The Lotus Elise seems to have been conceived as a race car for the street, rather than the other way around. Everything about the Elise is designed to provide unparalleled handling.
Tipping the scales at 1,980 pounds, it is obviously very light. Lotus purchased Toyota's 1.8L engine that used to power the MRS and Celica and tweaked it to put out 190 horsepower. It's that combination of light weight and modest displacement that makes for the Elise's remarkable efficiency. The EPA rates the Elise at 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway--incredible for a car that can run a quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds.
The car is built on a lightweight aluminum chassis and carries almost nothing that doesn't contribute directly to higher performance. The engine is mounted mid-ship. The anti-lock disc brakes are dual-piston up front and Brembo single-piston in the rear. The steering is unassisted rack and pinion with a quick ratio to make it easy to use. The only transmission is a six-speed manual.
Lotus does concede a few comfort items, however. The cloth racing-style seats have leather inserts. Air conditioning, which can be deleted for a $250 credit, is standard. A CD player by Alpine provides musical accompaniment.
Enthusiasts will buy the Elise for any number of reasons, most relating to the purity of the driving experience. Whether that experience is on the track or the open road, Lotus offers several ways to tweak the vehicle.
The Touring Package increases ride comfort by upgrading the seats to full leather, adding power windows, and additional sound insulation. The Sports Package adds wider front performance tires and stiffer performance-tuned shocks for better handling. The Premium Package adds more leather trim on the shift knob and parking brake handle, a cup holder, and a 200-watt Alpine stereo with subwoofer, XM Satellite radio and iPod connectivity. Finally, the Track Package is really appropriate for those who are planning on taking their Elise racing, because it adds racing-style adjustable Bilstein shocks with threaded spring perches as well as mounting provisions for a racing harness and roll bar.
Track-ready performance; excellent fuel economy; head-turning looks.
The 2007 Lotus Elise is unchanged from last year. Base prices rose $3,280 from 2006.
The 2007 Lotus Elise is as pure a lightweight sports car as is currently available in North America. Its Toyota-sourced 1.8L four-cylinder engine may only put out 190 horsepower, but that is more than enough to propel the 1,980-pound Elise. Lotus claims this makes for zero to sixty times under five seconds. Lotus has long been known for building great-handling cars, and the Elise is no different. It can do 1.0 g at the skid pad, and yet is rated to achieve 29 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Priced starting at only $46,270, it is a fantastic performance bargain with virtually no peer.
Vehicle Price: 47,195.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
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