2010 Lotus Elise Concept

2010 Lotus Elise Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The next-generation Elise that never made it in showrooms

Sold off to several companies after Colin Chapman’s death in 1982, including General Motors, Lotus ended up under Proton ownership in 1996. Although the British company was still struggling to rebound following two decades of financial hardship, the stability that came with the Proton purchase allowed Lotus to consider redesigning its sports car lineup. Launched in 1996, the Elise was more than 10 years old by 2010 and the company was hoping to offer a redesigned model in 2015. To preview what was supposed to become the Elise Series 4, Lotus introduced the Elise 2015 Concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

Compared to the then-new Series 3 production Elise launched for 2011, the concept was a radical departure styling wise and had a brand-new engine behind the rear seats. It also showcased technology previously unavailable in a Lotus, such as stop/start. On the other hand, the more modern technology made the Elise Concept significantly heavier than the existing model, which made purists rightfully unhappy about the transformation.

Fortunately for them, but obviously unfortunately for the company, the concept sports car never made it into production as Lotus continued to struggle financially and nearly went bankrupt in 2013. The Elise Series 3 soldiered on until 2016 with minor changes and it’s still waiting to get a makeover, which will most likely happen in 2017. With the concept already six years old as of 2016, it’s safe to assume that Lotus no longer wants to put it in production, but it’s a vehicle that deserves some attention for its polarizing design. Also, it’s a good way to understand how Lotus viewed the sports car market back in 2010.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Concept.

 

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Cheap Midship Thrills: 5 Attainable Mid-Engined Cars from 2018

Cheap Midship Thrills: 5 Attainable Mid-Engined Cars from 2018

this is a lot of mid-engined love

Having the engine in the middle or as close to the center of the car as possible is deemed ideal in order to have even weight distribution between the two axles. But over the years, the configuration has mostly been reserved for expensive exotics unattainable by only the wealthiest enthusiasts. That’s why cheaper cars that have adopted the configuration have always stood out and usually attract some manner of cult following.

This article focuses on midship cars which you can buy right now without having to factor in the sale of an organ or anything involving a Ponzi scheme and wearing a fake mustache. Rest assured you can get attainable mid-engined kicks these days in the cars posted after the jump (in ascending price order), but don’t go thinking they’re cheap; they’re not.

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2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260

2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260

The ultimate Lotus Elise!

Arguably the most iconic Lotus still in production, the Elise has been around for more than two decades. Now in its third generation, the tiny Elise is heading toward a major redesign that will bring a faster, lighter car into dealerships. But despite working on a brand-new model, Lotus isn’t yet willing to give up on the current Elise, and it keeps pushing the limits of the small roadster with all sorts of limited-edition packages and upgrades. With several new iterations launched in 2016 and 2017, Lotus has prepared yet another version of its supercharged two-door. It’s called the Cup 260 and its the lightest, quickest road-legal Elise built to date.

Developed as the company prepares for the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948, the Cup 260 is based on the Cup 250 model that came in 2016 and includes nearly all of the lightweight Elise Cup options as standard. It also sports the latest visual upgrades that Lotus introduced for the standard Elise, as well as a comprehensive aerodynamic package that adds a tremendous amount of downforce at high speeds. Naturally, it’s the quickest Elise on the brand’s Hethel track, and its production is limited to only a handful of examples. Find out more about that below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Cup 260.

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New Lotus Elise Sprint Edition Is Lighter, Quicker

New Lotus Elise Sprint Edition Is Lighter, Quicker

Tipping the scales at only 1,759 pounds!

Introduced in 1996, the Lotus Elise has been redesigned twice, with the most recent, Series 3 model launched in 2011. For 2017, Lotus upgraded the sports car in order to keep it fresh until the fourth-generation model arrives in a couple of years.

The facelift isn’t exactly spectacular on the outside, but the Elise does benefit from redesigned bumpers, new headlamps, and a host of weight-reducing elements. New features include carbon-fiber front access panel, roll hoop cover, and engine hood, a polycarbonate rear screen, and forged alloy wheels. Inside, the Elise received more attention. Lotus redesigned the center console, which now resembles the Exige, and updated the graphics of the instrument panel. The carbon race seats are also new, as is the open-gate gear select mechanism borrowed from the Exige Sport 350.

The Elise now comes with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, while carbin sill covers, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and new Electric Light Blue upholstery are offered as options.

The Sprint Edition gets its juice from either the naturally aspirated, 1.6-liter or the supercharged, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder. The smaller engine cranks out 134 horsepower and 160 Nm (118 pound-feet) of torque in the base Sprint model, while the force-fed 1.8-liter pumps out 217 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) in the Sprint 220 version. More importantly, the drivetrain and chassis also benefit from new weight-saving measures, including a lightweight lithium-ion battery, AP Racing calipers up front and Brembo clamps to the rear. Optional two-piece brake discs are available.

Tipping the scales at 798 kg (1,759 pounds), the Elise Sprint Edition is 41 kg (90.3 pounds) lighter than the standard model and 26 kg (57.3 pounds) lighter than the Sport version. As a result, the Elise Sprint has a power-to-weight ratio of up to 168 horsepower per tonne, while the Sprint 220 comes in at 257 horsepower per tonne. Naturally, the sports car is quicker than ever before, needing 5.9 and 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start with the 1.6- and 1.8-liter engines, respectively.

The updated Elise carries over the same suspension setup as before, with fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance gas dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Being lighter than the preceding model, the spring rate was marginally increased in order to retain the classic ride the Elise is known for.

The Sprint Edition goes on sale in April 2017 from £32,300 (around $40,050 as of March 2017).

Continue reading for the full story.

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Next-Generation Lotus Elise Coming In 2020

Next-Generation Lotus Elise Coming In 2020

The British brand can finally afford to develop a new sports car

Lotus is planning to launch a completely redesigned Lotus Elise for the 2020 model year. That’s the word from Autocar, which claims that the British automaker can finally afford to fun an all-new version of its lightweight sports car. A third-generation Elise has been on the drawing table since 2010, when Lotus showcased a concept car at the Paris Motor Show, but the company opted to introduce a facelift in 2011 due to financial difficulties. With Jean-Marc Gales at the helm since 2013, Lotus finally has the finances to create a new-generation model.

When Gales took over as CEO back in 2013, Lotus was in a serious financial crisis that almost led to bankruptcy. Thanks to his turnaround plan that focused on improving the existing product range and brought a revised Evora, upgraded version of the Elise and Exige, and a new 3-Eleven, Lotus has reached a safer point where it is financially stable, a first since around 2000.

