The new modular 562bhp 4.8-litre V8 engine from Lotus may be split and used as a basis for a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that will be used in the Elise replacement starting in 2014.
This new V8 will be used on the mid-engined Lotus Esprit, the first in Lotus’ new five-member range of sports cars, which is set to be launched at the 2013 Geneva motor show. It will also be used on the front-engined Elite 2+2 GT at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.
Lotus worked to make its own engines after customer clinics in 2010 found that its consumers were uncomfortable with the idea of £100,000 Lotuses with Toyota engines. The new Lotus V8 will be powered up for the first time in August. The Lotus Engineering-developed engine has a weight of just 170kg and its length is 612mm.
Maximum power is released at around 9000rpm. It will be incorporated into the chassis and will serve as a structural part of the cars it is used in. Lotus also said that it will surely begin production of its new ‘Ethos’ city car in 2014.
The vehicle will be sold as a Lotus in Europe and North America and in Asia where it will be named Proton. Lotus clarified that the presentation of the Elan in its new model line-up is delayed to 2017, ensuring the Evora’s place in its lineup until the Elan is built at a later date.
Evolution has turned us from single celled organisms to the dominant species on the planet and it is with this mindset that the Lotus has embraced evolution to revolutionise the Lotus Elise. Retaining the look and spirit of the iconic Elise design, the new model offers contemporary looks which aficionados will note brings to mind the Evora more. Much like their previous models, Lotus has once again managed to create an exciting mix of style and grace.
With a stylish finished look, new fenders, and access panels, the Lotus Elise has a greater presence on the road.
The rear contains a new engine which has been upgraded and covered with a dual-spine cover, the diffuser around which is moulded into the new bumper and integrated into the rear licence plate.
The headlamps come with LED light-emitting guides and include lamps for the daytime and direction indicators. And the face of the Lotus has been subtly inverted to give the vehicle a sleeker look and yet the changing in position of the headlamps has created a vehicle with width and a grounded sense with dynamic corner intakes.
Much like the theme of evolution, purity has made its mark too on the design of the new Lotus. Cooling apertures are expertly finished and a lightweight aluminum mesh gives the vehicle that new feel you would expect from a prestigious company such as Lotus.
Responding to feedback Lotus has moved the mechanism for the rear boot so it can be opened in the cockpit rather than only through a key.
Taking modelling tips from the Evora, the Elise graphic can be found on the side of the new LED direction indicators. The driving position is simply perfect. When driving the Elise you are made to feel as if you are a part of the car rather than seated in it. With ProBax technology onboard, the seats are immeasurably comfortable and supportive.
The new dynamic look of the Elise has also had a huge impact on the aerodynamics of the vehicle, with a 4% reduction in the coefficient drag.
In terms of options, the Lotus Elise comes with the choice of two wheel designs. The first of which is a light forged wheel whereas the second is a cast one.
Additional changes made to the Lotus Elise include:
The engineers at Lotus have managed to install the new 1.6 liter Valvematic engine into the Elise which has a slightly smaller capacity of 200cc from the old S model. And yet it is able to produce an amount of power which is almost identical. 136 PS, 100 kW, 134 hp at 6800 rpm and a torque maximum of 160 Nm, and 118 lb-ft at 4400 rpm. All this and yet, it still managed an incredible 23% more efficiency in terms of fuel economy, 6.14 liters/100 km (46 mpg) and deliver a drop in CO2 emissions of more than 13% which means the vehicle has the lowest CO2 emissions of any gasoline powered high-performance sportscar in the world.
The old 5-speed gear box is leaving and instead the Lotus will now have a 6-speed manual gearbox to provide better performance. Control of the 1.6 liter engine will remain with the custom T6 EMS (engine management system) and for the first time will come with cruise control.
The newly designed cast wheels have been created especially for the Lotus Elise and for the enthusiasts there is an option for forged wheels which are 2.14 kg lighter and available in black or silver.
Dany Behar, Chief Executive of Group Lotus, described the Lotus Elise as a revolutionary sportscar. He said that it was released 14 years ago, it made waves and car lovers all over the world wanted to get behind the wheel. Now the car is even greener and there is no reason why you can't get world class performance in a sportscar, he added.
The Director of Design, Donato Coco referred to the model as “iconic” due to its uncomplicated design and its pure aesthetic combined with a significant improvement in the car's aerodynamics that has updated the classic sportscar.
Meanwhile, Paul Newsome, Director of Lotus Product Engineering said that it has always strived to push its commitment to ourselves and to ensure the Lotus Elise is ahead of its competitors. That’s why for the 2011 model, it was able to improve its efficiency but still keep all the characteristics that its fans loved about it.
Andreas Prillmann, Chief Commercial Officer for Lotus Cars said that the Lotus Elise is a major part of the Lotus production. Making up more than 30% of all the 60+ years of car production, the Elise is certainly valued by its customers. He also said that the 2011 model has been improved in every way. From a purer design aesthetic to improved green credentials, the new Elise is able to boost its reputation as one of the most innovative sportscars in the world.