2008 Lotus Elise  -  $47,195

Vehicle Details

MSRP: $47,195
Base Invoice: $0
Destination Charge: $925
Options: $0
Trim: 2dr Conv
Doors: 2
Drive train: Rear Wheel Drive
MPG: Avg: | City: 21 | Hwy: 27
Body Style: 2dr Conv
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission w/OD
Engine: 1.8L DOHC MPFI 16-valve VVTL-i mid-mounted I4 engine

Model Highlights

The Lotus Elise was a sensation in Europe long before it came to America, but now that we have it, it is rightly regarded as a screaming performance deal.

Lotus continues to evolve the car and the 2008 Elise is no different. Three models are available--the base Elise, Elise California Edition, and Elise SC--and all have a lightweight composite fiberglass body. Ardent Red and British Racing Green are standard colors on the base and SC.

All cars utilize an epoxy-bonded aluminum chassis and feature a mid-mounted Toyota-sourced 1.8L I4 with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing, which drives the rear wheels through a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. In the base and California cars, output is rated at 189 horsepower at a buzzy 7,800 rpm, with maximum torque of 133 lb-ft at 6,800 rpm. The supercharged Elise SC makes use of an Eaton-style blower and produces 218 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, with 156 lb-ft coming at 5,000 rpm.

Standard Elise and California cars will reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, with a 150 mph top speed, while the SC hits 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds on its way to 150 mph.

Suspension across the range is fully independent, with gas dampers, coaxial coil springs, and a front sway bar. Four-wheel vented disc brakes with ABS are standard. All three cars come with their own unique alloy wheels, and each rides on sticky 16-inch front and 17-inch rear Yokohama tires.

On the outside, the Elise has a sharp-edged, aggressive look with deep, sculpted air intakes and an aerodynamic rear diffuser with twin central-mount exhausts. The base and SC feature a removable soft top, while the California adds a removable body-colored hard top. Also unique to the California are special colors--Saffron Yellow and Ardent Red--as well as a bright grille and body-colored side air inlets.

Inside, the Elise gains a few creature comforts, but still remains relatively Spartan. In the base and SC cars, black cloth sport seats are standard, as is air conditioning, a leather-trimmed Momo steering wheel, and an Alpine four-speaker CD stereo. The California adds two-tone leather sport seats, a leather-trimmed center console, a cup holder, a dealer-installed special shift knob, extended carpets, and an upgraded Alpine stereo with iPod connectivity.

Option packages for the base and SC Elise include a Touring Package, which adds the amenities of the California interior, plus a sound-insulated soft top. A Sport Package adds special alloy wheels, an even sportier Lotus-tuned suspension, twin oil coolers, and traction control, while about 20 pounds are stripped from the car's overall 1,984 pound curb weight. Standalone options include the removable body color hard top, traction control, limited-slip differential, various exclusive paints, and a protective exterior film called Starshield. No optional equipment is available for the California.

Model News

For 2008, the popular Lotus Elise gets a variety of changes, both minor and major. Small changes include a new high-definition LCD message panel, new warning lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, and an alarm/immobilizer system. Super Touring and Super Sport Packages have been dropped.

Two new variants are now available. The California Edition is a standard Elise with special exterior and interior package upgrades. These include special brightwork and air intakes, a larger rear spoiler, unique alloy wheels, two-tone leather, removable hard top, Alpine stereo, and two distinct colors--Saffron Yellow and Ardent Red. Only 25 of each will be built at a cost of $51,770.

The biggest change for the 2008 Lotus Elise is the introduction of the supercharged Elise SC, which boasts 218 horsepower, up 29 horsepower from a standard Elise. It will reach 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. The SC features a wraparound rear spoiler for better stability at high speeds and distinct alloy wheels. The Elise SC costs $54,500.

New standard colors for 2008 include Persian Blue, Liquid Blue, Isotope Green, Candy Red, Ice White, Burnt Orange, Prism Green, and Moonstone Silver. Seven colors from 2007 have been dropped. The new colors add between $500 and $5,100 to the base price of an Elise.


