Lotus Elise Competition Debut

Internet Announcement

Subject: Elise competition debut
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 1996 11:24:19 +0000
MIME-Version: 1.0

The new Lotus Elise will make its debut in motorsport on the weekend of May 4/5 at the famous Prescott Hillclimb in England, in a round of the British Hillclimb Championship. This will also be the first time that Elise goes on show to the public in action.

Tony Shute, the Programme Manager for Elise, is the man with the pleasure and privilege of giving Elise her first competition outing, and is enthusiastic about the weekend. "I'll drive the car there, put on the race numbers and go for it" he says. "Elise has all the qualities of a terrific competition car - strength, poise, great acceleration and brakes, and excellent visibility and control for the driver". Shute concludes "I'm really looking forward to this first event - especially if it's wet!".

The Lotus Elise has been designed from the outset with competition in mind:

  • the light and stiff chassis of chemically bonded aluminium extrusions carries double-wishbone suspension on all four corners.
  • the brake system features aluminium metal matrix discs which are both very light and very durable; in tests, the development team has already recorded over 1.2g deceleration on standard road tyres, with excellent feel and fade-free behaviour.
  • the suspension can be lowered by 50mm, by simply changing the spring-damper units, without altering the roll-centre height.
  • the aerodynamic performance can be enhanced by installing the optional undertray with rear venturi, which reduces drag and increases downforce.
  • inside, the driver sits nearer the car centreline than the passenger, in a semi-reclining position with excellent visibility all round.
  • as the car is so light, all the controls are direct-acting with no servo-assistance on brakes or steering; this ensures excellent feel and control without undue effort.
  • the Rover 1.8 litre engine has very good throttle response, and delivers excellent torque and power.
  • the ultra-light Elise chassis (the whole car weighs 675 kg) ensures excellent power-to-weight ratio for sparkling performance with low fuel consumption
  • Following this competition debut, Lotus plans to set up a one-make race series for the Lotus Elise, beginning in the UK in 1997 and spreading to other markets. With a car as versatile as Elise, this could be the start of a varied and illustrious motorsport career for the latest creation from Lotus.

First deliveries of Elise will begin in July in the UK, and in September in other European countries.

Patrick Peal
Head of Communications
Lotus Cars Ltd