14 October 1997

Conceived for road use, but designed as a racecar, the Lotus Elise was always destined to put Lotus firmly back on the racetrack.

The Lotus Elise possesses all of the characteristics of an exciting racecar: lightweight, fast and with superlative handling. It is also extremely safe as the super-light but high-strength spaceframe structure of the epoxy-bonded aluminium extrusions provides excellent durability and torsional rigidity. This is technology which until now has only been used in high cost competition cars.

At London 1997, exactly two years after the launch of the roadster concept, Lotus presents the Lotus Sport Elise. Built by Lotus Sport Special Vehicles Operations at Hethel, Norfolk, this race version of the Elise is fitted with Lotus Sport Original Performance Products and is intended for circuit use only.

In race outfit, the Elise is powered by a 190 VHPD version of the Rover K Series 1.8 litre engine which develops 190 bhp (141 kW) at 7500rpm. Changes to the cylinder head, valves, pistons, crankshaft, and flywheel together with the use of solid valve lifters in place of standard items, gives a maximum engine speed of 8000 rpm.
The development and selection of ultra-lightweight competition accessories, including specially manufactured lightweight front and rear clamshells, reduce the overall vehicle weight to 670 kg.

The result is a stunning power to weight ratio of 283.6 bhp per tonne which, combined with the legendary Lotus ride & handling and a close ratio gearbox, gives performance that until now only superleague cars could deliver.

The Lotus Sport Elise accelerates from 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) in an estimated 4.4 seconds and from 0 - 160 km/h in 10.7 seconds (0-100mph in 10.9 s).

Race developed brake pads and track specification brake discs are mounted for use with slicks. The competition springs and dampers lower the car by 50mm while maintaining the roll axis of the car relative to the ground. This enables the track car to handle with the same peerless characteristics as the standard Elise.

A full safety kit has been installed, including a FIA approved roll cage with diagonal bracing for circuit use, a competition seat with a six point harness exclusive to the Elise and a higher rate (stiffened) front anti-roll bar.

The Lotus Sport Elise also mounts a competition silencer kit reducing overall weight and enhancing noise quality, a specially designed competition air filter and carbon fibre cold air box, a catalyst replacement pipe, an oil cooler kit, a lightweight competition battery with master switch, a non locking fuel cap and a lightweight, polycarbonate rear screen. A removable steering wheel completes the competition package.

Tested extensively on the track, the Lotus Sport Elise performs with the aptitude and dynamics of a finely tuned thoroughbred mid-engined racecar ñ a true Lotus in which enthusiasts can competitively drive the Elise to wins in many categories and classes of motorsport.

Tony Shute, Product Engineering Manager, explains:

ìThe Elise project team have tested the car on some of the most demanding race tracks and Hill Climb Courses around Europe. With the development of motorsport specifications we have enabled the owner to enjoy more of the potential of the Elise.î

The supercar performance of the Lotus Sport Elise, built by Special Vehicle Operations, will retail at £33,500 and can be ordered through Lotus dealers.

Lotus Sport Original Product Performance Products are also available from dealers for aftermarket application and can be purchased as a comprehensive competition package or as individual accessories.

For further information :

Karen Angus - PR Manager
Alastair Florance- PR Officer UK

Group Lotus Ltd.
Potash Lane
Hethel, Norwich
Norfolk, NR14 8EZ

Tel : + 44 (0) 1953 608000
Fax: + 44 (0) 1953 608133