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.

  • 2012 Lotus Elise S
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Lotus-designed supercharged I-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed gearbox
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    217 @ 6800 rpm
  • Torque @ RPM:
    184 @ 4600 rpm
  • Displacement:
    1800 L
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2012 Lotus Elise S Exterior
- image 416572

Much like the new design of the Exige S, the Lotus Elise S gets smoother lines to clean up its look. The front grille has been modified to add a little aggression, while also providing an uninterrupted line across the front of the vehicle. Head towards the middle of the car and we’ll find a standard black soft-top roof going back towards the optional new rear diffuser with a silver anodized finish.

Overall width (door mirrors excluded) 1719 mm
Overall width (door mirrors included) 1850 mm
Overall height – midladen (as per unladen with 2x 75 kg occupants) 1117 mm
Overhang – front 783 mm
Overhang – rear 702 mm
Ramp Angle – front 13.5 degrees
Ramp Angle – rear 23 degrees
Ground clearance – midladen (as per unladen with 2x 75 kg occupants) 130 mm
Vehicle mass – unladen (running order, full tank of fuel, no occupants, no luggage) TBC
Weight distribution Front: 38%; Rear: 62%
Drag Coefficient 0.41
Aerodynamic balance at 160 km/h (100 mph) 5 kg front; 7 kg rear


2012 Lotus Elise S Exterior
- image 416571

For the interior, the new Elise S offers standard lightweight aluminum passenger footrest, a black plain/perforated leather steering wheel, a black leather gear lever gaiter, a polished aluminum gear knob and handbrake sleeve, and an engine start push button.

In addition to the new features, there will also be three packages available:

Touring Pack

  • Leather ProBaxTM seats
  • Padded leather door panels
  • Perforated leather door inserts
  • Leather trimmed center console
  • Black perforated leather handbrake lever gaiter
  • Black carpet mats with embroidered Elise logo
  • Noise insulation paneling
  • Auxiliary driving lights
  • iPod* stereo connection
  • Trinket tray divider and cup holder
  • Cruise control

Sport Pack

  • Bilstein Sports Dampers
  • Silver 14-spoke forged wheels
  • ProBaxTM sports seats

Black Style Pack

  • Black wheels
  • Black rear diffuse


2012 Lotus Elise S Exterior
- image 416562

The new Lotus Elise S delivers a similar power output to the outgoing Elise SC using a Lotus-designed supercharged 1.8 L I-4 engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox with constant mesh helical gears and an open differential. This engine puts out 217 HP at 6800 rpm and a peak torque of 184 lb-ft at 4600 rpm, the star of the show being the increased torque (up from the SC’s 156 lb-ft of torque). Unfortunately,the performance specs, fuel economy, and CO2 emissions are not available at this time, but we’ll provide an update as soon as this information becomes available. As of right now, Lotus has ensured that the fuel economy and CO2 emissions have been improved.

The Elise S will be equipped with a fully independent suspension utilizing unequal length wishbones, a Bilstein mono-tube gas damper, Eibach coaxial coil springs at each corner, and a front anti-roll bar. Also, like with the Exige S, the new Elise S will be equipped with the Lotus DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) switch which allows the driver to alternate between three driving modes: Touring, Sport, and DPM off.

Dynamic Performance Management (DPM)

  •  Corner Brake Control (CBC)
  •  Drag Torque Control (DTC)
  •  Electronic Differential Lock (EDL)
  •  Traction Control System (TCS)
  •  Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  •  Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)*
  •  Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)*
  •  Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)*
  •  Understeer Recognition

All apart from * can be completely switched off.


Prices for the new Elise S will be announced at a later date, but we imagine the price tag should read somewhere close to the $55,000 found on the outgoing Elise SC.


2012 Lotus Elise S Exterior
- image 416670

With the new updates, the Lotus Elise S has finally become a serious competitor for models like the Audi TTS. That being said, the Audi TTS boasts of a 2.0 L TFSI engine that can crank out 272 HP, which leaves the 217 HP from the Elise S in the dust, but the Elise S will probably weigh in close to 1931 lbs of the standard Elise which is significantly lighter than the 3219 lb Audi TTS. Bottomline: We’ll have to wait for Lotus to reveal performance numbers to properly compare the Elise S to the Audi TTS.

