The list of cool cars not for U.S. consumption continues to grow with the addition of the Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Edition, a tricked-out Elise S meant to celebrate the beloved sports car’s 20th anniversary.
It all began at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1995, when the very first Lotus Elise made its debut. Fast forward 20 years later, and the sports car continues to deliver an even better driving experience with each interpretation. In celebration of the milestone, Lotus took the Elise S and trimmed its weight down by adding special lightweight elements like matte black wheels, a lighter center console, and sport seats that come in leather or Alcantara. As a result, the 20th Anniversary car weighs about 22 pounds less than the standard Elise S at 2015 pounds.
Lotus says the combination of a more lightweight body and a 1.8-liter supercharged engine translates to more fun on the track. The 20th Anniversary car is said to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds and have a top speed of 145 mph. For those who want a little more from the 20th Anniversary car, a sport mode that increases throttle response and alters the traction slip thresholds will also be available. The special edition can be had in four classic Elise colors: Blue, Green, Yellow, and Silver. No matter which color customers choose, the rear spoiler, side mirrors, roll hoop cover, and rear fascia will be painted in matte black. Signifying the Elise S’ exclusivity are 20th Anniversary decals on the dashboard, seats, and on the car’s exterior.
We won’t be seeing any of those in the U.S., though. The Elise, along with the Exige, stopped being sold in the U.S. due to the expiration of a "smart" airbag exemption. While we won’t be able to enjoy the 20th Anniversary Elise S, which replaces the Elise S Club Racer, we will get the Evora when it comes back to the North American market as a 2016 model.