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Lotus Elise Updated

2011 Lotus Elise (copyright image)

2011 Lotus Elise

2011 Lotus Elise (copyright image)

2011 Lotus Elise

2011 Lotus Exige Cup 260 (copyright image)

2011 Lotus Exige Cup 260

Home > News > Lotus

11th May, 2010

New models and revisions across the Australian Lotus range.

  • New high performance 1.6-litre engine for Elise
  • New close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox
  • Evolutionary body design with integrated headlights, daytime LEDs
  • Improved aerodynamics for increased fuel economy, just 6.1 l/100 km
  • Optional cruise control for the first time in Elise
  • Vehicle warranty increased from 2 to 3 years and 60,000 km

The Lotus Elise and Exige gain an evolutionary new look for 2011, with the introduction of face-lifted variants of both models complementing the price-revised Lotus range.

Previously known as the Elise S, the entry level Lotus model will now simply be known as the Lotus Elise, falling in line with the standardised naming system of Lotus models.

The 2011 model year Lotus Elise introduces a number of changes and improvements to maintain its class-competitive position; its name and appearance are revised, and a new engine combines high-performance with even greater fuel economy.

The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sports car market 14 years ago when the small, agile and lightweight mid-engined two-seater was introduced. By ensuring that the Elise stuck rigidly to Lotus’ core values of performance through light weight, the Elise was able to produce super car type performance with city car economy.

At just 149 g/km, the new Lotus Elise has the lowest CO2 for its performance for any petrol-fuelled high performance sports car in the world.

Falling under the 7.0 l/100 km barrier, the Elise is also immune from Luxury Car Tax.

Power and performance is just as sharp, with the same 100 kW as the outgoing 1.8-litre Elise S, and 0-100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds. A new six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox is also a first for Elise.

Dany Bahar, Chief Executive of Group Lotus said, “The Lotus Elise revolutionised the sports car when it was launched 14 years ago and now the Lotus Elise has become greener, giving drivers access to class-leading performance with less guilt.”


New engine – less fuel

The Lotus Elise introduces the new 1,598 cm3 1ZR-FAE engine, provided by Toyota. The key to this engine’s performance and efficiency is the Valvematic system (a variable valve-lift mechanism), which is combined with the dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent). The engine continuously controls intake valve opening/closing timing and the intake valve lift to vary the volume of the intake airflow, giving significant improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. This ensures optimal performance based on the engine’s operational condition, thus helping the Elise achieve both high fuel efficiency and high performance.

Maximum power output is achieved at 6,800 rpm and maximum torque of 160 Nm is reached at 4,400 rpm. This gives a good combination of mid-range pull but also encourages the driver to rev the engine to the maximum permitted engine speed of 7,000 rpm (transient rev limit).

Like all Elise sports cars, there are three up-shift lights on the binnacle that illuminate cumulatively when approaching the rev limiter; when all three are illuminated, they flash to indicate that the driver is almost on the rev limiter.

The height of the engine cover has been raised by 34 mm to accommodate the taller 1ZR engine compared to the previous 1ZZ engine from the outgoing model due, in part, to the additional Valvematic technology included on the new engine. This has given Lotus engineers an opportunity to subtly redesign the rear engine cover to match the design theme from the front and rear of the car.

This new engine is 200 cc smaller than the outgoing Elise S model and offers a 16 per cent improvement in fuel economy, to 6.14 litres/100 km, and a reduction in CO2 emission of more than 13 per cent, and meets EURO 5 regulations. This provides the new Lotus Elise with the lowest CO2 per performance for any petrol-fuelled high performance sports car in the world. The 1.6-litre engine is controlled via the bespoke Lotus T6 engine management system, which improves total power output by 3 kW over the donor engine management.

This high technology engine is matched to a new six-speed manual gearbox, providing closer and more performance orientated ratios than the outgoing five-speed gearbox.

Evolutionary new body

The body of the new 2011 model year Elise is an evolution of the Elise design, retaining the character and style, while offering a more planted, purposeful stance and a pure, contemporary look that links it to the Evora. As with all Lotus product, the design is an exciting blend of dramatic style and functional efficiency.

The new Elise body has a fresh sculptured front, including a new bumper, front clam and access panel that combine to give the Elise a wider look with more road presence.

At the rear, a distinctive ‘twin-spine’ engine cover has encased the new engine, whilst lower down a more aggressive diffuser is tightly wrapped by an elegant new bumper design that now includes the rear licence plate.

New headlamp units with distinctively sculptured LED lighting guides (incorporating daytime running lamps and direction indicators) give a contemporary twist to this classic design. Elsewhere, the signature, Lotus ‘mouth’ and familiar sculptured forms have been sensitively refined to give a crisper, more dynamic look. The repositioning of lamp functions has enabled the provision of broad clean surfaces between the guards which combines with sleek corner intakes and prominent splitter detail to give a broader more planted stance.

