Harking back to some key Lotus sports and GT racer colour schemes (used on some versions of the Lotus Elite, Type 23, and Lotus Elan) from the 1950s and 1960s, the Elise Sports Racer range consists of two distinctly different vehicles.
The first, in Ardent Red, features a single painted white stripe flanked by two thinner painted white stripes and has distinctive white wing mirrors (not the car in the pic -- Lotus didn't supply pictures of the new car). The interior of the car is also unique, with matching red stitching set against black leather trim.
The second car is Nightfall Blue and has twin painted white stripes running the length of the vehicle. Again, this car features white wing mirrors and has a unique interior, subtly matching the exterior of the vehicle, with blue stitching on the leather Both the versions have a coloured (red or blue respectively) Elise logo stitched into the headrests and unique Elise Sports Racer decals positioned on the exterior of the car.
Under the blue and red colour schemes, the Elise Sports Racers use some of the best sports and track specific components available including ultra-lightweight seven twin-spoke forged alloy wheels (saving a massive 1.2Kg of unsprung weight per corner), Advan Neova AD07 LTS tyres linked to sports suspension (uprated Eibach springs and stiffer Bilstein dampers), twin oil coolers and switchable Lotus Traction Control (LTC).
The switchable engine-managed Lotus Traction Control System (LTC) is active above 5mph and works through the engine, reducing power when required to maintain traction. It operates much quicker than many brake-based systems. A Torsen-type limited slip differential (LSD) is available as an option for tight low speed, high acceleration driving (such as auto tests).
Standard luxury kit includes a colour matched hardtop, central door locking, electric windows, interior stowage net, sound insulation pack, black soft-top with sound/thermal insulation and black full carpet set.
The cars gain LED rear lights as not only are LEDs brighter than standard bulbs and illuminate 0.2 seconds quicker -- that's one Elise car length at 43 mph -- they're also 36 per cent lighter (around 0.6Kg).
The cars also include the proven, high performance engine and gearbox combo, consisting of a VVTL-i engine (Variable Valve Timing and Lift-intelligent) producing a maximum power output of 189bhp or and 133lb-ft of torque, allowing the Elise Sports Racer to sprint to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and 100 mph in 13.0 seconds before reaching a certified top speed of 150 ph.
This performance is achieved through a balance of environmental considerations with the fully Euro IV Emissions compliant engine helping the Elise to return 32.1mpg on the combined cycle, as well as the very low figure of 208 g/km of CO2 emissions.
The Lotus Elise Sports Racer also uses a new lighter pedal box with forged steel pedal arms and extruded aluminium pads. This new unit, which is lighter that the previous extruded aluminium unit, has an electronic throttle for quicker and smoother engine response, reduced brake pedal ratio and improved pedal feel for the brake and throttle. All three pedals are better positioned for improved "heel and toe" brake and throttle control on downshifts. The cable-less throttle also ensures that emissions are managed more effectively and kept as low as possible under all operating conditions.
Air-conditioning is available as an option and weighs just 15Kg.
The Lotus Elise Sports Racer is available from Lotus dealers in November 2005 at a recommended retail price of £31,995 in the UK. Other world market prices will be issued shortly.