Speed, Style and Panache: Elise 250 Special Edition
• 50th anniversary edition celebrates founding of Hethel site
• Hand finished, wîth lightweight carbon components as standard
• 899 kg kerb weight delivers pure and precise driving experience
In a celebration of style and lightweight performance, and helping mark the 50th anniversary of the company's famous Hethel site, Lotus has revealed the latest addition to its collection: the exclusive Elise 250 Special Edition.
Based on the critically acclaimed Elise Cup 250 launched earlier this year, but featuring a raft of exclusive components as standard, the new Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition offers an outstanding combination of performance and panache. With a supercharged 243 hp engine, a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds, and a unique, hand-finished interior, it perfectly defines the quintessential British sportscar in this celebration year.
As an antidote to sterilised and staid modern cars, Lotus' approach continues to deliver the purest, undiluted driving experience. Tipping the scales at just 899 kg, through the utilisation of advanced materials including carbon fibre and aluminium, the Elise 250 Special Edition remains true to the company's philosophy of 'Light is Right' and is capable of humbling far more common, yet expensive, rivals.
Powered by a high-output, supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, the Elise 250 Special Edition boasts 243 hp (246 PS) at 7200 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 3500 rpm and 5500 rpm. This, along wîth the car's 899kg kerb weight, contributes to the impressive 270 hp/tonne headline figure.
However, far from being solely performance orientated, the Elise 250 Special Edition is designed to appeal aesthetically as well as dynamically. A selection of beautifully finished carbon-fibre components come as standard, including a front splitter, rear wing, tailgate and front access panel, all giving the car considerable kerb appeal.
Drawing inspiration from some of the company's most alluring models, the new Elise is the perfect blend of both style and substance. As befitting a hand-built sports car from one of the world's most famous marques, it's beautifully detailed and conceived as a tribute to one of countless Lotus fans' favourite cars. The Lotus Elan, launched in 1963, established itself as one of the icons of 60's motoring and even became a star of screen in hit TV shows of the time, including the classic series The Avengers.
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 1.8 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 243 hp
Torque: 184 ft-lbs
Draped in a composite body and finished in one of four of the firm's favourite colours, the Elise 250 Special Edition is limited to just 50 examples. With a high specification as standard, it combines traditional British craftsmanship wîth the best of contemporary design. From the hand-made carbon components, to the hand-finished leather seats, it sets the benchmark for exclusive sports cars.
Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented, 'When we first introduced the Elise, it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilised, a sports car could be. As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that's even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we've ever produced. The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that, so it's supremely quick and agile, but it's also wonderfully finished and stunning to look at.'
Helping celebrate the company's 50 years in Norfolk, the car is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Elise 250 Special Edition is the latest in a series of unique products marking this significant milestone in the company's history.
The performance and handling characteristics of every Lotus are developed on the famous site's test track. Over the last 50 years it's been responsible for honing all the company's historic models, including the Elan, and Esprit, as well its fastest ever cars, the amazing Evora 400 and ballistic 3-Eleven. Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition
The Elise 250 Special Edition is available in choice of four colours, each a long-standing favourite over the last 50 years. Classic metallic blue, red, yellow and white finishes are all complemented by ultralight forged wheels in silver, or black as an option. An optional carbon fibre hardtop roof panel is also available.
The same attention to detail continues inside, wîth the carbon-fibre sports seats finished in either dark blue or dark grey leather, and stitched wîth a choice of contrasting colours. The car's door trim is afforded the same hand-stitched finish.
Despite its sophistication, the Elise 250 Special Edition is just at home on the track as it is on Bond Street. The new car laps the company's Hethel test circuit in 1 minute 34 seconds, the fastest recorded time for a production road-going Elise. The car carries over the same suspension and braking components from the Elise Cup 250, including Bilstein sports dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs and double wishbone suspension. AP Racing twin-piston front calipers, and Brembo single-piston rear calipers work in conjunction wîth the track-tuned ABS system.
