Posts Tagged ‘Lotus’

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

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

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 Oil Line Recall details

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

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)

Top Gear on the Lotus T125

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Top Gear drives the Lotus Exos T125 track day special. For more information on the Lotus T125, please head over to our report from its world premiere featuring exclusive videos, photos and interviews with the Lotus Motorsport.

Lotus Management Additions

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Lotus add to expertise with two further appointments: industry leader Karl-Heinz Kalbfell and former Ferrari General Manager (EMEA), Guillaume Chabin.

With an unrivaled pedigree in the automotive industry, Karl-Heinz Kalbfell makes a welcome addition to the Group Lotus management team. Based at the Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Kalbfell, formerly of the BMW Group, will provide operational support and advise Group Lotus Chief Executive Officer Dany Bahar on the most efficient delivery of the business plan.

In addition to Kalbfell, Lotus has appointed Guillaume Chabin as Director of Sales. Chabin held senior positions at Ferrari and prior to this he was involved in the re-launch of Bentley.

Commenting on the appointments, Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: “We are very pleased to have both Karl-Heinz and Guillaume on board. One of the keys to the success of any business is having exceptionally talented people working together effectively, and Karl-Heinz has incredible experience from working in extremely senior positions throughout the automotive industry to bring to the table – he has proven time and time again to have the qualities necessary to succeed in a difficult and fickle industry. His main role initially will be to bring together all our existing efforts across the departments and ensure that we are working effectively as a united force. It’s not enough to have a great business plan on paper, we need to deliver, Karl-Heinz will play a crucial role in making this happen.”

“Having worked with Guillaume previously, I’m fully aware of his capabilities – his business skills and understanding of the vision we have for Lotus complement our existing management line-up perfectly.”

Karl-Heinz Kalbfell said: “I’ve been aware of Lotus over the years and like many in the industry, I have watched with growing interest as Lotus has developed under Dany Bahar and his team. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to work with such an iconic automotive brand at such an exciting stage of its development and I really feel that now is the perfect time for me to contribute towards the future of Lotus. I have many years and some very demanding positions under my belt which allow me a lot of experience to draw upon. I’m ready for all the challenges that Lotus will bring.”

Commenting on his new role, Guillaume Chabin, Director of Sales for Lotus Cars, said: “Joining Lotus was an easy decision for me to make – having previously been involved in the re-birth of an iconic British brand when I was working at Bentley, I know the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead – this is a crucial time for Lotus and I’m very happy to be on board.”

Evora Cup GT4 North American Premiere

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Evora GT4 Cup
While the Lotus Exos was deservedly getting all the press after the Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion, Lotus also held the North American Premiere of the Evora GT4 Cup car at the same time.

Evora GT4 Cup
Developed from the highly acclaimed Lotus Evora sports car, the Lotus Evora Cup GT4 race car has been engineered to give drivers a competitive racing package straight “out of the box”. The car has been developed in conjunction with a number of prestigious technical partners and features a world class chassis, steering and brakes delivering exceptional ride and handling.

Evora GT4 Cup engine bay
Photo © Jack Fried

The Cosworth tuned engine is bored out to a 4 litre capacity and produces 360 bhp (Vs 3.5L and 280 bhp in the road car). Further upgrades include a six speed sequential paddle shift racing gearbox, full FIA specification roll cage, FIA-compliant 96 litre fuel system, FIA fire extinguisher system and kill switch. Unladen weight has also been reduced by over 200kg to just 1190kg.

Evora GT4 Cup Rear Wing
Photo © Andy Kern

While the Evora Cup looks quite similar to the road car, there are a number exterior changes to improve downforce such as the beautifully integrated carbon fiber rear wing and diffuser package above. Other downforce enhancements include the front splitter and wheel vents on all four corners. The body panels are also easily removable for easy access to various internals.

Evora GT4 Cup rear bodywork
Photo © Jack Fried

Since the premiere event was being held a Laguna Seca, Lotus had test driver Johnny Mowlem on hand to give prospective buyers some “test rides”. The GGLC was able to speak to Johnny in this exclusive interview to hear his thoughts on the development of the Evora Cup GT4 and how it compares to the street car:

Lotus Challenge Series racer and all around Lotus fan Andy Kern was one of the lucky few that got a ride and gave us this feedback comparing it to his Lotus 211 racecar:

I first thing I noticed going down the pit-out lane was the seamlessness of the paddle-shift sequential box… and next I thought, gee… Johnny’s going to go around the pit out corner at T2 pretty quick, and he did: the car definitely has some serious grip. The next two corners, T3 & T4 are relatively flat; no camber… I usually ease into the brakes so I don’t upset the car too much, then transition into the turn. Johnny waited much later to brake and broke much harder, but it didn’t seem to faze the Evora’s chassis at all, the car just has great grip and poise during transitions. The rest of the ride was more of the same, as the tires warmed up and Johnny broke later and harder than I would have expected; but always completely smoothly. The shifts were so smooth I barely noticed them. The car has good acceleration too… better than my 2-Eleven everywhere with the possible exception of the steep rise from T6 to the corkscrew.

As I’d said, it’s always tough to compare one car from the passenger’s seat with another from the driver’s seat… but the overall impression is that the Evora Cup is very much a Lotus… fantastic braking, tenacious cornering, great chassis dynamics… and maybe somewhat of a welcome surprise… very torquey.

All in all the Evora Cup GT4 appears to be another fantastic race car from Lotus and should do well both as a track day car and as a competition GT4 racer. For more information about the car please visit www.lotusevoracup.com.

