By: William Berg
Lotus Elise is a good looking and high performance sports car developed by the Lotus Company. When the first Lotus Elise was released, it received a lot of attention for its remarkably low weight and striking design. The first Lotus Elise hit the marked in September 1995. Today, there are two main types Lotus Elise available for the car enthusiast: Lotus Elise Series 1 cars and Lotus Elise series 2 cars.
The creator of the first Lotus Elise was named Max David and worked from London. The founder of the Lotus Company, Colin Chapman, had always dreamed about a car that combined extremely light weight with superb performance, and Max David took these dreams to heart. The remarkably low weight of the Lotus Elise is what makes fantastic performance possible even with a modest engine. The shape of the Lotus Elise has been created with dynamics and driving purity in focus.
The first Lotus Elise weighed no more than 1500 lb (680 kg). Driving this car is amazing, due to its remarkable ability to accelerate, brake and corner. The weight of the first Lotus Elise can be compared to the Porsche Boxter, which is considered a low-weight sports car and still weigh almost as much as two Lotus Elise cars - 2756 lb (1250 kg). This means that while the 1997 Porsche Boxter requires and engine output of 201 bhp (149 kW), the Lotus Elise works brilliant with only 120 bhp (89 kW).
As mentioned above, the first Lotus Elise was released in September 1995. The year after the Lotus Company released an even lighter Lotus Elise that weighed an astonishingly low 1488 lb (675 kg). This car was followed by the Lotus Elise 111S three years later. The Lotus Elise 111S is faster than the preceding Lotus Elise cars and is fitted with a Variable Valve Control (VVC) engine. This engine has been developed from the Rover K series and equipped with Variable valve timing (VVT). You will also find more comfortable seats in the Lotus Elise 111S, since some customers found the first two Elise versions uncomfortable. The new seats are filled with more padding.
The next step for the Lotus Elise developers was the roofless Lotus Elise 340R. This cabriolet version of the Elise car was released in a limited edition in 2000 and was equipped with a 177 bhp (131 kW) engine. The name 340R was derived from the first prototype; it had a 340 bhp/ton power to weight ratio. The prototype had a 170 bhp engine, and weighed no more than 500 kg. In accordance with this, the limited edition consisted of exactly 340 cars. Later in the year 2000, the Lotus Company released the Exige. The Exige was similar to the Lotus Elise 340R, but had a hardtop. The engine was exactly the same; 177 bhp (131 kW).
The next step for the Lotus Company was to embark on the construction of the Series 2 Lotus Elise car. The first of the Series 2 Lotus Elise cars was actually announced the same year as the Lotus Elise 340R and the Exige was released. The car from the Series 2 was designed directly on the computer, which was a totally new way of working for the Lotus Company.
Read more about Lotus Elise
and the new 2006 Lotus Elise
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