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.
Exterior and Interior
The exterior of the Lotus Elise racer is almost identical to that of the standard model because the company’s main focus to lower the car’s total curb weight. This was accomplished by adding lighter seats, a lightweight battery, and stripping the car of its noise insulation.
A first in an Elise model is a Sport setting for the DPM (Dynamic Performance Management), a tuned sport suspension, and an adjustable anti-roll bar. The model will be offered in six striking colors (Sky Blue, Saffron Yellow, Ardent Red, Aspen White, Matte Black, and Carbon Grey) and bespoke design elements that emphasize the character of the car.
As with the standard model, the Elise Club Racer is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 134HP at 6800 rpm and 160 Nm 118 lbs ft of torque at 4400 rpm. However, with it being a thinner model, we expect to see a slight improvement over the usual 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 6.7 seconds.
In Europe, the model is priced at €34,450, or about $46,500 at the current exchange rates, making it the cheapest Elise available. Not bad for better performance.
The Lotus Elise takes on models like the Audi TTS and the BMW Z4.
The TTS is a powered by a 2-liter TFSI engine that delivers a total of 272 hp and 258.15 lb-ft of torque from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 60mph is now made in 5.2 seconds while top speed is limited to 155 mph. The Z4 gets a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six with increased air flow and more boost pressure. The result is an output of 335 HP at 5,900 RPM and a peak torque of 332 lb-ft from 1,500 RPM to 4,500 RPM. The sprint from 0 to 60 MPH is made in just 4.7 seconds, while the car’s top speed is limited to 155 MPH.
Some may consider these vehicles worthy opponents of the Elise, but we wouldn’t take any of them over the Elise model. For us, the Elise has everything a sports car needs: an impressive exterior look, a powerful engine, and a reasonably good price.
Impressive exterior look
Lighter than standard model
Less power than competitors
Cramped entry and exit