The new-generation Elise is part of a massive overhaul of the entire Lotus lineup that will include redesigned Exige and Evora models too, but production of new cars won’t commence until 2019, a plan that gives the company enough time to adjust as far as development and production goes. The new Elise will feature a redesigned bonded and extruded aluminum chassis and according to Gales, it will continue to tip the scales at under 1,000 kg (2,200 pounds). More importantly, the Elise is being developed for the U.S. market too, with North American customers to finally get another model besides the Evora.

The Elise is the company’s oldest nameplate in showrooms, having been launched in 1996 as a successor to the Elan. Sold as the Series 1 until to 2001, the Elise received its most comprehensive upgrade 15 years ago. The sports car was once again updated in 2011, but since then Lotus launched a wide range of versions and special-edition cars. A more track-focused variant, the Elise Cup 250, was introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Elise was last offered in the U.S. in 2011.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition

2016 Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition

Lotus celebrates Hethel’s 50th anniversary with this special edition

It seems like every month one automaker or another has a reason to celebrate and create some limited-run, special-edition model. Today, Lotus has announced its latest special edition that was designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s Hethel site. The car is called the Elise 350 Special Edition, and it is based on the Elise Cup 250 that launched just a few months ago. Powered by a supercharged four-cylinder, this thing delivers more than 240 horsepower and comes complete with lots of carbon fiber on the outside and a hand-finished interior. As Lotus put it, “It perfectly defines the quintessential British sports car in the celebration year.”

Outside of being quick thanks to that supercharged four-banger, this baby is also pretty aesthetically pleasing and can be had in a number of colors. On top of that, the car can also be personalized through the Lotus Exclusive Program, which means that each of the 50 units slated for production could turn out to be completely unique. For the record, Lotus claims this special-edition model can lap its Hethel test circuit in just 1 minute and 34 seconds – the fastest so far of any road-going Elise.

Jean-Marc Gales, the CEO of Group Lotus plc, said, “When we first introduced the Elise, it redefined how involving and exciting, yet civilized, a sports car could be. As the Elise was conceived, designed, engineered and is built at Hethel, we wanted a 50th tribute that’s even lighter than the fastest road-going Elise we’ve ever produced. The new Elise 250 Special Edition achieves that, so it’s supremely quick and agile, but it’s also wonderfully finished and stunning to look at.”

So, with that said, let’s take a good look at this special-edition Elise and see what all the hype is about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise 250 Special Edition.

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Next Lotus Elise to Remain True to its Roots

Next Lotus Elise to Remain True to its Roots

Lotus CEO promises lightweight fun, value for money

Lotus has been rolling out all sorts of updates for the Elise recently, but it’s also working on a new iteration of the sports car. Essentially 15 years old as of 2016, the current Elise will get a replacement in 2020. That’s the word from company CEO Jean-Marc Gales, who also revealed that the next-generation model will remain true to its engineering roots.

According to gales, work on the redesigned roadster has already begun as Lotus is developing an extruded aluminum chassis around the same technology that debuted in the original Elise S1 back in 1996. The platform underpins all of the company’s cars today, but Gales thinks it can be substantially improved by 2020. This is the key to keeping the new Elise as close as possible to the original, especially when it comes to lightness and handling.

Autocar claims that Lotus aims for a curb weight of 900 kg (1,984 pounds), exactly 175 (386 pounds) more than the original model. Although it may seem like a lot of extra weight for a significantly newer car, we need to keep in mind that the third-gen Elise will have to comply with stricter safety requirements, especially in the United States. On the other hand, a 900-kg third-gen Elise would be lighter than the current Elise Cup 250, which tips the scales at an amazing 921 kg (2,030 pounds).

As far as design goes, the new Elise will remain true to the current styling. Although this means that many of the current features will be carried over, Lotus will redesign enough elements to give the sports car a fresh look. The car could be wider though in order to meet U.S. crash ratings.

Unless Lotus decided to that it’s time for a massive change in the drivetrain department, the next Elise will also feature Toyota-sourced engines and transmissions. We expect the third-gen model to benefit from up to 250 horsepower.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Lotus Elise Race 250

2017 Lotus Elise Race 250

The fastest racing Elise that Lotus has ever created

Now entering its second decade in production, the Lotus Elise is simply one of the most capable speed machines on the planet, as evidenced by the numerous platform iterations (Tesla Roadster, Hennessey Venom GT, etc.) and high-spec track day specials that have sprung up over the years. Now, Lotus is offering its most hardcore track-oriented Elise to date, and it’s called the Race 250. The number is a reference to the car’s blown 1.8-liter output figures, which are complemented by a slew of standard performance options, including a race-ready interior, full aerodynamics, adjustable suspension, and a fiber-rich diet. And, as luck would have it, it’s coming to the U.S.

According to Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc., “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favorite with our racers around the world.”

Backing Gales’ claim is the Race 250’s 1:33.5 lap time around Lotus’ Hethel test track, a time that bests the Elise Cup 220 R by a full half-second and secures the 250’s spot as the fastest racing Elise that Lotus has ever developed.

So what exactly makes this mighty little giant slayer so darn potent? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Race 250.

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2000 Lotus 340R

2000 Lotus 340R

A roofless, doorless, limited-production Lotus Elise

When you’re a company like Lotus, you can build things that are a little out of the ordinary from time to time. Take, for example, the Lotus 340R. It’s a special-edition model derived from the Lotus Elise. It shares the same underpinnings, but features a custom-built body shell with no roof or doors to speak of – that’s right, the only way to get into this bad boy is to jump over the edge. There’s more to it than its unique body style, though. Only 340 examples were built, all of which sold out prior to the car’s official debut, and it comes equipped with exclusive tires made by Yokohama.

The 340R is a mid-engined roadster, and all 340 examples were built with the same silver and black two-tone finish. It was built at the brand’s Hethel factory and was never slated for the U.S. market, so it’s not exactly road legal here in the states. It is, however, road-legal in the U.K. – the market it was originally built for. That said, there are a few that may have crossed the big drink to the U.S., but there is only one that is claimed to be road-legal in the states, and that is the one pictured here.

The car you see in our photo gallery was listed for sale on Ebay back in 2014, and, as of this writing, it’s now being sold by a local dealer in Hollywood, Florida, with just over 3,500 miles. So, let’s take a few minutes to go over this special-edition model and see what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to see what made the Lotus 340R so special.

