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Future models - Lotus - Elise - convertible

Cool change for Lotus Elise

Style aggressor: The new Lotus Elise is more aggressively styled than the current car. But perhaps more importantly, air-conditioning will be available for the first time.

Lotus Cars Australia announces details about the new, more practical Elise

22 Aug 2001

LOTUS Cars Australia has announced pricing and specification of the new Elise that goes on sale here late this year.

The newcomer - which is said to benefit from nearly 900 improvements - is priced from $84,990, a substantial increase on the outgoing model's $73,000 pricetag.

One of the key upgrades in the new model is the availability of air-conditioning, but this involves the outlay of an extra $5000. Local dealers are presently taking orders for air-conditioned cars for delivery in 2002.

Lotus says the new Elise is much easier to get in and out of as the side sill is lower and the door post has been moved forward by 40mm. The operation of the roof is also said to be much simpler.

A few tweaks to the engine mean power is up from 88kW to 89kW. But more importantly, it produces lower emissions (it meets Euro 3 norms, required in Australia by 2004) and is claimed to be more flexible and better sounding.

The all-new composite body is said to have a super-smooth finish and it is also thinner to save weight. In addition, its aerodynamics are improved resulting in more down-force at the rear.

Lotus says it has redeveloped the suspension around special compound and construction Bridgestone tyres with the objective of providing a smoother transition into oversteer when the grip limit is exceeded.

Ride quality is also said to benefit from new Bilstein shock absorbers, specially developed for the car.

Practicality levels - never a strong point of the Elise - are slightly improved by a larger boot that offers 115 litres of luggage space.

Standard features in Australian-spec cars include colour-coded mirrors, tyre inflator, passenger footrest, radio fitting kit with two speakers, front mudflaps and protection film for areas vulnerable to stone chips.

It will be offered in a choice of two standard colours - Calypso Red or black.

In standard trim, the car is equipped with rubber floor mats and cloth trim seats, as is presently the case.

But customers can upgrade and customise their cars by choosing from an extensive list of options, including metallic paint, pearlescent paint, Alcantara trim, leather trim, steel floor and carpets.

An optional Race Tech Pack that adds $7000 to the cost can also be specified.

The pack includes the following options:
  • Auxiliary high beam driving lights
  • Cross-drilled vented brakes
  • Black painted brake callipers, unpainted grey aluminium
  • Lightweight central divider
  • Steel blue floor covering
  • Alarm
  • Alcantara seat trim, with carbon fibre look side finishes
  • Alcantara covered steering wheel boss centre
  • Alcantara screen panel
  • Alcantara door trim panels
  • Leather and aluminium gear knob
  • Polished heater knobs
  • Polished handbrake sleeve
  • Polished window winders
  • Luggage hold-all, in black
Lotus says the total value of these options is $7739 if ordered individually.

An $8000 Sports Tourer Option Pack is also offered, which shares most of the items in the Race Tech Pack, but some of the features are more comfort-oriented.

The blue steel floor is replaced by a fully carpeted interior and leather trim replaces the more sporty Alcantara trim items.

A polished aluminium gear knob replaces the leather and aluminium gear knob fitted to the Race Tech Pack cars.

The audio side is also upgraded through the fitting of the four-speaker sound system and a high quality Alpine radio/CD unit.

Individually, the total value of these options amounts to $8718.

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