1 Dec 2001
By CHRIS HARRIS
The second-generation Elise was a complete restyle inside and out.
It was devised specifically for (eventual) sale in the United States, and so was made stronger, safer and slightly more comfortable. But it was essentially the same fabulous two-seater sports car convertible.
As the Elise 111R released here from February 2004, it would offer luxuries like airbags, air-conditioning and leather upholstery as well as Toyota’s 141kW/181Nm 1.8-litre twin-cam 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder screamer tied to a six-speed manual gearbox.
But all other Mk2 Elise models released in Australia from late ’01 offered variations of the Rover K-series 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine.
Again the base Elise’s was an 88kW/165Nm unit, while its variable-valve timed 111 and 111S from September 2002 boasted 116kW and 175Nm.
From August ’03 a well-equipped Elise S model arrivedIn late 2008 a supercharger has enabled Lotus to create its fastest Elise ever.
The super-light light was already pretty quick thanks to a high-revving 1.8-litre Toyota four-cylinder, but that wasn’t enough for the folk at Lotus.
They decided to bolt on a supercharger for an extra 15 per more power and 17 per cent more torque.
That added up to 163kW and 212Nm which is pretty healthy when considering the Elise’s weight of just 870kg. The only transmission was a six-speed manual.
August 2011 saw Ateco become Australia and New Zealand's official Lotus importer, an occasion marked by a price drop and the standard inclusion of the Sports Pack, which featured stability control for the base Elise 1.6, traction control for the Elise SC and, for all models, twin oil-coolers, Bilstein sports dampers Y-spoke forged alloy wheels with ‘Hi-Power Silver’ finish and ‘ProBax’ sports seats.