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  • 14 December 2016

    Introduction To The Lotus Models: Lotus Elise

    As Lotus is a newcomer to the Howards Group, we thought we would take the time to introduce each of the Lotus models to you, just so you’re familiar with the high quality sports cars we have here at the dealership. As you may be aware Lotus is a British manufactured sports car and their manufacturing site is based in Norfolk on an old RAF base.

    You may be also unaware of the build process over in Norfolk. Each and every Lotus car produced is hand built just as it was when Lotus first started producing prestige cars. This is very different to today's modern approach to manufacturing, where conveyor belts with robotic arms are used. The only part of a Lotus car that's helped by a robot is cutting composite components i.e Carbon Fibre crash structures, and they have one computer jig for accurate bonding sills to bodywork. Apart from that, it's built on the talent of the skilled employees that are part of the Lotus family. These skills are passed down from mentor to apprentice keeping the Lotus evolution rotating.

    So, we wanted to tell you a bit about the Elise and its variation of models available. But first, let’s start off with a bit of trivia for you:

    The Lotus Elise is named after Elisa, she was the granddaughter of Romano Artioli - the chairman of Lotus and Bugatti in 1994 - 1995 (the year the Elise launched).

    Now to the Elise…

    There has been many versions over the years since its launch; there was the series 1, series 2 and the current series 3. All built on the same concept of a small, lightweight sports car that’s quick off the mark and can handle any corner thrown at it. Today’s Elise that sits in our showroom fits all that and more, with a 0-60mph in 6.0seconds and only weighing in at 866kgs. 

    Performance:

    • Top Speed - 127mph
    • 0-60mph - 6.0secs
    • Power - 134Hp
    • CO2 Emissions - 149g/km

    What produces these impressive stats for this sports car, is a 1.6litre engine built by Toyota and tuned by Lotus. It houses variable valve lift as well as variable valve timing and complies with Euro5 emissions. This new engine and upgraded gearing has reduced the Elise’s CO2 emissions by 16%, making this sports car the lowest emitting petrol-powered sports car that’s currently on sale. 

    Elise Sport 220

    That’s the standard Elise, now we‘ll introduce the Elise Sport 220; an Elise with more power. Lotus saw there was a demand for a sports car with more power that was lightweight, so they added a 1.8litre engine and supercharged it, creating a lightning fast sports car. With the increase in engine size and the addition of a supercharger you would have anticipated the increase of its overall kerb weight. This isn’t the case, Lotus has done a good job on keeping the weight to a minimum, they only added 48kgs compared to the stock Elise Sport.

    Performance:

    • Top Speed - 145mph
    • 0-60mph - 4.2secs
    • Power - 217Hp
    • CO2 Emissions - 173g/km

    Elise Cup 250

    As they say ‘Less Is More’ and this is the case for the Cup 250, its shed 21kgs and added an extra 26 horsepower to its road going track focused Elise

    Performance:

    • Top Speed - 154mph
    • 0-60mph - 3.9secs
    • Power - 243Hp
    • CO2 Emissions - 175g/km

    Over the years of production, the Elise hasn’t really changed it body styling, they got it right on the first attempt (in our opinion) and have just needed to tweak things as it’s evolved over the years. The body style is there as a function to maximise downforce as well as to get onlookers to gawp and stare, it executes both of these functions brilliantly.

    If you have never seen inside a Lotus Elise we feel you should come down and have a sit in one! You’ll find the seating position strange at first as you have to enter the car over the sills and drop down into your seat. This leaves the sports car's sills above where your hip area sits, which is peculiar if you're used to a standard road car, but this driving position gives you an extraordinary thrill when on the road as you feel so close to the road with your bum, you know the car can handle any corner you put it in, without returning body role or exiting the road without you wanting to. The interior is kept quite minimal to save on weight and there is only the essential creature comforts such as: 

    • Electric windows
    • 4 speaker sound system (not that you need it, just listen to the engine)
    • Push button start
    • Central door-locking

    So you see this sports car is a pure British thoroughbred that’s built to move. Its iconic style has been with us for some time and as a nation we haven’t got tired of its look. To appreciate what the Lotus Elise truly is you need to have a seat in its cockpit, while test driving what could be potentially your next sports car.

    For now, we will leave you with the thought of owning one of these new Lotus Elise sports cars, but we’ll be back with more of the Lotus models to catch your interest.

Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd's permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howards Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance mediation activities only.