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Lotus Elise

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Elise
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Lotus Elise

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Hennessey Venom GT

Page Sections
History
Photographs
2005 Specifications
Article Index
A sports car produced by Lotus

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Lotus Elise page on 6 September 2019, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Lotus Elise is a two-seat, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined roadster conceived in early 1994 and released in September 1996 by the British manufacturer Lotus Cars. The Elise has a fibreglass body shell atop its bonded extruded aluminium chassis that provides a rigid platform for the suspension, while keeping weight and production costs to a minimum. It is capable of speeds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). The Elise was named after Elisa Artioli, the granddaughter of Romano Artioli who was chairman of Lotus and Bugatti at the time of the car's launch.

Series 1

The 1996 Lotus Elise weighed 725 kg (1,598 lb). Because of this low weight, it was able to accelerate 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.8 seconds despite its relatively low power output of 118 bhp (88 kW; 120 PS). Braking and fuel consumption are also improved by the car's reduced weight. Cornering is helped by a low center of gravity height of 470 mm (18½").

Series 1 was designed by Julian Thomson, then head of design at Lotus, and Richard Rackham, Lotus's chief engineer.

Besides the standard higher-performance variants listed below, Lotus also released some limited edition models such as Sport 135 (1998/9) with approx 145 bhp (108 kW; 147 PS), Sport 160 (2000) with 150–160 bhp (112–119 kW; 152–162 PS), and Sport 190 (190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS)). These were more competent on track with sports suspension, wheels and tyres, seats according to model. There were other special editions such as the 50th Anniversary Edition (green/gold) celebrating 50 years of Lotus cars, the Type 49 ("Gold Leaf" red and white two-tone), and Type 79 ("JPS" black/gold) which refers to its successful Grand Prix car type numbers.

Series 2

The Series 1 could not be produced beyond the 2000 model production year due to new European crash sustainability regulations, so Lotus needed a development partner to meet the investment requirement for a Series 2 car. General Motors offered to fund the project, in return for a badged and GM-engined version of the car for their European brands, Opel and Vauxhall.

The Series 2 Elise, announced on 9 October 2000, was a redesigned Series 1 using a slightly modified version of the Series 1 chassis to meet the new regulations, and the same K-series engine with a brand new Lotus-developed ECU. The design of the body paid homage to the earlier M250 concept, and was the first Lotus to be designed on a computer.

Both the Series 2 Elise and the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX220 were built on the same production line, in a new facility at Hethel. Both cars shared many parts, including the chassis, although they had different drive-trains and power-plants. The VX220 carried the Lotus internal model identification Lotus 116, with the code name Skipton for the launch 2.2N/A version and Tornado for the 2004 introduced 2.0 L Turbo. Fitted with 17 inch over the Elise's 16 inch front wheels, the Vauxhall/Opel version ceased production in late 2005 and was replaced by the Opel GT for February 2007, with no RHD version for the United Kingdom.

Series 3

In February 2010, Lotus unveiled a facelifted version of the second generation Elise. The new headlights are now single units; triangular in shape they are somewhat larger than the earlier lights. The cheapest version in Europe had a 1.6 litre engine to comply with Euro 5 emissions, with the same power output as the earlier 1.8 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp). The 1.8 litre Elise comes standard with a Magnuson R900 supercharger making 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp). The 1.6 litre version was discontinued in 2018.

The 2011 model was the last offered for street legal sale in the United States when the waiver from the United States Government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for Lotus to build and sell cars in the US without smart airbags expired in August 2011. It was also the only Elise to use the Toyota 2ZZ-GE engine in the 2011 model year.


Photographs

2005 Lotus Elise Subject:  2005 Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Schaumburg Bank & Trust Car Show
View photo of 2005 Lotus Elise - 3.8MB
2005 Lotus Elise Subject:  2005 Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Schaumburg Bank & Trust Car Show
View photo of 2005 Lotus Elise - 3.8MB
2005 Lotus Elise Subject:  2005 Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Schaumburg Bank & Trust Car Show
View photo of 2005 Lotus Elise - 2.5MB
2005 Lotus Elise Subject:  2005 Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Schaumburg Bank & Trust Car Show
View photo of 2005 Lotus Elise - 3.7MB
2005 Lotus Elise Subject:  2005 Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Schaumburg Bank & Trust Car Show
View photo of 2005 Lotus Elise - 3.6MB
2005 Lotus Elise Subject:  2005 Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 Schaumburg Bank & Trust Car Show
View photo of 2005 Lotus Elise - 4.5MB
Lotus Elise Subject:  Lotus Elise owned by Derrick Rowe
View photo of Lotus Elise - 566KB
Lotus Elise Subject:  Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2004 Chicago Auto Show
View photo of Lotus Elise - 834KB
Subject:  Lotus Elise
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2009 Nostalgia Auto Show
View photo of Lotus Elise - 3,910KB
Lotus Elise at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show Subject:  Lotus Elise
Photographer:  John Walczak
Event:  2010 Chicago Auto Show
View photo of Lotus Elise at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show - 2.1MB


2005 Specifications

DrivetrainMR
Engine TypeI4
ValvetrainDOHC 16-valve
Redline6600 rpm
Horsepower190 @ 7800 rpm
Torque138 lb.-ft. @ 6800 rpm
Power/Weight Ratio10.2 lb. per hp
Transmission6-speed manual
First Gear3.12:1
Second Gear2.05:1
Third Gear1.48:1
Fourth Gear1.17:1
Fifth Gear0.92:1
Sixth Gear0.82:1
Axle Ratio4.53:1
MPH/1000 RPM (First Gear)5.1
MPH/1000 RPM (Second Gear)7.8
MPH/1000 RPM (Third Gear)10.7
MPH/1000 RPM (Fourth Gear)13.6
MPH/1000 RPM (Fifth Gear)17.4
MPH/1000 RPM (Sixth Gear)19.5
0-60 MPH (C/D 7/04)4.4 sec.
0-100 MPH (C/D 7/04)12.0 sec.
0-120 MPH (C/D 7/04)20.5 sec.
1/4 Mile (C/D 7/04)13.2 sec. @ 104 mph
Rolling 5-60 MPH(C/D 7/04)5.8 sec.
Top Gear 30-50 MPH (C/D 7/04)7.7 sec.
Top Gear 50-70 MPH (C/D 7/04)8.2 sec.
Top Speed (C/D 7/04)140 mph
dBA at Idle (C/D 7/04)58
dBA at Full Throttle (C/D 7/04)93
dBA at 70 MPH (C/D 7/04)80
EPA Fuel Economy26 city/38 highway
(C/D 7/04) Fuel Economy (800 mile trip)23


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
8 June 2011Lotus Cars Ltd. Receipt of Petition for Renewal of Temporary Exemption From the Advanced Air Bag Requirements of FMVSS No. 208Federal Register: NHTSA (Christopher J. Bonanti)
8 November 2013Alfa 4C vs Lotus Elise S - How The Stats Compare Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
2 October 2015Lotus Elise S2 Review Matthew Hubbard, Speedmonkey
8 January 2016Yes I Am Selling My Lotus And Here's Why Matthew Hubbard, Speedmonkey


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