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Lotus Elite

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite
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  • Lotus Elite
  • Year:
    1958- 1963
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    4-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    95 @ 5100
  • Energy:
    Two Weber 40 DCOE carbs
  • Displacement:
    1216 cc
  • Price:
    120000
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Usually, when you think about Lotus founder Colin Chapman, the first thing that comes to mind is innovation. It’s easy to see why as that was the business Chapman was in, the brilliant designer always looking for ways to improve his cars’ performance – usually at the cost of reliability and even safety. This philosophy was carried over when Chapman decided he should start building road cars. The first one, named the Elite (Type 14), was a small but competent two-seater which was, sadly, pulled down by certain choices made in the design department, which meant that the overall quality of the car was not quite deserving of the its own name.

It’s obvious that when you employ a number of innovations into a new product, for example the glass-reinforced-plastic monocoque, it’s bound to take off the ground somewhat harder. The trouble is that some of the Elite’s flaws carried on all the way towards the end of production which ceased in 1963. At that time, little over 1,000 had been produced, but Lotus saw the potential of dropping the GRP monocoque design and returning to a more traditional body-on-chassis construction for the Elite’s follow-up, the Elan. That marked the end of the original Elite’s lifespan but the name would be later revived, although its use for a 2+2 grand tourer always struck as somewhat peculiar.

Away from the road, the Elites featured prominently in circuit racing, both at club and professional level. This comes as no surprise considering that Lotus was heavily involved in racing and used certain Formula 2 components in the building process of the Elite. The car was so good in fact that it won its class at Le Mans no fewer than six times, adding to countless other victories all across the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elite.

 

Latest Lotus Elite news and reviews:

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite

1958 - 1963 Lotus Elite

Usually, when you think about Lotus founder Colin Chapman, the first thing that comes to mind is innovation. It’s easy to see why as that was the business Chapman was in, the brilliant designer always looking for ways to improve his cars’ performance – usually at the cost of reliability and even safety. This philosophy was carried over when Chapman decided he should start building road cars. The first one, named the Elite (Type 14), was a small but competent two-seater which was, sadly, pulled down by certain choices made in the design department, which meant that the overall quality of the car was not quite deserving of the its own name.

It’s obvious that when you employ a number of innovations into a new product, for example the glass-reinforced-plastic monocoque, it’s bound to take off the ground somewhat harder. The trouble is that some of the Elite’s flaws carried on all the way towards the end of production which ceased in 1963. At that time, little over 1,000 had been produced, but Lotus saw the potential of dropping the GRP monocoque design and returning to a more traditional body-on-chassis construction for the Elite’s follow-up, the Elan. That marked the end of the original Elite’s lifespan but the name would be later revived, although its use for a 2+2 grand tourer always struck as somewhat peculiar.

Away from the road, the Elites featured prominently in circuit racing, both at club and professional level. This comes as no surprise considering that Lotus was heavily involved in racing and used certain Formula 2 components in the building process of the Elite. The car was so good in fact that it won its class at Le Mans no fewer than six times, adding to countless other victories all across the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elite.

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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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2014 Lotus Elite

2014 Lotus Elite

Lotus’ plan of reinventing its brand after years of mediocrity is looking less and less like wishful thinking after the company officially released initial details of their future hybrid supercar, the 2014 Elite.

It’s been widely known that the British sports car maker is aggressively pushing to remake their entire portfolio to cater to a more upper echelon consumer base and if everything goes according to plan, the 2014 Elite should be the first of many aggressively designed sports cars the company is looking to introduce to the market.

Word has it that the Elite will be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces around 500-plus horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of just under 200 mph at 196 mph. If these numbers are anywhere close to what the production version of the Elite will be capable of, then you can expect the supercar, with the aggressive backing of the company, to be a player in a market long dominated by the likes of Aston Martin, Audi and Porsche. Even the car’s expected price tag - £115,000 – is right up there with the Porsches of the world.