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2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250

2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250

Quicker than a Porsche Cayman GT4

2015 was a busy year for Lotus. Not only did the Brits revamp the Elise and Exige with updated models, but they also launched a significantly upgraded Evora, the brand-new 3-Eleven, and announced plans to develop their first-ever SUV. Having already launched the new Lotus Exclusive customization program in January 2016, the brand introduced the beefed-up Elise Cup 250 as its first new model for the year.

Essentially an lighter and more powerful version of the previous Elise Cup, the Cup 250 is the quickest road-going Elise ever from 0 to 60 mph as well as on Lotus’ iconic Hethel test track. As with most updates, the Cup 250 comes with new and revised features, extra options, and access to the company’s new Lotus Exclusive program. The Cup 250 joins the less track-oriented Sport and Sport 220 in the 2016 Elise lineup. The new Elise Cup 250 went on sale in most markets in April 2016 and in 2017 gained an update with revised looks and aerodynamics. Unfortunately, the sports car won’t cross the pond to the U.S., where Lotus can only sell the Evora 400 due to America’s strict safety requirements.

Keep reading to find out more about the Lotus Elise Cup 250.

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Lotus Drops New Details On All-New Elise And Evora 400 Roadster

Lotus Drops New Details On All-New Elise And Evora 400 Roadster

Lotus may not be as busy as some of the bigger automakers, but the sports car company has been doing work in reinventing its own lineup. And if CEO Jean-Marc Gales has his way, the model range of Lotus will look entirely different from the one it has today.

Speaking with Auto Express, Gales dropped some new details on a handful of Lotus’s models, including the upcoming Elise and a roadster version of the Evora 400. Development for the new Elise is considered to be one of Lotus’s highest priorities, at least right next to its promise of releasing a new SUV by 2020. Since the Elise is considered as one of the company’s most important models, Gales wants it to remain fit for the role. That’s why the all-new Elise, which is scheduled to launch in 2019, will be developed to fit the role of an every-day vehicle. Thinking about such a role for the Elise runs counter to the spirit of the vehicle as a lightweight sports car, but Lotus believes that it could package the new Elise with the kind of handling characteristics that would make it suited for everyday use.

The new Elise will also feature a new aluminum-bodied chassis that Gales described as having “narrower sills” to improve access. Just as important will be its weight, something that Lotus is determined to also help the car’s handling dynamics. Gales didn’t say how much lighter the new Evora is going to compared to the existing model, but he did say that shaving off pounds will be one of the new model’s defining characteristics when it hits markets in 2019.

In the mean time, Lotus is also working on launching a topless version of the Evora 400, a car that the company debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. With a hefty power boost and refreshed fascias, the Evora 400 is expected to set its sights on both the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Porsche Cayman GT4. Well, if Lotus has its way, a roadster version of the sports car could arrive as early as late 2016, packing all sorts of goodies like a two-part carbon-fiber roof that can be removed manually.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Lotus Elise Sport

2016 Lotus Elise Sport

The British made Lotus Elise debuted back in 1996, sporting a fiberglass body and a bonded aluminum chassis that helped the car set the market standard for efficiency, handling, and driving experience. The car helped launch Lotus back into the lightweight sports car market and was actually named after the granddaughter of Romano Artioli’s – Lotus’ chairperson at the time. At its birth, the Elise put out 118 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque. It tipped the scale at 1,521 pounds, hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, and had a top speed of 126 mph.

That was 20 years ago, and now Lotus is releasing an all-new Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220 – that’s right, Lotus is bringing the “Sport” name back after being used previously on the Lotus Espirit. The Elise Sport is the entry-level model. It has significantly less power than the Elise Sport 220, but it still provides the handling and performance you would expect from the lightweight two-seater.

The most significant benefit of the Elise Sport is its drop in weight compared to the previous Elise. With that weight loss comes more efficiency and better fuel consumption, plus a price tag that makes the car a bit more affordable. Will the Elise Sport appease newcomers and loyal customers? Well, let’s take a deeper look at the car and see just what it offers.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Lotus Esprit Sport.

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2016 Lotus Elise Sport 220

2016 Lotus Elise Sport 220

Jean-Marc Gales’ arrival at Lotus in May 2014 marked the beginning of a new era for the struggling British manufacturer. Under his leadership, Lotus revamped the Evora, launched a new 3-Eleven, and made big steps toward building its very first SUV. The aging Elise, however, has yet to be redesigned, and according to Gales that won’t happen until 2017. There is some good news for Elise fans though, as the sports roadster has just received a significant update for 2016.

Set to hit the European dealerships in December 2015 and other markets in January 2016, the updated sports car will be sold as the Elise Sport and Sport 220. The models replace the previous Elise and Elise S and mark a return of the "Sport" nameplate on a Lotus after a 16-year hiatus. The previous model to use the moniker was the Esprit, which spawned 300 Sport and Sport 350 versions in 1993 and 1999, respectively.

“We have further refined, distilled and sharpened the driving experience offered by our best selling sports car of the last 20 years, the Lotus Elise. Over the years, with each improvement to the Elise, we have ensured that the purity of the driving experience has been retained and improved upon and with these two new models, we have taken it on to the next level,” said Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus.

The updated Sport 220 is lighter than the previous Elise S and received a number of new features inside and out. Keep reading to find out more about these changes.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Sport 220.

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Lotus Elise Will Return To US, But Not Before 2020

Lotus Elise Will Return To US, But Not Before 2020

There have been a lot of cool European cars that the U.S. has missed out on over the years. Sometimes it’s because the automakers assume we wouldn’t be interested, but sometimes it’s simply because the cars can’t meet our much more strict emissions and/or safety regulations. Such was the case with the Lotus Elise, which was such a low volume model that it received a number of exemptions from the NHTSA in order to be sold here. But those exemptions had time limits, and when they expired, Lotus had to pull the car out of the market.

Now it seems that the Elise will returning to American shores, but not for a little while. Lotus has decided that it would be too difficult and expensive to retrofit the necessary safety equipment, which would include smart airbags as well as side airbags. And not only that, it could add as much as 220 pounds to the car’s weight. So we’ll only be getting the Elise once Lotus brings out a new generation of the car, one that is designed from the outset to meet U.S. safety regulations. That means waiting until 2020, but at least it’ll still happen eventually.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Former Lotus Designer Plans Super Elise

Former Lotus Designer Plans Super Elise

Julian Thomson, the current Advanced Design Director at Jaguar, has recently posted pictures on his Twitter account of a one-off “Super Elise” he hopes to build sometime “soon.”

Thomson is known for penning the stunning Jaguar C-X75 two-seat hybrid hypercar concept, which debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Originally slated for a max run of 250 units at well over a million dollars a pop, production of the C-X75 was canceled in 2012. 

