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by George Skentzos

The new-look 2011 Lotus Elise has been formally introduced into the Australian market, boasting a number of enhancements and a new engine.

The entry model Lotus Elise has dropped the ‘S’ and gains a new high performance 1.6-litre engine mated to a new six-speed close ratio manual gearbox – also a first for the Elise.

The Toyota-sourced 1.6-litre 1ZR-FAE engine develops peak power of 100kW – identical to the previous 1.8-litre engine – and peak torque of 160Nm at 4400rpm, with the rev limiter kicking in at 7000rpm.

This new combination also grants the 2011 Lotus Elise the title of the lowest emissions petrol high performance sports car in the world, emitting just 149g/km of CO2.

Fuel economy for the new engine stands at just 6.14 litres/100km on the combined cycle, meaning the 2011 Lotus Elise is also exempt from the government’s Luxury Car Tax.

Despite its green credentials, the base Elise still manages zero to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 204km/h, largely thanks to its 876kg kerb weight.

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive of Group Lotus said, “The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sports car when it was launched 14 years ago and now the Lotus Elise has become greener, giving drivers access to class-leading performance with less guilt.”

Every model in the Elise range uses high performance AP Racing callipers at the front and Brembo callipers at the rear offering exceptional braking performance, matched with a track-tuned ABS system that is designed to be unobtrusive under normal driving conditions.

New options are also available for the Elise line-up, with cruise control included for the first time with the Touring Pack along with rear parking sensors, forged alloy wheels and a sports exhaust system for the 1.6-litre model which adds 5kW.

Lotus has also increased the warranty on the Elise from two years to three years and 60,000km.

The first new-look Lotus Elise model will premiere in Australia in supercharged Elise SC form, with the first shipment due in July 2010, shortly followed by the new 1.6-litre Lotus Elise, starting from the same $69,990 recommended retail price.




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