For more pictures from the premiere event please use the slideshow below or head directly to our Flickr Set. We request blogs and news outlets that use our content, photos and video to please credit Rahul Nair and the Golden Gate Lotus Club as well as link back to this post.

A huge thanks to our friends at Lotus Cars USA and Boardwalk Lotus for inviting us to the event. News

Lotus Exos T125 revealed (GGLC World Exclusive)

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Lotus Exos T125 "Laguna Seca" "Pre-Reunion"

The GGLC was proud to attend the world premier of the new Lotus Exos Type 125 at the Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion today. The Lotus T125 is an F1 inspired track only car that uses Formula technology and a Cosworth V8 to provide stunning performance for the ultimate track day toy.

Lotus Exos T125

The first things that strikes you when you walk in is how much it looks like a current generation F1 car. The chassis is a carbon fiber monocoque with both the wide front wing and the narrow rear wings of the 2009-spec F1 cars. It also has the coke bottle shape, top exit exhaust and shark fin engine covers that have been in vogue. Other technical similarities include carbon ceramic brakes and a carbon fiber pushrod suspension.

Lotus Exos T125 "Laguna Seca" "Pre-Reunion"

The F1 technology continues inside the cockpit there the car uses paddle shifters to control the semi automatic gearbox as well as a multi function screen on the steering wheel that allows drivers to set the various parameters on the fly.

Cosworth GPV8 Exos Lotus T125 engine

The engine is a 3.5L Cosworth GPV8 that has been detuned to produce 650 bhp with a 10,300 rpm redline (10,800 push to pass). Weighing just 650kg the car will have a power to weight ratio just shy of 1000 bhp per ton and should be faster than anything this side of a recent Formula 1 car.

Lotus Exos T125 Cosworth GPV8 engine alternator

Unlike an F1 engine, the GPV8 is designed to run 4500 km between rebuilds and has a starter motor (note the alternator above) so that you don’t need a support crew to be able to run the car at the track. Notably absent chassis features include double-diffusers, exhaust blown diffusers, flexi wings, f-ducts and other F1 innovations that were created to get around the various rules. Being a track only car and not built to a particular series, Lotus has been able to use the best features of F1 without having to use the various rules workarounds. Its a clean sheet design where the designers were told to “have at it boys”.

Lotus Exos T125 Rear Wing + Diffuser

Lotus plans to make just 25 Exos next year and will be pricing then at one million dollars apiece. Apart from the car itself, the Exos program will also include 5 “driver events” at various race tracks that will allow the owners to slowly come up to speed with the performance of their new car by getting instruction and advice from a variety of current and past Lotus drivers (a little birdy tells us that Mika Häkkinen and Jarno Trulli will be involved).

For more on the Exos please watch this video of Stephen Wright from Lotus Motorsports explaining the philosphy behind the Exos.

You can also see the rest of our Exos pictures in the slideshow below or head directly on to Flickr. We request blogs and news outlets that use our content, photos and video to please credit Rahul Nair and the Golden Gate Lotus Club as well as link back to this post.

A huge thanks to our friends at Lotus Cars USA and Boardwalk Lotus for inviting us to the event.

Lotus Events during Monterey week

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Lotus-T125

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7:
9:00am – 5:00pm: Lotus exhibit in the four-bay garage under the presentation podium structure. North American debut of the Evora Cup GT4 race car and World Premier of the new Lotus T125 ultimate track/race car.

12:20pm – 12:35pm: Lotus Evora Cup GT4 race car on track with Johnny Mowlem providing rides to seriously interested Evora Cup GT4 prospects.

5:00pm – 7:00pm: Reception hosted within Lotus exhibit.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8:
9:00am – 5:00pm: Lotus exhibit in the four-bay garage under the presentation podium structure. North American debut of the Evora Cup GT4 race car and World Premier of the new Lotus T125 ultimate track/race car.

12:20pm – 12:35pm: Lotus Evora Cup GT4 race car on track with Johnny Mowlem providing rides to seriously interested Evora Cup GT4 prospects.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11:
5:00pm – 10:00pm: Lotus T125, Evora Cup GT4, Evora road car and IndyCar display at the McCall’s Motorworks Revival at the Monterey Jet Center.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 13:
9:00am – 6:00pm: Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill near The Lodge at Pebble Beach housing the Evora Cup GT4 track/race car and full array of Lotus road-going product portfolio.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 14:
9:00am – 6:00pm: Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill near The Lodge at Pebble Beach housing the Evora Cup GT4 track/race car and full array of Lotus road-going product portfolio.
12:00pm – 6:00pm: Lotus T125 track/race car displayed on the Concept Car Lawn at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 15:
8:00am – 4:00pm: Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill near The Lodge at Pebble Beach housing the Evora Cup GT4 track/race car and full array of Lotus road-going product portfolio.
8:00am – 6:00pm: Lotus T125 track/race car displayed on the Concept Car Lawn at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.

We hope to see as many Lotus aficionados as possible throughout the week!

Best regards,

Kevin Smith

Kevin D. Smith
Marketing and PR Executive
Lotus Cars USA, Inc.

Lotus Exige 360 Degree Track Video

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Fantastic 360 degree wrap around video from a Lotus Exige as it laps Infineon raceway.

If you liked this video just head over to Vision Wells who will be happy to make one for you at your next track day.

Lotus at IndyCar (video)

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Fantastic video showing the past, present and future of Lotus in the Indy 500 and IndyCar racing

New Lotus Elise Model Year 2011

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

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