Seriously guys, I can’t stress this enough, only the likes of Ferraris, Lambos and other supercars turn heads like the range of super-sleek cars from Lotus. Don’t think of Proton (Lotus’ owner) for a minute, the only thing Proton has todo with the new Lotus Elise is funding.
The range from Lotus turns heads and gets attention like nothing else in its price range, its amazing to watch onlookers ogle the car as if they’d just been stabbed in the back of the neck with a screwdriver. Its an attention magnet.
So Lotus has come back with an entry level Elise to cater to those that don’t really crave the acceleration, but love the feel and the look of the Elise, for a very very modest price. Lotus went a little crazy for a while when they dropped the K series engine. But not to worry, Lotus is no longer strapped for cash, thanks for the Malaysian government, and the new Lotus Elise S is one hell of a car.
“The arrival of our new Elise S is good news for lovers of Pure sportscars in Australia. The value for money proposition offered by the car is second to none and takes the wonderful Lotus Elise range back into the heart of the mainstream sportscar market.
We now have a Lotus Elise to tempt the would-be drivers of opposing cars away from the altogether more cosmetic offerings. They now have an opportunity to get back into a car that is the very essence of what, in our view, a real sportscar should be all about!” Jonathan Stretton, Sales & Marketing Manager for Lotus Cars Australia.
Sure its not as fast as its bigger cousins, but 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds isn’t too bad, specially for only $69,990 (excluding dealer delivery and statutory government charges). The Lotus Elise S is powered by a 1.8-litre 134 hp Variable Valve Timing Toyota engine – yes Toyota.
Don’t worry, you don’t buy the Elise S just for the 0-100km/hr time, you buy it because of Lotus’ claim to fame, handling. Lotus’ asked us to find any other sub-$70,000 roadster which can reach 100 km/h in a touch over 6.0 seconds? Lotus used the 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5 which does the dash nearly 2 seconds slower as an example.
Good point lotus, but seriously, if we are going to compare apples to apples, lets put the Lotus Elise S against the likes of Nissan’s 350Z roadster, sure it costs $3,000 more, but when you start going for the 70,000 mark, whats another 3,000? The Nissan 350Z roadster does the 0-100 dash around 0.5 second quicker than the Elise.
Then again, how many 350Zs do you see on the road, and how many Elises do you see on the road? If I was in the market for a roadster with around 70k to spend, I don’t think I could look past the Elise S…. unless of course I couldn’t fit in it! And there lies the biggest problem with the Elise, simply if your taller than 180cm or slightly big boned, you’re going to find it a little hard to comfortably drive this supreme vehicle.
The Elise S comes standard with
- driver and passenger airbags,
- an electronic (drive-by-wire) system
- central locking,
- electric windows
- ProBax seats
Essentially the 2007 Lotus Elise S, is pretty mcuh a Lotus Elise R (previously named Elise 111R), Lotus claims the same thing Porsche has been claiming for the last 30 years, why change the aerodynamic package and an elegant design just for the sake of it?
Hmm whilst its a challenge for the most purest of Porsche fans to differentiate between the thousands of 911 variations, I do agree that if the shape suits the purpose, there is no need to change it, just because you can!If you’re really keen on the Elise S, you can option it out to the max for an additional $8000. The Touring Plus option pack gets you everything form
- leather or suede-effect trimmed ProBax seats,
- an expertly trimmed full carpet set finished with ‘Elise’ embroidered carpet mats,
- a leather gear-knob and a leather handbrake-lever gaiter.
- front driving lamps for supplementary forward visibility
- noise insulation panelling within the cabin and the soft-top reducing sound intrusion into the car.
- An interior stowage net,
- retractable aluminium cup holder and trinket tray divider
- Alpine CD/MP3 audio system
Hmm $8,000 is a bit steep for a aluminum cup holder and some Alpine speakers, but hey, I can’t really say no to the leather sports seats!
Enough about the options and aluminum cop holders, lets get down to the engine, at just 100 kW (134 hp, 136 PS), you have to realize that this car is all about power to weight! Whilst holden is pushing out 300kW+ in its HSV range, the handling, and acceleration is nothing compared to this nimble sports car.
The Elise S puts out its maximum power at near maximum revs of around 6,200 rpm and maximum torque (a respectable 172 Nm, 127 lb.ft) is reached at 4,200 rpm. In other words you really have to rev the living crap out of this car to get the power down. Unlike the S2000 from Honda, this little Toyota engine won’t go past 6,800 rpm, if you try you will be blinded by a bright red LED “change-up light” which reminds you that you’re about to void your warranty.
So 100kW isn’t too bad if you take into account the Elise’s weight, only 860 kg. This makes the Lotus Elise S not just one of the lightest fully sportscars in the world, but also one of the lightest cars in the world, period!The Lotus Elise S is priced at $69,990 and is available now!