Category Archives: Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise hits the US Roads

Here’s a story which appeared in this weekend’s New York Times about the gorgeous Brit roadster, the Lotus Elise. The first cars should hit the US roads at the end of month! It get’s a pretty good review and there’s also a great photo gallery. Hope to see one in Manhattan very soon!

Read the full review here and view the photo gallery here.

(Yeah, I know, you gotta hand over your details to see the slideshow on the NYT site. *sigh*)

Lotus Elise 111R Launched in the UK

Lotus launched the UK version of it’s brand new Toyota engined Elise on Monday! The model is called the Lotus Elise 111R, and although there’s no details on the official Lotus Site right now, Stratton Motor Company has details of the specs. The new model is available to order NOW, and the cars will probably be delivered reasonably quickly before Lotus ramps up production of the Federal Elise for it’s release in the US at the beginning of May.

Read on for the specs and prices of the Elise 111R:Base Model: GBP27,995

190PS VVTL-I Toyota Engine
6-speed Manual Gearbox
8-Spoke Lightweight Wheels
Servo Assisted Brakes with ABS
Cross-Drilled Brake Discs
Body Coloured Door Mirrors
Protection Tape – Clear
Front Mud Flaps
Central Locking
Gear Knob – Polished Aluminium
Handbrake Grip – Polished Aluminium
Interior in Half Leather
Floor – Black Carpet Mats
Lightweight Footwell Divider
Blaupunkt 4 Speaker Radio Fitting Kit
Blaupunkt Lausanne Radio CD Head Unit
Category 1 Alarm/Immobiliser
Soft Top – Black

Touring Pack: GBP1795
Includes: Auxiliary Driving Lamps, Carpet Set with Aluminium Passenger Footrest, Full Leather or Alcantara Interior, Electric Windows, Interior Stowage Net, Noise Reduction and Thermal Insulation Kit, Blaupunkt Woodstock DAB Radio & MP3 Player

Other optional extras:

Metallic Paint Finish – GBP595
Teflon Paint Protection – GBP325
Twin Racing Stripes – GBP895
Air Conditioning – GBP1295
Body Coloured Hard Top – GBP1295
Black Wheel Finish – GBP150
Tracker – 24 hour Monitor – GBP495
Tracker – Horizon – GBP895

US Lotus Elise launched at the LA Motor Show

The US Lotus Elise (aka the Federal Elise) has at long last been officially launched at the LA Auto Show. Since there’s still no sign of MG selling cars directly in the US, this is as much as we’ll see of Brit sports cars this side of the pond for the time being. So it’s something to shout about. Just think – you can head down to the one of the lucky dealerships chosen to sell this car and order this puppy right now! NICE!

The car seems to have appeared in the press a lot, even before last weeks launch, and after it’s success in Europe, it should be a breath of fresh air from all those SUV’s and petrol guzzling monsters I see so much of here!

So what’s different about this Elise than it’s Brit cousin? First off is the specially tuned Toyota 2ZZ-GE 1.8L 4cyl 16-valve w/VVTL-i engine. Reviews of this engine when it first appeared in the Celica and Corolla are pretty dire, but Lotus have tuned this baby up, and with the lightweight body of the Elise, it should make for a more exciting ride than with the old K-Series VVC Engine. Lotus promises increased low end torque for greater acceleration from low engine speeds, before unleashing the full 190hp at the higher end of the rev range. It also has a different gearbox, namely the all-aluminum Toyota C64 six-speed manual gearbox. Brakes will include AP Racing twin-piston aluminum front brake calipers on the front, and Brembo single-piston brake calipers on the rear. ABS, Air Conditioning, Climate Control and Twin airbags are also available.And also a very a cool “START” button for the Engine (photo) 🙂

So, what does it look like? Here’s some photos from the launch:

Photos from Dan Medina at
Photos from
Photos from Golden Gate Lotus Club

First odd thing are those reflectors in front of the front wheel and behind the rear wheel – I guess that is something that the US insists upon. Just look at them in this pic. Yuk 🙁 It’s a bit Max Power methinks, and looks like a bit of an afterthought add-on.

But do check out the very nice alloy wheel included in the Sports Pack Now that looks smart!

The interior of the car looks pretty nice – and I like the way they’ve put the climate control and stereo unit together in the center (as opposed to the sides in the UK version).

So how much is it, and what are the options? The base model comes in at $39,985. Given that the exchange rate is currently $1.84 to the British Pound, that puts it as GBP21,703.98 Wow! That’s a saving of around GBP4,000 over the UK Elise S – which don’t forget doesn’t have the uprated engine, ABS, A/C, etc. Very nice indeed!

There are going to be 3 different versions to chose from – Base, Touring and Sport. Here’s the info:

Base car: $39,985

175/55R16, 225/45R17 Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 LTS tires (designed specifically for the Elise)
Bilstein monotube gas shock absorbers
AP Racing twin-piston aluminum front brake calipers
Brembo single-piston rear brake calipers

Touring package: + $1,350

Full leather seating
Electric windows and full carpets
Upgraded Blaupunkt stereo w/MP3 player
Interior stowage net and additional sound deadening
Double insulated (thermal & sound) soft top

Sport package: + $2,490

7 spoke forged wheels (lightest available – 1 inch wider fronts)
Yokohama A048LTS tires. The softer Yokohama tires should improve 0-60 times by 0.2 seconds.
Adjustable dampers and springs with adjustable ride height

Other options include Hardtop: $1,475 (body color). All cars come with a 3-yr/36,000 mile warranty.

Performance is nice – 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, Top speed approximately 150 mph, Estimated fuel mileage: 30 mpg.

All in all, it looks to be a very nice car and with only 2000 of these cars going to hit the US each year, you’d better head out early to catch one! In Manhattan, you can get one from Manhattan Motorcars according to this NY Post article.

In the absence of any MG imports at this time, and if you’re after a distinctively different sports car, go test drive the Federal Elise today!