Precision handling at any speed; explosive performance; razor-sharp styling; reliability from Toyota-sourced 1.8L engine; new supercharged version; good fuel economy; exclusivity.

Value Writeup

For a raw, barebones roadster experience, the 2008 Lotus Elise is in a class of its own. The car's light weight, optimal balance, high-revving 1.8L engine, and fantastic suspension make it a capable rocket on either road or track, able to keep up with cars costing twice as much. And with fuel economy of 21 mpg city / 27 mpg highway, it's a unique commuter, too, if a bit harsh.

Rear Wheel Drive

EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy
27 MPG

Cruising Range - City
222.60 mi

EPA Fuel Economy Est - City
21 MPG

Cruising Range - Hwy
286.20 mi

Engine Type
Gas I4


Fuel System

SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM
189 @ 7800

SAE Net Torque @ RPM
133 @ 6800

Trans Type

Trans Description Cont.
Manual w/OD

First Gear Ratio (:1)

Second Gear Ratio (:1)

Third Gear Ratio (:1)

Fourth Gear Ratio (:1)

Fifth Gear Ratio (:1)

Sixth Gear Ratio (:1)

Reverse Ratio (:1)

Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1)

EPA Classification
Two Seater

Passenger Capacity

90.5 in

Length, Overall
149.0 in

Width, Max w/o mirrors
72.8 in

Height, Overall
44.0 in

Track Width, Front
57.4 in

Track Width, Rear
59.2 in

Min Ground Clearance
5.3 in

Base Curb Weight
1984 lbs

Suspension Type - Front

Suspension Type - Rear

Suspension Type - Front (Cont.)
w/Coil Springs

Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.)
w/Coil Springs

Front Tire Size

Rear Tire Size

Front Wheel Size
16 x 5.5 in

Rear Wheel Size
17 x 7.5 in

Front Wheel Material

Rear Wheel Material

Steering Type

Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb
32.8 ft

Brake Type

Brake ABS System

Disc - Front (Yes or )

Disc - Rear (Yes or )

Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx
10.6 gal

Basic Years

Basic Miles/km

Drivetrain Years

Drivetrain Miles/km

Corrosion Years

Corrosion Miles/km

1.8L DOHC MPFI 16-valve VVTL-i mid-mounted I4 engine

6-speed manual transmission w/OD

Rear wheel drive

Lightweight aluminum chassis

Independent front/rear suspension w/unequal length wishbones

Eibach coaxial coil springs, Bilstein gas shock absorbers

Front stabilizer bar

Manual steering

Front AP Racing/rear Brembo pwr vented cross-drilled disc brakes

4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Central twin exhaust

16" x 5.5" 8-spoke silver cast alloy front wheels

17" x 7.5" 8-spoke silver cast alloy rear wheels

P175/50R16 Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 LTS performance front tires

P225/45R17 Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 LTS performance rear tires

Inflatable spare tire kit

Composite fiberglass body

Black cloth soft removable targa top w/storage bag

Rear spoiler

Aerodynamic rear diffuser

Front mud guards

High intensity projection beam headlights

LED taillights

Daytime running lights

Dual body-colored manual mirrors

Tinted glass

Intermittent windshield wiper

Alpine AM/FM stereo w/CD player, (4) speakers

Front bucket seats w/manual recline & integral headrests

Black cloth seat trim w/ProBax anatomical padding

Carpet foot mats

Leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel

Instrumentation-inc: high definition LCD message panel, customizable display options, progressive shift lights, tachometer

Tire pressure monitor

Pwr central locking

Remote keyless entry system w/multi-function remote

Anti-theft system w/immobilizer & alarm

Engine start button

Air conditioning

Aluminum trimmed shift knob & handbrake sleeve

Dual sun visors

4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Driver & passenger airbags

Front outboard 3-point seatbelts

Daytime running lights

Side guard door beams












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The 2008 Lotus Elise

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