Although the concept was a sound one, the new Elan came at a bad time for Lotus. Launched in 1989 with a worldwide recession looming, the car had been built using an Isuzu drive train to help reduce costs, but people weren't convinced enough by the front-wheel drive car to let it live far beyond the lean times. Lotus had used a version of its own backbone-style chassis adapted for the new powerplant and it all worked very well. The car had amazing grip and the 98ci (1.6-liter) fuel injected engine revved freely and gave plenty of torque thanks to a water-cooled turbocharger. The body was made via Vacuum-Assisted Resin Injection using a form of glass-fibre, so was very light. A specially designed front suspension wishbone arrangement kept torque steer down to a minimum while at I ho rear lower wishbones and upper transverse links kept the car very flat in cornering.
Lotus Elan (1989) Specifications
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