Fitted wîth a slick, six-speed manual gearbox, the Elise 250 Special Edition includes an Electronic Differential Lock as standard to give better traction and faster exit speeds when cornering.
The new Elise also features driver selectable ESP modes, providing 'Sport' and 'Race' settings. Proportionally increasing throttle response, lowering traction slip thresholds and removing understeer recognition, it allows enhanced control before the system intervenes.
An integrated in-car entertainment system can also be specified, including iPod® connectivity and Bluetooth® functionality, along wîth air conditioning, cruise control, auxiliary driving lights, full carpets, floor mats and enhanced sound insulation.
The new Elise 250 Special Edition can also be personalised through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Combining craftsmanship wîth modern design, the service inspires customers to spend time tailoring the character of their Lotus wîth a comprehensive array of options to suit any budget.
News of the special edition follows the Lotus Elise's success as Readers' Champion at the prestigious Autocar Awards. From a starting roster of 50, tens of thousands of motoring fans voted for the iconic car as part of an online competition.
The hand-built sports car from Norfolk has long been regarded as a benchmark within the , providing a level of precision and driver involvement that rivals can't match. Perfectly tuned for British roads the Lotus Elise, intelligently equipped and surprisingly usable, allows owners to enjoy driving day in, day out.Source - Lotus
Lotus, manufacturer of some of the world's greatest sports cars, has unveiled its highest-performance Elise model yet, the 1.8 litre 111R, equipped wîth a high-tech engine that allows it to sprint 0-60mph in a supercar-thrashing 4.9 seconds. Top speed is a certified 150mph.
The hand-assembled Elise 111R is the latest result of Lotus' work to offer a combination of award-winning design, power and accessibility for those lòòking to own a higher performance Lotus Elise as their everyday car.
In town, the new 111R is compact and powerful enough to dart in and out of traffic, whilst the soft-top and Blaupunkt sound system make it perfect for those hood down, music up cruises through the city. Out of town the 111R's race-bred pedigree comes into its own, wîth a §teering and suspension set up that allows the driver to hug corners before punching out on to the straight.
To balance out the extra power under the bonnet, Lotus has developed an improved braking system. For the first time, track-tuned servo-assisted ABS brakes come as standard on a Lotus Elise, to make stopping the 111R as easy as accelerating.
Ansar Ali, general manager, Lotus Cars Ltd, said: 'The 111R is a car for those who demand the style and innovation of the Elise but want increased performance. Without doubt, the new engine and set-up deliver unrivalled handling and power in its class. With the 111R we hope we've delivered our most exciting, truest and addictive drive yet.'
As standard, the 111R comes wîth eight spoke alloys, half leather interior and central locking. Buyers can opt for the Touring Pack that includes a sound and thermal insulated soft-top, full leather trim and a DAB radio. Other options include air conditioning and hard top.
The 111R will go on sale on 26 January 2004 at an RSP of £27,995.Background
The Lotus Elise is a true sportscar that has taken the world by storm, winning countless awards for handling, innovation and just pure fun. The Elise was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motorshow in 1995 before entering production wîth first deliveries in August 1996. Since then, over 17,000 Elises have been built – some achievement for a car that was originally designed to be built in volumes of only 700 a year! The Elise was designed as a sportscar to be appreciated by real driving enthusiasts, fashion leaders and those who really appreciate technology and innovation.
The Lotus Elise introduced a range of technologies that revolutionised the automotive ; such as a chassis made from extruded and bonded aluminium, a composite energy absorbing front crash structure and light weight composite body panels. The whole car weighed in at half the weight of an average family saloon. This light weight bestowed the car wîth phenomenal acceleration and handling. In 1996 the Lotus Elise was easily pulling 1g in steady state cornering wîth standard production tyres and a 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 5.9 seconds.