The theme of purity is carried through to the cooling apertures that are efficiently finished with a new lightweight aluminium mesh, giving the car a classically sporting character.

The rear boot is now opened from the cockpit, rather than via a key.

The high quality feel of the Elise is continued throughout the car with the Elise graphic incorporated into the new side LED direction indicators, like those on the Evora.

Donato Coco, Director of Design said, “The Elise is an iconic sports car and it was important that we did not complicate its design, so we made the car more pure in its look, improved the aerodynamics, and gave it a more contemporary look with high quality detailing.”

The driving position, from the perfectly positioned pedals and steering wheel, to the comfortable and supportive seats with ProBax technology means that the driver becomes part of the car, in a manner of speaking.

With the sleek new body, the aerodynamics have improved giving a reduction in the coefficient of drag by 4 per cent.

A choice of two lightweight wheel designs is available: an incredibly light forged wheel and a new cast wheel completes the picture for this sensitive update of a Lotus icon. New cast wheels have been designed specifically for the Elise while the new optional forged wheels weigh just 29.26 kg per set: 2.14 kg lighter than a set of lightweight cast versions. Both are available in silver or black colour.

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Cruise control is available on the Elise for the first time as an option on the Touring Pack, with the controls on a stalk located to the left of the steering column.


The Lotus Elise is built around the revolutionary and award-winning extruded and bonded aluminium chassis, with a lightweight steel rear subframe. The chassis weighs just 68 kg and has a stiffness of 9,800 Nm per degree, giving a high level of control of the suspension. At the rear, and also acting as a rear energy absorbing crash structure, a lightweight steel subframe carries the engine and gearbox. At the front, the radiator and key ancillaries are mounted into a high-tech composite crash structure that is lightweight, compact and over three times more energy absorbing than the equivalent steel structure.

Ride and handling

The legendary Lotus ride and handling gives a superb high performance, sporty drive, combined with a compliant ride and progressive on limit handling; it makes the Elise a car that demands to be driven. The entry level Lotus Elise weighs 876 kg, making it one of the lightest fully homologated sports cars in the world. This low weight translates into efficient performance with minimal environmental impact in terms of emissions and fuel consumption. The efficiency of the Elise structure means that the 100 kW delivers phenomenal performance. Few cars can match the delicacy and accuracy of the steering, throttle and brakes of the Elise and all of these factors contribute to the pure and sensational driving experience that is core to a Lotus.


The Lotus Elise has high performance AP Racing callipers at the front and Brembo callipers at the rear linked to 282 mm vented and cross-drilled cast iron discs to provide excellent stopping power. The Elise comes standard with a track-tuned ABS system that is designed to be unobtrusive under normal driving conditions. This system is designed to be used on track and has a high threshold, only intervening in emergencies. The ABS system is linked to a lightweight pedal box with steel pedal arms and extruded aluminium pads. This unit also has an electronic (drive-by-wire) throttle for quick, smooth and more linear engine response. The impressive braking coupled with excellent handling gives good primary safety and the composite front crash structure and rear crash protection offers efficient secondary safety. Driver and passenger airbags and pre-tensioning seatbelt are standard on all Elise models.




Elise R

Elise SC




1.8-litre supercharged

Power (kW):

100 kW @ 6,800 rpm

141 kW @ 7,800 rpm

162 kW @ 8,000 rpm

Torque (Nm):

160 Nm @ 4,400 rpm

181 Nm @ 6,800 rpm

210 Nm @ 5,000 rpm

0-100 km/h:

6.5 sec

5.4 sec

4.6 sec

0-160 km/h:

18.3 sec

13.4 sec

10.8 sec

Top speed:

204 km/h

222 km/h

233 km/h

L/100 km:

6.14 l/100 km

8.2 l/100 km

8.5 l/100 km

CO2 gm/km:

149 gm/km

196 gm/km

199 gm/km

Kerb weight:

876 kg

860 kg

870 kg

New options and accessories

  • Cruise control (1.6-litre only, with Touring Pack)
  • Rear parking sensors (all models)
  • Forged alloys wheels (with Sport Pack)
  • Black Style Pack (black wheels and rear diffuser), all models
  • Sports exhaust (1.6-litre) for added 5 kW

Exige updates

The updated Lotus Elise joins the recently face-lifted Lotus Exige, in a number of variants. The 2010 Exige S is joined by the limited edition Scura and Type 72, while the motor sport and track-ready Cup 260 offers the ultimate in Lotus performance.

The Exige models also benefit from an extended manufacturer three-year, 60,000 km warranty, in addition to the Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) reductions, effective 1st April, 2010.

The first new-look Lotus Elise model will premiere in Australia in supercharged Elise SC form, with the first shipment due in July 2010, shortly followed by the new 1.6-litre Lotus Elise, starting from the same $69,990 (MLP).

NOTE: The Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery charges and the various statutory charges imposed by the state and territory governments.


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