As for the new – and aggressive – design of the car, the man behind it, designer Donato Coco, left no stones unturned in giving the Elite a more aggressive approach by adding some depth to the car’s front fascia. As somebody who noted the two-dimensional looks of prior Lotus vehicles, Coco’s design of the Elite is about as good as it can get for a brand looking to be edgier and more upscale that what its previous reputation suggests.

Updated 10/13/2010: Lotus revealed today new images of the future Elite sports car. Check them out!

Updated 12/22/2010: Lotus has revealed some new studio photos of the Elite. Check them out in the gallery!

Press Release after the jump

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Video: Jay Leno reviews the Hennessey Venom GT

When it comes to the Hennessey Venom GT people have heard a lot, read a lot, and seen lots of images, but there are only a few people around the world who will actually have the chance to see or even drive it. Jay Leno, of course, is one of those people that will have the pleasure of being in the Venom GT’s presence.

In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the star was able to get comfy cozy with none other than the Venom GT. Accompanying the sports car to Leno’s stage was Joan Hennessey, who tries to explain the technology behind this amazing car, and the decision to base it on a Lotus Elite and not on a Dodge Viper as most of us expected. Of course, Jay Leno couldn’t resist the temptation to show everyone what the car is capable of on the track, a place that seems to be the perfect place for a car like Venom.

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Video: 2014 Lotus Elite convertible promo

Video: 2014 Lotus Elite convertible promo

We have already reported that Lotus is preparinga convertible version for the 2014 Elite sports car, but today we actually get to see every angle of the beautiful vehicle, including the clean hardtop as it tucks itself away neatly behind the rear seats, and the 2+2 coach cabin.

This is Lotus’ first promotional video for the vehicle set to take on models like the Ferrari California, Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster, andAston Martin DB9 Volante.

As with the coupe model, the future drop top Elite will be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces around 542 HP with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. An R version will develop an amazing 612 HP. The 2014 Lotus Elite convertible will also be offered with F1 inspired technologies like KERS as well as a twin-clutch transmission that help improve fuel consumption. The hybrid will offer emissions as low as 215 g/km.

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Lotus prepares to blow the roof off the Elite

Lotus prepares to blow the roof off the Elite

Now that Lotus has unveiled its new design direction at the Paris Auto Show, the British manufacturer is ready to dish out a serving of the buffet they have prepared.

The specific model that is to serve as an appetizer to whet our appetites is a drop top version of the Lotus Elite sports car set to compete with models like the Ferrari California, Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster, and Aston Martin DB9 Volante.

The car is a long way away from becoming a prototype, but it is already rumored that the roof will be made of a combination of metal and glass. This will allow lots of light to enter the cabin when the hood is in place, but will facilitate keeping the overall weight down. The top will be fully electric and will tuck into a space behind the rear passenger seats.

Like with the coupe version, the future roadster will be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces around 542 HP with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. An R version will develop an amazing 612 HP.

The new model will be priced at £115,000 ($180,000 at the current exchange rates) and should go on sale in 2014.

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Rendering: Lotus Elite Track Version

Rendering: Lotus Elite Track Version

A few days ago, Lotus released the initial details of their future hybrid supercar, theLotus Elite. Being since this is one of the first cars Lotus has introduced as part of their brand reinvention, it comes as no surprise that artists have already taken the vehicle to the next level by providing us with a rendering of what the Lotus Elise would look like if it was bound for the track. Maybe even a trip to LeMans.

This rendering takes the supercar to the next level by providing it with what looks like touches of carbon fiber throughout the length of the car, more than likely to help reduce the car’s weight. New side vents have also been added, as well as a new hood vent to help cool down the engine. This photo also shows a new front grill, rear spoiler, and side skirts. The yellow from the standard model’s brake calipers has been extended to dual yellow stripes going down the car’s bonnet.

The standard Lotus Elite comes powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces around 500-plus horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed of just under 200 mph at 196 mph. We would obviously expect the track version of the Elite model to produce slightly higher numbers than these.

Rendering Credit: Jack Darton

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