68 kg (150 lbs) and has a stiffness of 9,800 Nm per degree, giving a high level of control of the suspension. At the rear, and also acting as a rear energy absorbing crash structure, a lightweight steel subframe carries the engine and gearbox. At the front, the radiator and key ancillaries are mounted into a high tech composite energy absorbing crash structure that is both lightweight, compact and over three times more energy absorbing than the equivalent steel structure.

Ride and handling
The legendary Lotus ride and handling gives a superb high performance, sporty drive, combined with a compliant ride and progressive on limit handling, it makes the Elise a car that demands to be driven.

The entry level Lotus Elise weighs 876 kg, making it one of the lightest fully homologated sportscars in the world. This low weight translates into efficient performance with minimal environmental impact in terms of emissions and fuel consumption. The efficiency of the Elise structure means that the 136 PS (100 kW, 134 hp) delivers phenomenal performance.

Few cars can match the delicacy and accuracy of the steering, throttle and brakes of the Elise and all of these factors contribute to the excellent driving experience of the Elise.

Safety
The Elise has high performance AP Racing callipers at the front and Brembo callipers at the rear linked to 282 mm vented and cross-drilled cast iron discs to give excellent stopping power.

The Elise comes as standard with a track tuned ABS system that is designed to be unobtrusive under normal driving conditions. This system is designed to be used on track and has a high threshold, only intervening in emergencies.

The ABS system is linked to a lightweight pedal box with steel pedal arms and extruded aluminium pads. This unit also has an electronic (drive-by-wire) throttle for quick, smooth and more linear engine response.

The impressive braking coupled with excellent handling gives good primary safety and the composite front crash structure and rear crash protection offers efficient secondary safety. Driver and passenger airbags and pre-tensioning seatbelt are standard on all Elise models.

Prices will be announced in March 2010