The Englishman was also responsible for the design of the original Series 1 Elise when he was employed by Lotus way back in 1996. Thomson confessed to concessions made with the first iteration of the small sports car: “Whenever I washed my own Elise, I was reminded of things that didn’t turn out quite as I’d have liked and I always wanted to put right.”

In an interview with the UK publication Autocar, Thomson said he wanted the Super Elise to look more “solid and purposeful” than the original design. 

Thomson says the Super Elise is inspired by Singer Porsche 911s. The sketches present a car that’s 30 mm (1.18 inches) lower and between 75 and 100 mm (2.95 and 3.94 inches) wider than the standard Elise. It also has reworked front and rear fascias, with enlarged air intakes up front and a prominent diffuser in the back. Sitting above the rear aero is a large, double exhaust tip placed centrally in the rear bumper. The wheels are bigger as well, with a five-spoke design that fills the wheel wells with purposeful intent. LEDs can be found in the taillights. 

For motivation, Thomson says he’d like to replace the stock Rover and Toyota-sourced engines with a Honda VTEC unit mated to a sequential gearbox, which is a setup similar to that found in the Ariel Atom. 

Continue reading for the full story.

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Evo Reviews Lotus Elise S Cup: Video

Evo Reviews Lotus Elise S Cup: Video

Still struggling to stay afloat after a disastrous 2013, Lotus may need a couple more years to come up with a completely redesigned sports car. Despite that, the Brits have had quite a busy 2015 so far, launching new variations of the Elise and Exige, as well as a significantly updated Evora. The 2015 Elise S Cup is the first of the trio to hit the market, having gone into production back in January. Essentially a road-legal version of the Cup R race car that Lotus launched in 2013, the Elise S Cup looked promising on paper, thanks to its 2,054-pound weight and 217-horsepower, supercharged engine. But how good is this British coupe on the track? That’s a question the folks over at EVO looked to answer in the video above.

To do so, Henry Catchpole took the Elise S Cup to Bedford Autodrome, a Formula 2 championship track in the UK, for the latest episode of EVO Diaries. After putting a few laps in only to discover the car is "blindingly quick" for its 217-horsepower rating, Catchpole took it for a spin on Britain’s narrow roads to find out how it behaves as a daily driver.

Click play to learn more about the new Elise S Cup and watch it in action in this road and track test. Be careful though; this Lotus, which isn’t available in the U.S., might just make you consider moving to Britan to own one.

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2015 Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition

2015 Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition

With the Elise looking as fresh as ever, it’s pretty hard to believe that the model was unveiled approximately two decades ago, in the fall of 1995. Naturally, it has been through a number of extensive refreshes since then, but the current Elise is basically the same car underneath. If the original 1996 model isn’t a testament to the forward thinking of Lotus engineers, then I don’t know what is. The car’s lightness and nimbleness are still widely regarded as benchmarks for mass-produced sports cars, even though more than a few pounds were gained over the years.

Lotus has decided to celebrate the model’s unveiling 20 years ago with a limited edition. Called the Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition, the new model has less weight and a host of extra features, replacing the Elise S Club Racer in the Lotus lineup.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition.

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2015 Lotus Elise S Cup

2015 Lotus Elise S Cup

Launched in 1996 as a rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine roadster, the Lotus Elise replaced the aging Elan in the company’s lineup. Initially powered by a 118-horsepower, 1.8-liter Rover engine, the little roadster weighed only 1,598 pounds and was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds. More powerful iterations, including one that came with 190 horsepower on tap, were released until the first-generation model was replaced in 2001. The second-gen sports car came with revised exterior styling and a refreshed interior, while the Rover engine was dropped in favor of a Toyota-sourced, 1.8-liter four-banger. The second-gen Elise received a mild facelift in 2011, when an entry-level, 1.6-liter unit was introduced for the European market. As we’re moving closer to 2015, Lotus began testing a new version of the Elise on the Nurburgring track and, as it turns out, the Brits have launched yet another iteration of its iconic sports car. Dubbed Elise S Cup, the lightweight coupe is nothing more than a road-legal version of the Cup R race car that was launched in 2013.

In other words, it’s the most powerful road-going Elise ever built and it comes with everything you need for a fun-filled weekend at the races. Check out the full details after the jump.

Updated 01/16/2015: Lotus announced that the all-new Elise S Cup is now officially in production and the company has started to accept orders for it. Also, the company released a new set of high-res images, and we have to admit, that green paint fits it perfectly. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Click past the jump to read about the Lotus Elise S Cup

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Jay Leno Reviews Ronin RS 211: Video

Jay Leno Reviews Ronin RS 211: Video

Jay Leno may have a bunch of crazy cars in his garage, but he definitely misses the world’s craziest and fastest Lotus. The car in question is the Ronin RS 211, a 680-horsepower beast based on the Elise. Well, it’s not really a Lotus anymore given this four-wheeled missile bears only a few Elise parts underneath that carbon-fiber body, but you get my drift.

The supercar you’re about to see in the video above started out as a 2005 Lotus Elise and became what it is today after a Porsche rear-ended it. Although the Lotus was totaled, owner Frank Profera didn’t give up on it and, taking inspiration from the Lotus 2-Eleven, built the insane roadster known as Ronin RS 211. Spectacular to look at, this open-cockpit racer for the road is also insanely powerful and fast. Profera rebuilt the Toyota-sourced, 1.8-liter engine into a twin-turbocharged monster that cranks out 680 horsepower.

How fast is it? Well, let’s say that it can put a lot of modern supercars to shame. And while I’m excited at the thought this machine has 680 ponies traveling to the wheels, what I like most about it are its Can-Am-style rearview mirror and fixed rear wing. I bet Denny Hulme would love to give the Ronin a good hooning at Road America. Meanwhile, let’s watch Jay Leno drive one of the very few cars he can’t actually buy.

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Video: 2005 Lotus Elise review

Video: 2005 Lotus Elise review

Lotus Elise is anything, but a regular car and it appears that this latest review wants to highlight exactly this. The review was made by the guys over "Regular Car Reviews" whom describe the Elise as follow: "if the Lotus Elise was a person, it would be that jerk who eats nothing but fried rice and city chicken, yet never gains a pound."

As a reminder, the Elise is powered by a 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 134 horsepower. This output is enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 128 mph, although the car surely looks like capable of hitting a top speed of 200 mph.

Check out the video to see why they found the Elise a car that fits perfectly your every-day needs, but also why most of the people will envy you and will think you drive a car for the rich people.

