The Lotus Elise. The much-loved, super lightweight, no-frills track weapon. Every petrolhead’s weekend track escape. It’s the car that clearly defines Sir Colin Chapman’s Lotus DNA. Power through lightweight. Sad to say that the new direction of Lotus, as seen at the Paris Motor Show, will be a heftier one.
The new Elise, to be launched in 2015, will put on more than several kilos, weighing in at 1,100 big ones. Powered by a two-litre turbocharged four-pot making 320bhp, it will be mated to a six speed manual or optional paddle-shift auto transmission. Expect it to hit 0-100km/h in a scant 4.3 seconds.
The Elise will no doubt be a hit-and-run with some. Gone will be the bubbly side profile. Replaced with a Lambo-ish front and modern, sleek silhouette. No longer the no-frills little Lotus that we know and love. A touch more luxury and accessible. Let’s just hope, moving forward, that it doesn’t lose the trademark ride, handling prowess and driver engagement.
What do you think of the new Elise? Would you trade lightweight for that extra touch of luxury?