Lotus Elise: Peal on US Crash and Engines

From: grplotus@paston.co.uk (Don Ries)
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 1996 13:00:22 -0000
Subject: Lotus Microlight & Elise in USA

Mike Causer shouldn't worry about cutting out scurrilous rumour... We've all read and enjoyed the Club Lotus magazine for years, which thrives on said material! I'd be pleased to help with enquiries about the microlight.. I was the only person to fly it in the UK, and was involved in the design of the stillborn lightweight engine we worked on.

We've designed Elise to be capable of meeting US crash legislation. The current engine (the K-series 1.8) is not certified, but other motors could be installed (another part of our plan). The judgement we have to make is to balance the cost of certification against practical selling price and resulting sales volume over a number of years. It's a tough sum and a difficult balancing act.

The Elise radiator is flexibly mounted in the composite crash structure which also acts as the rad. duct. The rad. can be removed easily. The crash structure is bolted to the chassis, and is designed for easy replacement after a front end impact. To bleed the rad., open the bleed in the top hose (OK we found it hard to bleed on the prototype, so we put in the bleed point!) The crash structure is designed to cope with frontal, offset, and telegraph pole impacts, and the composites guys are really proud of it!


Patrick @ Lotus