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2014 Lotus Elise S Cup R

2014 Lotus Elise S Cup R

Lotus has announced the launch of a new track-only model based on the new Elise S. The new model, which is called the Elise S Cup R, will enter the 2014 Lotus Cup series in different countries around the world. This new race is priced from £39,125 (about $62,700) in Europe and $66,650 in the U.S.

The Elise S Cup R is powered by the same mid-mounted, 1.8-liter 2ZR-FE engine found in the Elise S, but with updates needed for the race track. The engine features a Magnuson R900 supercharger with Eaton TVS technology, and it mates to a six-speed manual gear box as standard. This allows the Elise S Cup R to put down 217 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque — the same as the stock Elise S.

The new Elise S Cup R rides on forged alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Neova tires sized 175/55R16 up front and 225/45R17 on the rear. Lotus also installed a new TCA suspension kit and a new high-performance brake system with twin-piston, fixed aluminum-alloy front brake calipers, 288-by-26 mm (11.3-by-1.02-inch) rotors, and single-piston, sliding rear calipers.

Inside, the Elise S Cup R gets your typical racing equipment, like a roll cage, fire extinguisher, six-point harness, HANS-compliant racing seat, quick-release wheel and a polycarbonate rear window.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lotus Elise S Cup R.

Update 11/12/2013: Lotus has just revealed to us that the Elise S Cup R will be imported to the U.S. at a price just over $66k, though the road-going variant is not available here.

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Video: Mazda MX-5 Shames Supercars in an Interesting Drag Race

Video: Mazda MX-5 Shames Supercars in an Interesting Drag Race

The Mazda MX-5 is a fantastic entry-level sports car. It’s been around so long that you have to treat it with the proper amount of respect.

All things considered, however, it doesn’t have the pace of a Lamborghini Gallardo or even a Lotus Elise.

But if you cleverly manipulate the race; well, that opens up some possibilities, something the MX-5’s power retractable folding hardtop was quick to take advantage of.

The car’s roof setup can go from top-down to top-up in just 12 seconds, giving the car a decisive advantage over the rest of the competition. The simulated rain from Mazda definitely helped, giving the MX-5 five full seconds to get its gears up over the Porsche 911, the next fastest car to get its roof in closed position and down the 1/4-mile track.

It’s a pretty fun video to watch, unless you’re Lotus, who probably didn’t find the whole thing funny. WE definitely giggled like little kids at a fart joke over the poor Lotus…

Click past the jump to read about the Mazda MX-5

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Hennessey Releases Video of the Venom's World-Record 0 to 300 km/h Run

Hennessey Releases Video of the Venom’s World-Record 0 to 300 km/h Run

A few days ago, Hennessey announced that its Venom GT supercar scored another impressive record by accelerating to 300 km/h (186 mph) in just 13.63 seconds. Today, the tuner has unveiled the video as a statement for their previous announcement.

After all, this result shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone considering the impressive specifications of the Venom GT. It is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 V-8 engine, same used in the Corvette ZR1 that delivers up to 1,200 horsepower, depending on the trim level. With a curb weight of 2,685 pounds, the 1,200-horsepower Venom GT will hit a top speed of 275 mph and will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. As expected, such an impressive performance will set you back a nice sum — $950,000.

The test was made at Ellington Airport in Houston, Texas, USA on January 10, 2013.

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Video: Hennessey Venom GT Spyder Delivered to Aerosmith Front Man

Hennessey’s Venom GT coupe is a one of the baddest cars around and is limited to only five units and priced from an amazing $725,000. The Spyder, which was announced a few months after the coupe version, will be also limited to only five units and is a little bit more expensive at $1.1 million.

The first unit has been delivered to Steven Tyler — the lead singer of the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, for those that live under a rock — and today Hennessey has unveiled a video from the delivery. We are not too sure if he only received the car, or if the Latvian model, Jula Lescova, was offered as a bonus, but still the video is a great watch! Of course, you’ll have to try pay attention to the car — it is after all the star of this video! The extracurricular scenery isn’t too bad either…

Let us know in the comments section bellow if you will prefer the car or the model!

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2012 Lotus Nemesis by Ecotricity

2012 Lotus Nemesis by Ecotricity

The Lotus Nemesis was able to shatter the U.K. land speed record for an electric vehicle in September 2012, but many people didn’t even know this vehicle existed. Did Lotus create an electric model while no one was looking?

No, the Nemesis isn’t an all-new electric vehicle built by Lotus in an attempt to rebuild its damaged image. The Nemesis is actually a one-off Lotus Elise converted to electric power by Ecotricity – a Great Britain-based renewable energy company.

Typically, when you think of the electric vehicle, you imagine the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV; you think, a slow and ugly buggy that looks as if the manufacturer built it out of spite rather than to actually sell. Well, first we had Tesla eliminating the ugly and slow stereotypes rather effectively and now you have this Nemesis ripping that stereo type to shreds and stomping it into the ground.

Click past the just to read our full review on the Lotus Nemesis.

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Lotus Nemesis sets new UK electric land-speed record

Lotus Nemesis sets new UK electric land-speed record

While the folks in France are checking out the new rides at the Paris Auto Show, in the UK, people are keeping themselves busy breaking records. A battery-powered Lotus Elise developed by utility company, Ecotricity, has reached an average speed of 151 mph near York today. Behind the wheel was 21-year-old Nick Ponting, who managed to smash the previous record of 137 mph set by a Bluebird Electric in 2000.

The Nemesis completed two runs along Elvington Airfield over a one mile distance, with Nick Ponting breaking the record on the first set of consecutive runs with an average speed of 148 mph. The electric supercar achieved this record with the use of two electric motors that develop a total of 330 HP. This setup also sprints it from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.

Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity said: "This is brilliant. We built the Nemesis to smash the stereotype of electric cars as something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool – and I think we’ve done exactly that today. Hopefully this will further stimulate debate about the future of transport in Britain and how we’ll be getting around when the world runs out of oil. What we’ve been able to demonstrate is that wind-powered cars are not just feasible, but can be a load of fun."

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2013 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

2013 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder

The sleek and sexy Hennessey Venom GT became a successful model in a very short time and Hennessey is hoping to repeat that success with an open top version of the same sports car. The new Hennessey Venom GT Spyder will be offered with a removable top and will only be produced in a limited run of five units, two of which have already been spoken for. Deliveries will begin in Summer 2012 and prices will start from $1.1 million, about $150,000 more than the Coupe’s top version.

