New models - Lotus - Elise
First look: Elise 111 sexy but exy
Lotus adds even hotter versions of the Elise, but they will cost you more as well
2 Jul 2002
By BRUCE NEWTON
LOTUS Cars Australia will bolster its stocks with the launch of two hot new Elise variants, the 111 and the 111S, as soon as September.
Although promising acceleration in the supercar league, the two new track-oriented variants of the minimalist sports car also command a pricetag close to $100,000, compared to the standard car's $79,990 price.
The major mechanical difference between the standard Elise and the 111 and 111S is that a developed version of the Rover K-Series VVC 1.8-litre powerplant is now mid-mounted transversely in the engine bay.
In this guise it develops 116kW at 5500rpm and 175Nm between 3500rpm and 4650rpm. The standard Elise produces 89kW and 165Nm.
Lotus claims a 0-100km/h dash time of 5.3 seconds for the 111, compared to the standard car's 5.7 second time. The 111 also passes 160km/h in 14 seconds and races on to a top speed of 212km/h.
Lotus is also claiming emission levels and fuel consumption have been improved from the standard Elise.
Other mechanical modifications include revised gearing, a three-element diffuser for improved aerodynamic performance, a stainless steel exhaust system and new eight-spoke alloy wheels.
Lotus Cars Australia proudly points out that the 111, which retails for $94,990, comes standard with air-conditioning, but there's very little else in the way of comfort features offered standard.
Even LCA admits the 111S is the value for money choice, even thought at $99,990 it is the most expensive Elise. It includes among its added features cross-drilled brakes, auxiliary driving lights, an alcantara or leather trim pack and remote activated alarm.
LCA is hoping to sell 50 Elises in 2002. To the end of May it had sold 17, plus two Exiges. Import of the V8 Esprit has stopped with just one car left to sell.
The company also handles Morgan sales in Australia and is about to deliver its first car, a +8, to a customer.
Ten cars have been sold since the relaunch last year, but ADR homologation for traditional models has only just been achieved. The new generation Aero 8 is yet to be approved for local sale.
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