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Elise joins the power elite

Lotus blossoms: Lotus has introduced two new variants of the Elise offering superior performance and handling.

Lotus enthusiasts will revel in two new high-performance variants of the pocket-rocket Elise

18 Jun 1999

LOTUS has introduced a pair of high-performance variants of the Elise aimed at enthusiasts seeking supercar levels of acceleration and handling.

The Elise Sport and Elise Sport R use the same fundamentals as the base model - already a capable performer - but engine and suspension refinements ensure performance is raised to new levels.

The Elise Sport, which costs $75,588, a premium of $5669 over the standard version, is based on the car driven to third place in the Targa Tasmania by Paul Stokell earlier this year.

Its upgrades are focused primarily on the suspension, with stiffer front and rear springs, competition Koni gas shock absorbers and a stiffer adjustable front anti-roll bar.

In addition, scaling of each individual wheel corner weight enables the mass to be distributed evenly. This can be done with the driver, or driver and navigator, as the case may be.

Engine modifications are kept to a minimum with a low-restriction air filter and sports exhaust the only changes.

These upgrades raise power output by 3kW and result in a six-kilo weight saving.

An additional $10,394 buys the $85,982 Elise Sport R which offers a useful boost in straight-line performance.

The biggest difference is an engine that generates 101kW, compared to the standard car's output of 88kW.

The power increase is the result of a modified cylinder head and inlet manifold, along with several other tweaks.

Lotus claims the Sport R can accelerate from standstill to 100km/h in a breathtaking 5.1 seconds, making it quicker than a Porsche 911 over the same increment.

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