Our spy photographers recently caught the new Lotus Exige hidden under a very strange looking camouflage testing, and now Lotus has announced that they will celebrate the end of production for the renowned North American bound Elise and Exige models with three special editions: the Elise SC, Exige Matte Black, and Exige S260 Final Editions. The Lotus Elise SC Final Edition will be limited to only 15 units and will carry a price tag of $57,500.
For those of you outside North America, don’t worry, both the Elise and Exige models will continue to be available in other markets around the world. The reason for the termination of production in North America is that there was a lack of continued availability for the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder Toyota 2ZZ engine that powers all North American Elise and Exige models. Therefore, the production of this model will cease for North America by the end of August 2011.
But hey, at least it can go out with a bang, so hit the jump to get full details on the 2011 Elise SC Final Edition.
My father had a habit of pointing out "it’s always the one ya least suspect." If you asked the public what they thought the Lotus Elise’s reliability was, the answer was a resounding "very good." However, now this Rembrandt of the racetrack has a small smudge and is now under investigation for a possible mechanical deficiency concerning the oil cooler.
The 2005-2006 Lotus Elise is at the center of this investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA). This problem centers on the right front oil cooler which can potentially come loose and spray inside the wheel well and the engine bay which can lead to a fire. This problem is described as" .. [Complaints centered on] an oil cooler line [that] had failed causing oil to spray within the engine compartment area, and/or near one of the wheel or brake assemblies." It is important to note that no one was hurt due to this malfunction although one person’s car did catch fire. That being said, the NHTSA has received 17 complaints and have calculated that around 4,400 Elises may be affected due to this malfunction.
An important distinction to note is that although this investigation is ongoing, a recall has not been issued for the Elise.
If you were considering a Lotus and now are suddenly running like Usain Bolt towards another sports car, think again because all of us here at TopSpeed would still love to have this pocket racer in our garage. Its combination of incredibly reliable Toyota innards and speed make the Lotus Elise a must have for any car enthusiast. Take this complaint for what it is; a small bump in the road for a great vehicle.
The Hennessey Venom GT may not look the part of a Veyron-slayer, but we’ve always come to realize not to judge cars by their outward appearance.
This little monster is the perfect example of what we’re talking about.
The Lotus-derived, American-tuned supercar packs plenty of punch with its 6.2-liter LS9 V8 engine that produces an insane 800 horsepower. And if you just happen to be spending your time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, you can get a chance to see the Venom in all its glory.
As a preview of the Hennessey madness that will befall all of us come Goodwood, the American tuning company has released a video featuring the Venom GT partaking some test runs to stretch its proverbial legs leading up to the Goodwood Hill Climb in just a few days.
In this video, the Venom GT is being driven by John Heinricy as he tries to corral a traction control-disabled 800-horsepower bullet on a wet track doing some cursory track time ahead of its Goodwood appearance. Enjoy the reel and make sure to mark your calendars for this weekend’s event!
In the midst of all the changes in Lotus’ neck of the woods is the development of an in-house developed V8 engine with a total output of 562 HP. This engine is being created for the future Esprit, but is also working double time as inspiration for a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that will be used for the Elise replacement set to be launched in 2014.
Why the sudden rush for engine development when they’ve never done it before? It could be the fact that Lotus was announced as one of three engine providers for next year’s Indycar series where they will be supplying a 2.2-liter turbocharged V6 developed alongside Engine Developments. Another valid reason could be that Lotus heard the responses of an online survey where about $10,000 participants thought it would be better for the company to create their own engines instead of making their customers pay about $100K for vehicles housing Toyota engines. We don’t know what impresses us more; the fact that an online survey was taken or the fact that a big brand like Lotus paid heed to the suggestions made. Either way, Lotus is going full steam ahead on their engine development. Aside from the V8 and the four-cylinder engine, Lotus is also preparing a V6 engine that will be used for a production version of the Eterne.
As for the yo-yo vehicle, the Elan may end up making it to the production line after all, but not until late 2017 (talk about procrastination). Before that, Lotus plans on unveiling the "Ethos" city car in 2014.
At the 2010 Paris Auto Show, Lotus unveiled the impressive Elan concept with the full intention of bringing it back in production form by 2013. Be it blind passion or just a mere oversight, Lotus failed to notice that their new concept bared a strong resemblance to their Evora model, so the company is putting the concept on hold indefinitely.
This may sound a little familiar considering we had already heard that the Elan was headed back to the drawing board for looking too much like the Esprit Concept revealed at the same auto show. This begs the question as to whether or not the Esprit will also be delayed because of the same issue, but apparently that is not the case. The Esprit and the Elite will share many of the same components, including a V8 engine that is rumored to deliver around 550 horsepower. This engine will be mated to either a standard dual-clutch transmission or an optional manual.