The Venom GT Spyder will be powered by the same Chevrolet sourced V8 engine found in the Coupe with an output of 1,200 HP at 6,500 rpm and 1,155 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. Because of the added weight from the removable roof, performance numbers should be a tad bit slower than the Coupe, which sprints from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and to 200 mph in 15.9 seconds, on its way up to a top speed of 275 mph. The engine will more than likely send its power to the rear wheels via a Ricardo 6-speed gearbox and handling will be facilitated by a KW variant three-adjustable coilover suspension.

As far as its design goes, the Venom GT Spyder will start off with the Lotus Elise base and will follow along the same extreme design lines as its Coupe sibling. We imagine it will also feature the same active aero system with adjustable rear wing that will deploy under varying conditions on both the road and racetrack.

"With the hardtop in place, the Venom GT offers a very visceral, raw, driving experience," said Hennessey CEO, Don Goldman. "With the hardtop removed, the wind and the growl of the twin turbo V8 will offer our clients an even greater driving sensation."

The 1,200 HP will make the Venom GT Spyder the most powerful convertible in the world. Will it also be the fastest? We believe it will, but Hennessey will have to keep that 275 mph top speed intact.

UPDATE 06/01/2012: Following the delivery of the first Venom GT Spyder to Steven Tyler, Hennessey has dropped a pretty impressive picture gallery for their Venom GT Spyder. Enjoy!

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DRB-HICOM Suspends Lotus CEO Dany Bahar

DRB-HICOM Suspends Lotus CEO Dany Bahar

Typically the CEOs of big companies stay in the background and just keep the corporate wheels turning. Most CEOs also know that it is typically not a good thing when your name ends up in the papers just as often, if not more often, than the brand you are heading up. Well, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar must have a tough time comprehending the fact that no new is good news for a CEO.

It came to a head whenever DRB-HICOM purchased Proton, Lotus’s parent company, and inherited the Lotus money vacuum in the process. The media then took to speculating about the status of Lotus, given its new owner, and Bahar went on a teenage girl-like rampage via the worst possible medium, Facebook. That post still remains on the company’s page too.

At that point, we started speculating that Bahar’s time with Lotus may be limited, as DRB-HICOM really has no need for a moody CEO that can’t keep his company’s head above water. Apparently, we had our crystal ball working that day, as DRB-HICOM has announced that Bahar has been “temporarily suspended” following an operational review and a full investigation of Bahar’s actions will take place during his suspension. Several executives from DRB-HICOM will take Bahar’s place during his absence.

Well, I have been in the corporate world long enough to know that a “temporary suspension” during an “investigation” typically spell out “you’re fired once we find some dirt.” Rarely does a suspended employee ever return to their original position and few return at all, so we have a feeling that this will ultimately put an end to the drama of Dany Bahar. Looks like TopSpeed’s “Lotus” section is going to be dry for a while… At least until we get word that Dany is now managing a local McDonalds.

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2012 Lotus Elise could be sold as a Caterham

There have been a number of engineers that have worked for Lotus throughout the years and now it seems that some of those ex-employees have joined forces to start a private company at the Hethel Engineering Center. Their plan is to create a new model - name undecided - based on an Elise chassis and powered by a Renaultsport engine/transmission. The most interesting fact is that this new model will be launched under the Caterham name next year.

The new Elise look-alike will featuring unique bodywork and, according to numerous sources, will allow Group Lotus to move forward with its larger, upscale Elise project, while the current model will be turned over to Tony Fernandes and the boys at Caterham.

It is also believed that this will only be the first joint effort between the two companies and that Fernandes will eventually take control of Lotus and run Caterham and Group Lotus as complimentary companies.

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2011 Hennessey Venom GT

2011 Hennessey Venom GT

Hennessey Performance have revealed the official details on the Venom GT supercar. Based on a Lotus Elise, their kit will be limited to only five units, four of which have already being spoken for.

The Venom GT is powered by a supercharged 6.2 liter LS9 V8 engine, same used in the Corvette ZR1, that delivers a total of 725 bhp. And if this is not enough, the tuner will also be offering 1000 bhp and 1200 bhp twin turbo V8 engine variants. With a curb weight of 2,685 lbs, the 1200 HP Venom GT will hit a top speed of 275 mph.

The supercar features lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels, a programmable traction control system, CFD (computational fluid dynamic) tested bodywork, an active aero system with adjustable rear wing, and an adjustable suspension system.

Prices start at $725,000 for the 725 HP variant, and go up to $950,000 for the 1200 HP Big Daddy model.

“Twelve hundred horsepower combined with in a mid-engine chassis that weighs twelve hundred kilos (2,685 lbs) – no other road car and only a handful of race cars can match the power to weight ratio of the Venom GT,” added HPE president and founder, John Hennessey. “It is a driver’s car, a supercar with a soul that will give you as much speed and performance as you dare ask of it.”

UPDATE 07/06/2012: The Hennessey Venom GT headed back to where it all started - the Goodwood Festival of Speed - to show the crowds just how awesome it is! The proof was in the pudding when the Venom GT shot out flames during its run. Check it out by clicking in the video above.

More details on the Hennessey Venom GT after the jump.

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2012 Lotus Elise S

2012 Lotus Elise S

Lotus promised a trio of sports cars occupying their space at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and, next to the new generation Exige S and the Exige R-GT, that promise has been delivered with a new addition to the Elise lineup: the Elise S. This new model will replace the existing Elise SC which just displayed its final hoorah with the special edition Elise SC Final Edition.

The Lotus Elise first appeared about 15 years ago and promised the performance of a supercar, but the fuel economy of a city car. That idea is still going on strong today with a new 1.8 liter super charged engine delivering a total of 217 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. The great thing about the new Elise S is that it has a comparable power output to the Elise SC - it actually has a higher peak torque (184 lb-ft to the SC’s 156 lb-ft) - but it has answered the fuel economy and CO2 emissions issues brought on by the change of regulations.

Want to know more? Hit the jump for details on the Lotus Elise S.

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2011 Lotus Elise SC Final Edition

2011 Lotus Elise SC Final Edition

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.

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Lotus Elise investigated by NHTSA over oil leaks

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.

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Hennessey Venom GT readying for Goodwood Festival of Speed

Hennessey Venom GT readying for Goodwood Festival of Speed

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!

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Lotus' new V8 engine will inspire new four-cylinder

Lotus’ new V8 engine will inspire new four-cylinder

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.

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Lotus drops plans for Elan; Moves forward with other models

Lotus drops plans for Elan; Moves forward with other models

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.