In 2000 Lotus introduced the second generation Elise. This evolutionary car, arguably one of the most important cars in Lotus' fifty-two year history, added to the technology introduced on the Elise in 1996. It was a big stride forward, achieving the quality standards expected of a world leading sportscar manufacturer and globally respected engineering consultancy. This Elise introduced standard quality, much of it based upon the learning gained from working wîth Lotus' global motor partners.
All Lotus Elises are hand assembled by skilled craftsmen at Lotus' headquarters in Hethel, England. Each Elise takes about 100 man-hours to build and the final product is fine testament to the skills of Lotus.
As soon as a driver sits behind the wheel of a Lotus, they instantly know that they are in something special. From the composite sports seats that hug the driver under the g-forces that are experienced on cornering, acceleration and braking, to the race designed §teering wheel and the extruded aluminium pedals perfectly suited to both cruising as well as hard driving - the Elise is a car that invites to be driven.
The twin instrumentation dials show road speed and engine speed (for the 111R, now showing to 10,000rpm) and are updated for 2004 across the whole of the Elise range, wîth clearer graphics and orange back lighting which is proven to be easier on the eye. Links between the Elise and the track have always been strong, and the ambience of the facia and trim wîth the chassis tub sides provoke a strong sense of being seated in a racing derived but comfortable cockpit.
A four speaker Blaupunkt stereo system wîth CD player is provided as standard along wîth a radio receiver wiring loom including dipole aerial kit located in the front of the Elise 111R.
The legendary chassis…
During the early days of the original Elise development programme, Lotus searched for an appropriate and available chassis technology for its new lightweight sportscar. Únable to find a suitable technology, and unwilling to compromise, Lotus set out to change the rules. Lotus engineers looked outside the automotive and brought together aluminium extrusions and modern aerospace bonding techniques to produce a lightweight and exceptionally rigid structure.
The ground-breaking epoxy-bonded aluminium tub chassis, unveiled in September 1995 represented a breakthrough in sportscar technology.
The structure is an assembly of individually extruded lengths bonded together by epoxy resin adhesive, a world first in automobile manufacture. The adhesive used to bond the Lotus chassis achieves exceptional strength wîth the ability to absorb the most extreme loads, pressures and forces that it may encounter. Never before had a modern vehicle's chassis been bonded together.
The bonding of lap joints provides a superior joint to traditionally welded butted joints (with bonded joints, there is no distortion of the material's integrity at the join). Self-pierce rivets further increase the structural integrity through reducing material ‘peel' in the most severe of impacts.
The chassis received modifications in 2000, including lower, reinforced longitudinal sills to improve the access into the cockpit.
Now wîth the introduction of the VVTL-i power unit, further enhancements have been made to the rear of the chassis structure. Útilising experience gained from the development of advanced lightweight steel, a new highly efficient rear subframe offers increased strength. In keeping wîth Lotus' philosophy, this structure is an elegant integrated single solution for the engine cradle and improved suspension and exhaust silencer mounting points.
Ride and handling that sets the benchmark…
The aluminium chassis allows vehicle dynamics engineers at Lotus to continue to set standards by which all other sportscars are judged. Indeed, the Elise continues to build on the multi-award winning ride and handling for which it has become renowned the world over.
Lotus has taken a no-compromise approach in carrying over these philosophies to the Elise 111R. The development team has succeeded in creating a car that leaves the driver craving more time in the cockpit and more road on which to enjoy the thrill and engagement of each journey.
Run in parallel to Lotus' ÚSA (Federal) Elise programme, the 111R faced a gruelling development programme exceeding 500,000 miles throughout 2003 that took the car across Europe and the ÚSA. This has resulted in an exciting and progressive ride and handling package that integrates the constituents that make up the dynamics characteristics, tuning them to work in harmony wîth each other, the driver and the road.
For the Elise 111R, the Eibach coaxial coil springs and Bilstein high pressure monotube gas dampers have been retuned and optimised to maintain the Elise's trademark agility, body control and poise while improving the isolation of both smaller and larger impacts.
