Two decades of lightweight performance.
Things were a bit different 20 years ago. The internet was in its infancy with dial-up, Braveheart was playing in theatres, and Seinfeld was still going strong. At the 1995 Frankfurt Motor Show that September, Lotus unveiled the Elise – a lightweight, mid-engined sports car with an advanced bonded chassis and incredible handling that made quite an impact in the automotive world. Two decades later, the British automaker is celebrating with the Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition.
“It is sometimes hard to believe that the Elise has been around for 20 years. It was ground breaking when it was launched and continues to be the benchmark for handling and performance in its class. Over the years we have improved and refined the Elise but we have also ensured that we have retained the purity of the driving experience and for the Elise to remain as the sports car to which other marques aspire,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc.
Based on the Elise S Club Racer model, the new Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition tips the scales at only 2,015 lbs., a full 22 lbs. lighter than the Elise S. The low overall weight comes thanks to a few birthday gifts in the form of lightweight matte black forged wheels, lightweight body-colored center console, and lightweight sport seats in leather or alcantara with color-coded stitching. Also improving on the driving dynamics is a sport mode that quickens the throttle response and pushes back the threshold for traction intervention to allow for greater control.
The Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition will be offered in four classic colors: Blue, Green, Yellow, and Silver. These colors are all contrasted by matte black mirrors, rear diffuser, roll hoop cover, and rear transom, while special 20th Anniversary badges are proudly displayed above the side indicator, dashboard, and lightweight seats.
That super-lightweight construction of the Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition is powered by the same mid-mounted 1.8-liter supercharged engine found in the Elise S Club Racer. A total of 217 horsepower at 6,800 RPM and 184 lb-ft. at 4,600 RPM pushes the sports car to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds while top speed is back at 145 mph.
The new Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition will replace the Elise S Club Racer in the model lineup and be available for £39,900. Customers can also tack on options such as air conditioning, hard top, or CD/Radio and USB Connection with NVH package.