2012 Lotus Elise S Exterior
- image 416575
  • Leave it
    • Competition is still more powerful
    • No performance figures as of yet
    • No fuel economy and emissions figures as of yet
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  (488) posted on 02.3.2012

2012 Lotus Elise S looks great with its exterior design, and I love the color combination. It is amazing that this car offers three different packages for the interior. This is a well-designed car made by Lotus. 

  (502) posted on 12.29.2011

It is already looking great on its sleek body paint. And with its Lotus-designed supercharged I-4 that delivers 217@6800 rpm is quite good enough for it.

  (399) posted on 12.28.2011

The red color is very hot, and appealing to the eye; the aggressive outlook of the exterior design described the strong characteristic of the car.

  (427) posted on 12.27.2011

If you see this car in the side view the car is too short, then the other race car. This style is good for the race track because its light weight and have a great performance.

  (1211) posted on 12.26.2011

I love this car. This is still in the market? I want to have this a kind of a car. The style and the design was really impressive.

  (647) posted on 12.23.2011

This car is fully independent suspension utilizing unequal length wishbones. I like the combination color of rims and the body and also the hood.

  (498) posted on 12.19.2011

Lotus Elise S has an improved physical appearance that everyone will dream to have this kind of car. I like this car, I think this car is perfect for my personality.

  (577) posted on 12.16.2011

Lotus Elise S is like a Lamborghini car. However, this car is fully independent suspension utilizing unequal length wishbones. I like the combination color of rims and the body even its hood.

  (342) posted on 12.13.2011

It looks so alive on its frontal design, especially on its headlight! I also love the shape and the dimension of its front grille and exhaust system, which truly looks cool on it. Moreover, I hope that its engine is really good enough on it.

  (197) posted on 12.13.2011

It will surely a complete packaged for this Elise if they use a better engine on it. V12 could truly give a nice and remarkable speed on this vehicle. However, I must say that I really admire its lovely appearance.

  (368) posted on 12.6.2011

Well, I hope that its Lotus-diesel supercharged could really give a nice and impressive figure performance on this Elise. Anyway, I have to agree that it looks great on its perfect dimension on with its style.

  (398) posted on 12.4.2011

Well, I would still prefer to have an Audi TTS than with this Elise. Sure, it is really a good-looking and a very noticeable vehicle, there is no doubt on that, but I noticed that Audi TTS can offer a more efficient engine than with this one.

  (517) posted on 12.2.2011

Yeah! I have to agree with that. It is so sad to know that they didn’t justify the fact that it is a sports vehicle. Anyway, when will really be its market production?

  (399) posted on 12.1.2011

It is a sports car right? Well, I don’t think that its engine output will be good enough for it. It’s too weak on that. Obviously, they should really need to boost it more so it will be more impressive on this vehicle.

  (428) posted on 11.22.2011

The front design of this Elise is really looking so cute and even its side rim is very cool either! However, I’m not satisfied with its engine that can only deliver an output of 217 horsepower.

  (473) posted on 11.20.2011

Elise S is really looking so cool on its exterior detailing, but I would still prefer to have an Audi TTS than on this. Furthermore, I also noticed that its engine output is not really impressive at all.

  (676) posted on 11.15.2011

Elise is truly very attractive on its platform and styling and most specifically on its sleek body paint. I just only hope that its engine could really be good enough on it.

  (302) posted on 10.6.2011

Yeah! I have to agree that this is the best masterpiece of Lotus. It’s the most good-looking car that they produced and I will surely wait for the market production of this even its debut.

  (248) posted on 10.3.2011

Elise S is one of the most good looking convertible car that I saw today. smiley And it is already looking great on its sleek body paint. And with its Lotus-designed supercharged I-4 that delivers 217@6800 rpm is quite good enough for it.

  (595) posted on 09.30.2011

The platforms look so impressive and cute, and I agree that the front of this car is so fabulous smiley. I want to see this in person. I can’t wait for the market production of it. I love it more when I noticed that it also had a powerful engine.

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