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Lotus goes back to the drawing board with the Elan and Esprit

Lotus goes back to the drawing board with the Elan and Esprit

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.

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2012 Lotus Elise Club Racer

2012 Lotus Elise Club Racer

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.

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2011 Lotus Exige Carbon Fiber by Tecnocraft

2011 Lotus Exige Carbon Fiber by Tecnocraft

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.

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2010 Lotus Elise Concept

2010 Lotus Elise Concept

The next-generation Elise that never made it in showrooms

Sold off to several companies after Colin Chapman’s death in 1982, including General Motors, Lotus ended up under Proton ownership in 1996. Although the British company was still struggling to rebound following two decades of financial hardship, the stability that came with the Proton purchase allowed Lotus to consider redesigning its sports car lineup. Launched in 1996, the Elise was more than 10 years old by 2010 and the company was hoping to offer a redesigned model in 2015. To preview what was supposed to become the Elise Series 4, Lotus introduced the Elise 2015 Concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

Compared to the then-new Series 3 production Elise launched for 2011, the concept was a radical departure styling wise and had a brand-new engine behind the rear seats. It also showcased technology previously unavailable in a Lotus, such as stop/start. On the other hand, the more modern technology made the Elise Concept significantly heavier than the existing model, which made purists rightfully unhappy about the transformation.

Fortunately for them, but obviously unfortunately for the company, the concept sports car never made it into production as Lotus continued to struggle financially and nearly went bankrupt in 2013. The Elise Series 3 soldiered on until 2016 with minor changes and it’s still waiting to get a makeover, which will most likely happen in 2017. With the concept already six years old as of 2016, it’s safe to assume that Lotus no longer wants to put it in production, but it’s a vehicle that deserves some attention for its polarizing design. Also, it’s a good way to understand how Lotus viewed the sports car market back in 2010.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Concept.

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Video: Hennessey Venom GT Goes Full Power

Video: Hennessey Venom GT Goes Full Power

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?

Check out the video to find out.

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Hennessey Venom GT To Be At SEMA

Hennessey Venom GT To Be At SEMA

The insanely wonderful Hennessey Venom GT is coming to SEMA in Las Vegas. The Lotus-bodied, LS9-powered Venom GT is sure to make those Hyundai models and Ford Fiestas quiver in fear.

The Venom GT is a little boy’s dream car. We have all wondered what could happen if we stuffed a massive motor into a small car right? Well, we can now find out. The car was recently in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, but it’s back in the United States for some tweaking in preparation for SEMA.

The Venom GT is powered by a twin turbocharged Chevrolet LS-series aluminum V8 producing 1,200 hp and 1,135 lb-ft torque mated to a 6-speed Ricardo manual transaxle. This supercar will hit a top speed of 200mph and will feature lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels.

Only ten are built every year with a price tag of $850,000.

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Video: 2015 Lotus Elise promo

Video: 2015 Lotus Elise promo

Lotus has unveiled a new promotional video for their future generation Elise sports car sports car that was just unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The new Elise will go on sale in 2015 at a price of $55,000.

The 2015 Elise is powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 320 HP and 330 NM of torque. The engine is mated to the new start-stop technology and will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Top speed is 167 mph.

Lotus CEO, Dany Bahar, said, “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.”

More details are to be revealed at a later date!

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Lotus gives Toyota chief Akio Toyoda his very own Elise

Lotus gives Toyota chief Akio Toyoda his very own Elise

For the longest time, Lotus has been sourcing its power plants from Toyota and recently, the Proton-owned manufacturer gave Toyota boss Akio Toyoda a little token for a partnership that has successfully lasted for years.

Okay, it’s not so much a little token as it is a new car, and a pretty special one at that. Lotus CEO Danny Bahar recently flew to Japan to personally hand over the keys of a brand new Lotus Elise. What’s more, this particular Elise actually comes with the last Toyota-sourced 2ZZ-GE VVTL-I engine to come in a Lotus.

"The presentation of Toyota’s last 2ZZ engine in the Elise is a symbolic gesture of our continued respect and deep appreciation for our partner not only acknowledging our past but also looking forward to our future together," said the Lotus CEO.

The partnership between Lotus and Toyota looks to be stronger than ever with the former bringing a few of its Toyota-powered models – the new Evora S and IPS models - to the Paris Motor Show.

For Toyota’s part, the alliance with Lotus allows the Japanese manufacturer to stamp its imprint on a brand that it thinks pretty highly of. “A Toyota engine in a Lotus car creates a completely unique drive feeling,” said Toyoda.

“It creates a special blend featuring the best of Lotus and Toyota that we hope many car lovers continue to experience and enjoy."

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2010 Lotus Elise SC and Exige S RGB Special Editions

2010 Lotus Elise SC and Exige S RGB Special Editions

Lotus, in cooperation with Roger Becker (former Director of Vehicle Engineering for Lotus), unveiled the Lotus Elise SC and Exige S RGB Special Editions. Both models are the first in a series of special editions that will celebrate the final run of European specification 1.8 liter Elise and Exige sportscars.

The Elise SC RGB Special Edition 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 Lotus Exige S RGB Special Edition gets a supercharged and intercooled 1.8 liter engine with 257 HP and a sprint time of 4 seconds.

Both models will be offered with a choice of four colors: aspen white, starlight black, solar yellow, & carbon grey. The special editions will feature sports and touring packages as standard. They will be distinguished by a numbered interior plaque, Roger Becker’s signature on the side of the bodywork, and special monochrome Lotus nose badge.

“I am honoured that Lotus has named these two special editions after me, especially as it allows me to offer the customer my favourite specifications. The past 44 years have been an incredible journey and I’m looking forward to watching Lotus progress in the future, I have no doubt that the company will continue to go from strength to strength,”
said Roger Becker.

Press release and specifications after the jump.

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First Hennessey Venom GT goes to Middle East customer

First Hennessey Venom GT goes to Middle East customer

Should we be surprised about it? We strongly doubt it! After yesterday’s unveiled images of the production version Hennessey Venom GT, today we find out that someone had the pleasure of driving the chassis 001. The lucky driver was a customer in the Middle East by the name of Al DiMora of DiMora Motorcar.

The Venom GT is based off aLotus Elise and is powered by a twin turbocharged Chevrolet LS-series aluminum V8 producing 1,200 hp and 1,135 lb-ft torque mated to a 6-speed Ricardo manual transaxle (the same as found in the Ford GT). Boasting a dry weight of just 2,548 lbs and a curb weight of 2,685 lbs with a full tank of fuel, the car delivers on its promise of an astounding power-to-weight ratio. This supercar will hit a top speed of 200mph and will feature lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels.