The unique Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tyres (175/55R16 front and 225/45R17 rear) have been carried over from the Lotus Elise and the Elise 111S. The Lotus Ride and Handling team have maximised the ability to hone the chassis and tyre characteristics to ensure that this latest and highest performing version of the Elise holds true to Lotus' values of peerless ride and handling and pure driving fun.
An ABS system like no other…
The servo-assisted four-channel system individually monitors and distributes braking force to each wheel as required, enhancing braking performance and minimising stopping distance.
However, Lotus has specifically tuned the initiation point to allow a skilled driver to maximise the potential of the braking system through the utilisation of forward weight transfer. In the event of the driver demanding more braking performance than is possible, only then does the system intervene to optimise the force generated at the wheel.
Power-to-weight in abundance…
Lotus undertook a thorough and exhaustive evaluation of a wide range of state-of-the-art engines. Toyota's 2ZZ-GE 1.8 litre 4 cylinder 16-valve VVTL-i engine and C64 six-speed gearbox was chosen as an outstanding package, excellently suited to the Elise.
This engine has breath taking power and torque characteristics, and critically for a Lotus, is lightweight, featuring a compact metal matrix composite alloy cylinder block.
A bespoke exhaust system has been developed for the Elise 111R wîth the twin exhaust pipes exiting through the rear diffuser.
Lotus subjected the 2ZZ-GE to a rigorous testing and development programme covering a wide range of extreme climate conditions from the Arctic Circle to the Arizona and Nevada deserts, and at altitude in Colorado. Furthermore, the engine management system, bifurcated exhaust downpipe, and bespoke gearshift mechanism are designed and developed by Lotus, resulting in a power unit perfectly integrated wîth the Elise's chassis and dynamics.
Lotus has tuned the engine to suit the very essence of the Elise by employing a brand new, custom-engineered Lotus T4 engine management system (EMS). The software for the EMS was designed and developed by Lotus specifically for the Elise 111R. All calibration and validation work was undertaken solely by Lotus engineers, ensuring that the Elise performs as a true Lotus should.
Toyota's world-renowned VVTL-i system allows the engine management system the flexibility to select the optimum camshaft profile, lift and timing across the full range of engine operating conditions. This interaction between the Lotus T4 EMS and the VVTL-i system gives the Elise its optimum linear torque characteristics, peaking at 181Nm (133.5 lb.ft) @ 6800rpm coupled wîth the peak power of 192 PS (189hp, 141kW) at 7800rpm.
The all-aluminium lightweight Toyota C64 six-speed gearbox is fitted wîth an all-new Lotus designed and developed shift operating mechanism. With the closest ratios and gearset afforded by the transmission, the gearbox offers a fast, precise and light gearshift, ensuring drivers have total control and flexibility to apply the power exactly as and when required.
True to Colin Chapman's philosophy of performance through lightweight, the power density available from the Toyota power unit gives the Elise a staggering 223PS/tonne (220hp/tonne, 164kW/tonne) and a 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds (0-60mph in 4.9 seconds)!
Proof, if needed, that there actually is a substitute for 'cubic inches'!Equipment
Standard equipment for the Elise 111R includes: half leather interior, sun visors, central door locking, Blaupunkt Lausanne radio CD-R/W player and Blaupunkt high performance front and rear speakers
Optional equipment includes a Touring Pack, which provides a combination of options designed to increase comfort and convenience, while still maintaining the essence of a Lotus sports car. This pack includes:
Auxiliary front driving lights, a choice of either full leather or Alcantara trim, a soft-top wîth sound and thermal insulation, electric windows, an upgraded Blaupunkt Woodstock DAB radio, CD-R/W and MP3 player, interior stowage net, sound insulation, and full carpet wîth a lightweight aluminium passenger footrest.
Other options also include metallic paint, air-conditioning and a body coloured hard top.Source - Lotus