However, before those puppies are born, Lotus will be working on updating the apparently inspiring Evora with some aesthetic changes and new trim levels to align it with the rest of the "Lotus New Era" range. The Elise and Exige will also be seeing the light of day, but will do so with newer versions "more usable for every day". The production Exige will finally be revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
What’s with automakers bringing out two concepts of the same car all of a sudden? First with the FT-86 and the FT-86 II and now Lotus with its Elan and the Esprit concepts. Both concept vehicles were presented at last year’s Paris Auto Show, so one would think that the next logical step would be production models for those vehicles. Not so.
It seems that Lotus is tossing the two models back and starting fresh from the drawing board because the two concepts just looked too similar. Now, it’s up to Head Designer, Donato Coco, to work on a more optical differentiation between the two sports cars, which makes darn good sense considering the Esprit supercar is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine and the Elan sports car only gets a 4.0L V6 engine.
The next generation Lotus Elise is also getting bad feedback due to its enormous weight gain. The current generation weighs only 876 kilos (1931 lbs), but the next generation model will weigh up to 1,100 kilos (2425 lbs). Lotus has yet to decide the fate of the Elise, but the Elan and Esprit will have to undergo some massive changes before getting launched onto the market in 2013.
The Lotus Elise has never been a car accused of being overweight, but that still hasn’t stopped Lotus from putting the sportscar on another diet to lose a few pounds. The result of that weight loss is the new Club Racer model which is 53 lbs lighter than the standard production model. In order to obtain reduction in weight for the lighter model, Lotus has opted for a stripped-to-the-bare-bone approach, meaning lighter seats, a lightweight battery, and the deletion of noise insulation.
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 epitomizes everything that’s cool about the Elise – it’s fast, raw, responsive and a huge amount of fun to drive."
More details on the Lotus Elise Club Racer after the jump.
With the growing number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis cruising their way through our streets, it’s refreshing to see a Lotus taking its worthy turn at showing off. It’s even better when this particular Lotus has taken part in a little tuning project of its own. Tecnocraft has taken a couple of Lotus models, including the Exige and the Elise, and has molded and shaped a good amount of carbon fiber for a product worthy of a little attention.
No official details have been given on the final product just yet, but these pictures show a classy combination of yellow and black for the exterior and the interior of the sports car. Considering carbon fiber was the way to go for these Lotus models, we imagine that a weight reduction is definitely in order. Just how much weight has been schlepped off is anyone’s guess at this point.
The carbon fiber sports seats being used in the Lotus model have already been showcased in Tecnocraft’s version of the C63 AMG, but another new addition for the sport cars will be a news set of wheels to further decorate the exterior.
As a refresher, the standard Elise is powered by a supercharged 1.8 liter engine that develops a total of 217 hp and rockets the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. The Exige gets a supercharged and intercooled 1.8 liter engine with 257 HP and a sprint time of 4 seconds.
It seems that Lotus was pretty busy this year before the Paris Auto Show. Next to the new generation Esprit, Lotus will also bring the new Elise that will go on sale in 2015 at a price of £35,000 ($55,000 at the current exchange rates).
The 2015 Elise was rumored to be powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine delivering a total of 320 HP and 330 NM of torque. However, since the company’s announcement of an in-house developed V8 engine, more rumors are circulating about what will be found under the hood of the next gen Elise. These whispers are hinting that the V8 engine is serving as inspiration for a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that will be used for the Elise replacement set to be launched in 2014. Whichever engine makes its way under the Elise’s hood, it will probably be mated to the new start-stop technology. The goal is to make the Elise hit the 0 to 60 mph mark in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 167 mph.
"The Elise you can buy now is still a fantastic car, make no mistake, Lotus remain very proud of it, but this is a natural progression for us moving forward. The Elise 2015 will also be class-leading in terms of performance and efficiency but it will do more than that it will take the Elise model to the forefront of its class across the board. The design of the Elise 2015 is perfect for the target market, it’s young, strong, confident, verging on ruthless, it mirrors the engineering and technology. It’s the next generation Elise for a new generation of Lotus drivers."
The Hennessey Venom GT has its sights set on Las Vegas for the SEMA Motor Show, so we thought we’d share this video as a preview of the amazing treat that is to come.
The Hennessey GT is powered by a 6.2-liter LS9 V8, which is the same used in the Corvette ZR1. There are three configurations of this motor: one with 725 horsepower and 741 pound-feet of torque and the twin-turbocharged version that has 1,000 horsepower or 1,2000 horsepower. That motor is packed into a Lotus body that seems to have been injected with more steroids than a body builder.
We know that this machine is quite a badass, but we never had a chance to really hear it full out. It’s basically a British sports car body with a massive muscle car motor under the hood. How much better can life get and how much louder can a car get?