We have to remind you, there will only be 10 units of this vehicle built each year and the first model to go out was purchased for the Venom GT was $850,000.

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Video: Dyno testing the Hennessey Venom GT

Video: Dyno testing the Hennessey Venom GT

It wasnt nearly as long as we had hoped, but this Hennessey produced video of the Venom GT performing a dyno test is about as ear-splittingly joyous as a morning wake ’er-upper can get.

If you’ve just rolled out of your bed, forget coffee. Just plug in your head phones, crank up the volume and click that sideways triangle button. Morning joltness has never sounded more glorious.

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2011 Lotus Elise

2011 Lotus Elise

The English sports car builder Lotus has refreshed their lightweight Elise roadster with a new front end and have revealed the first details on the 2011 Elise facelift. The redesigned sports car is built on top of a new lightweight structure made up of extruded aluminum alloy bonded with epoxy as opposed to traditional welds that add additional mass featuring integral steel seat belt supports and lightweight rear subframe which serves as the centerpiece for the fully independent suspension that utilizes unequal length wishbones, mono tube gas dampers from Bilstein, coil springs from Eibach and a front anti roll bar.

The 2011 Elise will be powered by a 1.6 Liter naturally aspirated water cooled inline four cylinder engine that delivers a total of 134 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six speed gearbox. The combination is good for a 0 to 60 MPH sprint time of 6.7 seconds and is capable of reaching a 124 MPH top speed. The new lightweight Lotus Elise sports car will go on sale this April in U.K. and will be priced at 26,550 GBP.

Updated 04/22/2010: A set of new high res images added to the picture gallery. Check it out!

Press release after the jump.

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Video: 2011 Lotus Elise facelift review

Video: 2011 Lotus Elise facelift review

It’s the British magazine, Autocar, who had the chance - again - to be the first one testing a new sports car. This time we are talking about the 2011 Lotus Elise facelift. Not many changes need to be made to an already close to perfect vehicle, but Lotus did decide to make the Elise look a little more like the Lotus Evora by making the front end a little more narrow. This was done by slightly modifying the nose, hood, and headlights.

The 2011 Elise will be powered by a 1.6 Liter naturally aspirated water cooled inline four cylinder engine that delivers a total of 134 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six speed gearbox. The combination is good for a 0 to 60 MPH sprint time of 6.7 seconds and is capable of reaching a 124 MPH top speed.

Check out the video to see what AutoCar thought about this iconic superstar.

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2011 Lotus Elise Special Edition for Netherlands

2011 Lotus Elise Special Edition for Netherlands

Lotus Elise has just received a facelift for 2011, but before it goes on sale, Netherlands will be the first to get a special edition Elise SC. This is completely unfair in our books. The limited edition Elise comes painted in matte white with details contrasting in black (superhot). The seats receive an embroidered logo and the standard wheels have been replaced by black 12-spoke alloy wheels. Also, the rear diffuser is painted in black.

Under the hood the 4-cylinder engine remains unchanged, meaning 136 HP and a fuel consumption of 5.04 liters/100 km. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in 6.5 seconds.

You know, we can’t seem to understand why everyone else is getting these special edition Lotuses. If you remember, a couple of months ago, Australia received the Lotus Elise Club Racer and last year, the UK received the Lotus Elsie Black and White Edition. Hey Lotus, we want this car too!

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Video: Hennessey Venom GT blasts through British countryside

Video: Hennessey Venom GT blasts through British countryside

Where’s the best place to try and warm up the engine of a high-powered sportscar? Why, the countryside, of course!

Not a lot of car, not a lot of cops, and a lot of open pavement waiting at your disposal. Sounds like a good day to let loose Hennessey’s Venom GT.

In this video released by Hennessey Performance Engineering, we have yet again the Lotus Elise-based Venom GT doing some test runs, this time in a small town near the Silverstone race track in the UK.

Watching - and listening - to the video harks us back to the time when sports cars sounded this piercingly sharp. As the driver pushes the pedal to the ground, you can hear this sharp shriek that on any other thing would sound deplorably horrible; but on a sportscar, it’s music to our ears.

And the best part is, the model used in this video is just the base model of the Venom GT. Imagine what it would be like to have 1,200 horsepower underneath that hood.
Goosebumps.

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Video: Hennessey Venom GT on Top Gear's Test Track

Video: Hennessey Venom GT on Top Gear’s Test Track

The Hennessey Venom GT’s recent debut at the 2010 New York Auto Show was, in some ways, a long time coming. We had to wait a little longer for the car - it was supposed to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, remember? - but upon seeing the Lotus Elise-based sports car, well, the wait was well worth it.

Barely a week after making its world debut, the Hennessey Venom GT is already being tested out by numerous scribes in test tracks all over the world with everyone dying to be the first to test out the car’s supercharged 6.2 liter LS9 V8 engine. Coincidentally, the same engine used in the Corvette ZR1 that delivers a total of 725bhp. If this is not enough, the tuner will also offer 1000 bhp and 1200 bhp twin turbo V8 engine variants. With a curb weight of less than 2,400 lbs, the Venom GT will hit a top speed of 200 mph.

As if on cue, we have the first sighting of the Venom GT being put through the proverbial ringer at the Dunsfold Aerodrome track in Surrey, UK. While there’s no word as to who’s doing the test run for the Venom GT, it’s worth pointing out that the Dunsfold Aerodrome track is the very same race track Top Gear uses for their test runs.

Could this just be a coincidence or could that speck of white we’re seeing actually be none other than The Stig himself.

There’s only one way to find out. Be sure to tune in to the 15th season of Top Gear when it returns in June.

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Hennessey's Venom GT makes for great desktop wallpapers

Hennessey’s Venom GT makes for great desktop wallpapers

‘Official’ may be a little bit of a stretch considering we’ve already seen photos of the car in various spy photos, but nonetheless, Hennessey Performance is using that word to describe the first batch of ‘official’ photos of its highly-anticipated super car, the Venom GT.

In another piece of information that Hennessey has kindly passed along, the American tuning house has announced that only ten Venom GTs will be made each year. So, if you just happen to be one of those that can’t wait to get your paws on one, you’re going to have to act fast because four of the ten that are being made for 2010 have already been scooped up.

As for the rest of us, who will only own a Venom GT in the form of desktop wallpapers, these ‘official’ photos of the Lotus-derived machine is about as close to a God-send as we can get.

We don’t know about you, but we already have ours set up.

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