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.