Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise
Picture of a 2005 Krypton Green Lotus Elise.  The car is positioned diagonally across parking space markings in an empty parking lot of a shopping mall in Ten Broeck, Kentucky, US. A number of stores are visible in the distant background. It is night and the car is illuminated by a tall overhead lighting post to the left front of the car (not visible within the framed picture) that casts a shadow almost directly under the car, but shifted slightly to the right rear. Numerous reflected lighting highlights are visible across the smoothly curved glossy body surfaces. The photo is taken from the right front of the vehicle approximately 8-10 feet away.  The front wheels are turned slightly to the left so that eight silver spokes and the center "Lotus" emblem is readily visible on the passenger side front wheel.  A red vertically positioned front tow hook protrudes from the black front egg-crate grillwork and casts a slight shadow down over the front plinth. The car has been modified with the addition of a front carbon fiber splitter.  The headlights and sidelights are lit.
Lotus Elise Series 2
Overview
Manufacturer Lotus Cars
Production 1996–present
Assembly Hethel, Norfolk, England
Shah Alam, Malaysia (Series 1, 1997–2000) [1] [2] [3]
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style 2-door roadster
Layout Transverse mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout
Chronology
Predecessor Lotus Elan [4]

The Lotus Elise is a two-seat, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined roadster conceived in early 1994 and released in September 1996 by the British manufacturer Lotus Cars. The series 1 Elise had a hand-finished fibreglass body shell atop its bonded extruded aluminium chassis that provided a rigid platform for the suspension, while keeping weight and production costs to a minimum. The roadster is capable of speeds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). [5] The Elise was named after Elisa, the granddaughter of Romano Artioli who was chairman of Lotus and Bugatti at the time of the car's launch. [6]

Series 1

Series 1
Lotus Elise Series 1.jpg
Overview
Production 1996–2001 [4]
Designer Julian Thomson [4]
Body and chassis
Related Lotus 340R
Vauxhall VX220/Opel Speedster
Lotus Elise GT1
Powertrain
Engine 1.8 L Rover K-series I4 [4]
Transmission 5-speed manual [4]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,300 mm (90.6 in)
Length 3,726 mm (146.7 in)
Width 1,719 mm (67.7 in)
Height 1,202 mm (47.3 in)
Kerb weight 725 kg (1,598.4 lb) ~ 755 kg (1,664 lb) [4] [7]
Lotus Elise Series 1

The 1996 Lotus Elise weighed 725 kg (1,598 lb). [7] Because of this low weight, it was able to accelerate 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.8 seconds despite its relatively low power output of 118 bhp (88 kW; 120 PS). [4] Braking and fuel consumption are also improved by the car's reduced weight. Cornering is helped by a low center of gravity height of 470mm (18½"). [8]

Series 1 was designed by Julian Thomson, then head of design at Lotus, and Richard Rackham, Lotus's chief engineer. [9]

Besides the standard higher-performance variants listed below, Lotus also released some limited edition models such as Sport 135 (1998/9) with approx 145 bhp (108 kW; 147 PS), Sport 160 (2000) with 150–160 bhp (112–119 kW; 152–162 PS), and Sport 190 (190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS)). These were more competent on track with sports suspension, wheels and tyres, seats according to model. There were other special editions such as the 50th Anniversary Edition (green/gold) celebrating 50 years of Lotus cars, the Type 49 ("Gold Leaf" red and white two-tone), and Type 79 (" JPS" black/gold) which refers to its successful Grand Prix car type numbers.

The Series 1 Lotus Elise 80 was briefly assembled on a dedicated assembly line at Proton's Shah Alam factory between 1997 and 2000. [1] The Malaysian-assembled Elise costs less than its British-built counterpart as it was manufactured with more Malaysian-sourced components. [2] The Malaysian-assembled Elise was also exported to regional markets, including Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. [3] [1] However, parent company Proton had been severely affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which brought an early end to the Malaysian assembly of the Lotus Elise in late 2000, only three years after it commenced and with an estimated 150 units sold. [2] The Proton-assembled Elises were assigned the code 'B' in the eleventh VIN position, while the original Hethel-built units were stamped with the code 'H'.

111S

A faster edition called the 111S, named after the Lotus type-number of the Elise (Type 111), was introduced in early 1999 and had a VVC Rover K-Series engine with a modified head and VVT technology, producing a declared 143 bhp (107 kW; 145 PS) rather than the standard Rover 1.8 L K-series 118 bhp (88 kW; 120 PS) inline-four unit, along with a closer ratio manual gearbox and lower ratio final drive. It also had more padding in the seats. The 111S had headlamp covers, rear spoiler, cross drilled brake discs, alloy window winders and a six-spoke road wheel design. [10]

340R

In 2000, the 340R limited edition model, based on a Series 1 Elise was introduced. This roofless car was a special edition, limited to only 340 cars being built. The name 340 originally referred to the 340 bhp/tonne (254 kW/tonne) power-to-weight ratio of the original prototype which had 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS) while weighing just 500 kg (1,100 lb). However, in production models the 340 refers to the number of cars built. The final production versions weighed 701 kg (1,545 lb) and had a power-to-weight ratio of (269 bhp/tonne). A "Track Pack" was created that upped power to 192 bhp (143 kW; 195 PS) and weighed only 571 kg (1,259 lb).

Exige

In 2000, Lotus introduced the Exige — a hardtop version of the Elise with the 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS) engine from the 340R; as well as different front and rear body "clamshells", larger wheels, and a rear wing. Many models received an upgrade to 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) with better driveability due to changes to ECU and cam timing.

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