Friday, February 18, 2011

New Lotus Elise 1.6 Club Racer Sheds 24 kg / 53 Pounds

True to its heritage, Lotus has unwrapped a new lighter version of its entry-level Elise 1.6 called the Club Racer. Even in stock form, the Elise is one of the lightest production sports cars in the market tipping the scales at just 876 kg or 1,931 pounds, but the company's engineers put the open top model on a crash diet and managed to shed a further 24 kg or 53 lbs.

Lotus says the engineers behind the Elise Club Racer took a stripped-to-the-bare-bone approach and while the company did not reveal all the details, it did mention the motorsport derived lightweight battery and the deletion of noise insulation.

In addition to the weight savings, the Club Racer is the first Elise variant to come with a Sport setting for the DPM (Dynamic Performance Management), which according to Lotus, "allows even the less experienced sports car drivers to feel at the top of their game, while the ability to switch it off completely will please the more established track orientated drivers"

The British automaker's Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, commented:

“The traditional Lotus approach of reduction and purity has lead to one of the most zeitgeist and contemporary sports cars around. For over 15 years the Lotus Elise has become an icon in the sports car market, carving out a niche market with a dedicated following of lightweight fans. The new Club Racer will definitely give these people something extra to get their teeth stuck into. This car epitomises everything that’s cool about the Elise – it’s fast, raw, responsive and a huge amount of fun to drive.”

Power for the new Elise Club Racer is provided by the standard model's 1.6-liter four-cylinder unit delivering 134HP at 6,800 rpm and 160 Nm or 118 lb-ft of peak torque at 4,400 rpm.

The Elise Club Racer is offered with a choice of six colors including Sky Blue, Saffron Yellow, Ardent Red, Aspen White, Matt Black and Carbon Grey, and features some bespoke design elements such as the body colored seats.

The new lighter version of the Elise is priced in Europe at £27,500 / €34,450 / CHF48,900, which makes it the most pocket friendly model in Lotus' range.

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