NEW 2011 LOTUS ELISE
Making its debut at the 80th International Geneva Motorshow next moth, the '11 Lotus Elise introduces new changes to its performance and design. The body is an evolution of the iconic Elise design, retaining the character and style, while offering a more purposeful stance and a contemporary look that links it to the Evora.
The new Elise body has a fresh sculptured front, including a new bumper, front clam and access panel that give the Elise a wider look. At the rear the new engine has been encased by a "twin-spine" engine cover. A more aggressive diffuser is tightly wrapped by a new rear bumper design that includes the rear licence plate.
New headlights with LED lighting guides incorporating daytime running lamps and direction indicators give a contemporary twist to this classic design. The repositioning of the lights has enabled a more broad surface between the fenders to give a broader stance. The theme of simplicity is carried through to the cooling apertures that are finished with a lightweight aluminium mesh. The trunk is now opened from the cockpit rather than a separate key.
With the sleek new body the aerodynamics have improved giving a reduction in the coefficient of drag by 4%. Finally, a choice of two, lightweight wheels are available - one forged and another cast.
Changes in in the Elise's performance also highlight the '11 model. A new advanced 1.6 liter Valvematic engine is 200cc smaller than the outgoing Elise S model and produces 134 hp at 6800 rpm with maximum torque of 118 lbft at 4400 rpm. Surprisingly, it offers a nice improvement in fuel economy over 23%, to 46 mpg. This engine is mated to a new six-speed manual gearbox, providing closer and more performance orientated ratios than the outgoing five-speed.
Improvements to the chassis include Lotus' famous extruded and bonded aluminum chassis with lightweight steel rear subframe. The chassis weights 150 lbs and has a very high level of stiffness offering plenty of control. Prices for the new Lotus will be announced in March 2010.