Who wants to take the shortest path
between two points
Not by chance has this lithe and agile sports car been hailed as the best the world has to offer. The Elise blends light weight with electrifying responses to create a driving experience that's memorable, exhilarating, and totally unique.
Others may talk of man and machine in perfect harmony, but only the Elise makes you feel as if you're in partnership with your car; one drive in an Elise and you'll never settle for anything less. And the more you drive it, the better it feels.
Our chassis engineers and Ride and Handling team are the best in the business, and know precisely what enthusiastic drivers want from a sports car. So in the Elise they've created a pure sports car, one without compromise, that puts the thrill of fast driving at the top of its list of priorities. Owning an Elise does have a drawback - you'll only ever want to take the long way home!
What the papers say...
Lotus Elise - The Definitive Sports Car
The Elise redefines the sports car genre by blending the traditional Lotus values of light weight and superlative handling, with innovative engineering and a generous helping of fun. Combined, these attributes have helped the Elise win many major awards around the world, both for the quality of its design and for sheer driving pleasure. It is the definitive sports car of the 1990s and will remain the car to beat well into the next millennium.
A true 'Chapman' sports car
The Elise remains true to the basic design philosophy established by Lotus founder, the late Colin Chapman. He believed that a 'proper' sports car should weigh very little, handle and ride superbly, and deliver high levels of driver satisfaction. A car built to meet these objectives would be inherently fast, even if it didn't have a hugely powerful engine.
At the heart of the Elise design is an exceptionally light, but enormously strong spaceframe chassis, constructed from extruded anodised aluminium components and bonded together with a special epoxy adhesive, a first for a production road car. The structure tips the scales at less than 70kg, yet meets all current safety legislation and has excellent torsional rigidity and durability. It is also easy to manufacture and assemble, which is part of the reason that a car as accomplished and as quick as the Elise, is also so affordable.
Attached to the chassis are front and rear 'clamshell' body sections made from lightweight composite materials. These, together with many other clever weight-saving features, help reduce the Elise's vehicle weight to a mere 699kg (dry).
A car this light doesn't need a big capacity (not to mention heavy) engine, and the Elise uses a transversely installed four-cylinder 1.8-litre 16-valve K series unit, mounted behind the cockpit in a galvanised steel subframe.
Although the engine produces 'only' 88kW (118bhp), the Elise's power-to-weight ratio is so good that the car has startling performance; top speed 202km/h (126mph), 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in just 5.9 seconds, and 0-160km/h (0-100mph) in 18.0 seconds.
Not only does the Elise's light weight contribute to such impressive performance figures, it provides obvious benefits in braking, handling and steering, as well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions levels.
The dramatic and timeless looks of the Elise are the work of the Lotus Design team. Its curvaceous shape is not just attractive, it's also aerodynamically effective, thanks to a package of detail refinements developed in the wind-tunnel. These include chin and tail spoilers working in conjunction with an underbody diffuser, in line with current motorsport thinking.
Lessons learnt in motorsport have had an influence on the Elise's layout, although always within the parameters of series-production manufacturing. Take the interior, for example. The adjustable driver's seat is nearer the centre-line of the car than the passenger seat (which is fixed in the rearmost position) to give the driver the clearest possible peripheral vision.
It's no coincidence that the Elise drives with the precision of a race car. Its double wishbone suspension with co-axial coil springs and inverted monotube dampers, is fine-tuned to provide sharp, accurate, entertaining responses; at the same time the ride quality retains the suppleness for which Lotus is famous.
Creating new standards for others to follow
At the beginning of the Elise development programme, the brief to the engineers and designers was both simple and extremely difficult create a new Lotus which reflects the genius of Colin Chapman. Not only was that brief met, it was surpassed.
The Elise sets new standards for handling, performance and style, thanks to a unique mix of classic and forward-thinking ideas.The team has delivered a real winner, created not only with great expertise, but with great passion too.
The Elise proves that if you're truly skilled at creating world-class sports cars, then you don't need monstrous power outputs or a stack of electronic gimmicks to put a smile on a driver's face. When you're looking for fun, look no further than the Lotus Elise.