The Lotus Elise premiered in Frankfurt in 1995 as a roadster with go-kart handling. It is perfectly suited to Lotus’ heritage: small, light, fast, advanced, race-tuned, and classically styled. It has no fixed roof, no power steering, no power brakes, no radio – nothing that is not necessary for driving – and driving is what the Elise is all about! The driver’s seat is closer than the passenger’s seat to the center line of the car in order to achieve maximum peripheral view. The acceleration compares to that of a motorcycle. The chassis is a Lotus-designed, and first of its kind in a production car, structure of epoxy-bonded aluminum extrusions incorporating a steel roll-hoop, with a mid-mounted engine. Another road-going first is the use of metal-matrix composite brake discs. This nimble car weighs just 1575 pounds. The overall width is 6 feet; the overall height is 3½ feet.
Manufacturer: Lotus Cars Ltd.
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Drivetrain Configuration: Mid-mounted engine, rear wheel drive
Engine: 1796cc, Rover K series, 4 cylinder in-line, 118 hp
Transmission: 5 speed manual
Top Speed: 125 mph
Years of Production: 1995-2000
Number Produced: 8,741
Original Cost: 1998 – $33,448.00
2010 – $51,699.00