According to Lotus, the loss of the K series engine created a hole in Lotus' portfolio, now plugged with the S. It delivers a 0-60mph sprint of 5.8 seconds from its 1.8-litre VVT-i Toyota engine in a lower state of tune so it delivers only 134bhp, a Vmax of 128mph and 127lb-ft of torque at 4,200rpm. This compares to 5.2 seconds for the R, a Vmax of 147mph, and power and torque figures of 192bhp and 133lb-ft.
Other than that, the new Elise looks pretty much like the R -- the general spec is the same, as are the options available. It's still based on Lotus' extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, with a lightweight steel rear subframe. The chassis weighs 68kg and has a stiffness of 9,500 Nm per degree. Overall weight as ever is low at 860kg, delivering benefits for acceleration, handling, ride comfort and braking -- and the environment.
Braking comes from AP Racing callipers at the front and Brembo calipers at the rear, linked to 282 mm vented and cross-drilled cast iron discs. It also includes ABS, which Lotus described as "very unobtrusive and most drivers will not even notice that it is there - unless it is needed of course and even then, the system keeps a subtly low profile."
The ABS system is linked to a lightweight pedal box with steel pedal arms and extruded aluminium pads. This unit also has an electronic (drive-by-wire) throttle for a more linear engine response.
With the launch of the Elise S, the 111R becomes the Elise R. With the name change comes a spec boost: the Touring Pack becomes standard equipment - -although you can delete it if you want. The Elise R is also differentiated from the Elise S through 8-spoke alloy wheels and raised Lotus lettering on the rear.
New Lotus boss Mike Kimberley said: "The arrival of our new Elise S is good news for lovers of pure sports cars in all intended markets. The value for money proposition offered by the car is second to none and takes the wonderful Lotus Elise range back into the heart of the mainstream sports car market.
"We now have a Lotus Elise to tempt the existing or would-be MX-5 or MG driver away from these altogether more cosmetic offerings. They now have an opportunity to get back into a car that is the very essence of what, in our view, a real sports car should be all about."
The Lotus Elise S costs £23,995 including VAT on the road.