Lotus will launch Elise Club Racer at 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 19, 2011

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Lotus will launch the Elise Club Racer, a more extreme, stripped-out version of its baby Elise that’s meant for track day use. And because it is lighter, it’s expected to offer slightly better performance. The Elise Club Racer features a more sophisticated chassis set-up than the regular car.

The most significant change is the installation of a Sport mode to Lotus’s Dynamic Performance Management chassis control. The new set-up is still linked to the same parameters as a regular Elise, including corner brake control, drag torque control, differential lock, traction control, stability control, ABS, hydraulic brake assist and electronic brake distribution.

However, it takes out understeer recognition and it raises the amount of traction slip allowed. Lotus asserted that the new setting gives more vehicle control to the driver before an intervention is necessary.

For enhanced configurability, the car also gets an adjustable front anti-roll bar (instead of the standard Elise’s fixed item). The Elise’s 1.6-litre engine is unchanged; however, the optional, track-only Club Racer Power Pack offers a slight boost in power, from 134bhp to 139bhp.

The Club Racer is expected to be quicker, since it weighs nearly 25kg less than a standard car. The weight is lower due to the use of a lightweight battery (5.4kg), the use of a decal instead of a badge (60g) and the removal of the soft-top roof (5.9kg).

A few kilos were also dropped from the total weight with the deletion from the spec of the central locking, radio and speakers, noise insulation and carpets, passenger footrest, mud flaps and the driver’s and passenger’s airbag. Lotus claims to achieve total weight savings of 24.96kg. The Club Racer is offered in six colors, and has been fitted with a new design of 12-spoke alloy wheel. It is priced at £27,500, £600 lower than an Elise S.

Press Release

Lotus Elise Club Racer

Anyone harbouring under the misapprehension that Lotus might be moving away from performance through lightweight only needs to take a quick ride in the new 1.6 Lotus Elise Club Racer to know that's definitely not the case. The bright engineers at Lotus put even the lightest of Lotus' modern cars on a diet and managed to shed a further 24kg.

So how did Lotus manage to make one of the lightest models on the market even lighter? The engineers behind the Lotus Elise Club Racer took a stripped-to-the-bare-bone approach visualised by the body-coloured seats but materialised in many ways such as the motorsport derived lightweight battery and the deletion of noise insulation. Attention to even the smallest of details has ensured that Lotus' passion for performance through lightweight has been translated throughout the car.

For the first time ever an Elise variant comes complete with a Sport setting for the DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) allowing even the less experienced sports car drivers to feel at the top of their game, while the ability to switch it off completely will please the more established track orientated drivers. DPM combined with improved agility courtesy of Lotus finely tuned sport suspension and an adjustable anti-roll bar will make the Lotus Elise Club Racer equally versatile for both road and race track fun.

Wolf Zimmermann Chief Technical Officer Lotus Cars said: "The traditional Lotus approach of reduction and purity has lead to one of the most zeitgeist and contemporary sports cars around. For over 15 years the Lotus Elise has become an icon in the sports car market, carving out a niche market with a dedicated following of lightweight fans. The new Club Racer will definitely give these people something extra to get their teeth stuck into. This car epitomises everything that's cool about the Elise - it's fast, raw, responsive and a huge amount of fun to drive."

Quality throughout the vehicle has been a top priority, highly regarded component suppliers such as Eibach for springs and Bilstein for dampers ensure that the Lotus Elise Club Racer is a car of substance as well as style.

The Lotus Elise Club Racer pleases the eye as well as the soul with a choice of six striking colours (Sky Blue, Saffron Yellow, Ardent Red, Aspen White, Matt Black and Carbon Grey) and bespoke design elements that emphasise the character of the car.

It's pocket pleasing too, at £27,500 / €34,450 / CHF48,900, the Lotus Elise Club Racer marks the new entry level sports car from Lotus. And with the Elise standard of just 149g CO2/km plus the weight reduction, the new Club Racer provides maximum fun without so much of the green-guilt usually associated with high performance driving.

Lotus Elise Club Racer: Purity, performance, pleasure - a TRUE Lotus.

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