Few people in the early 1990s expected the floundering UK-based Lotus to come up with such a impressive car. The company wowed everyone with the debut of the handsome Elise at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Germany in 1995, the theory behind the design being pure Lotus, in that it had to be lightweight with an emphasis on handling and performance. The stark nature of the interior helped get the Elise down to an incredibly low 1600lb (725kg). It also stayed slim by utilizing aluminium alloys wherever possible, including brake discs and uprights. The Elise team were clever in other areas too, using an extruded aluminium chassis made in sections and bonded together, as opposed to welding. Power came from Rover's compact K-series engine, again all-alloy and with remarkable output, particularly torque, from its ll0ci (1.8 liters).
Lotus Elise Specifications
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