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First Look: 2011 Lotus Elise

Keeping things pure and simple.

by on Feb.17, 2010

Lotus is putting a premium on weight and aerodynamics with the 2011 Elise.

I’ve been a fan of U.K. sports cars, I must confess, since my earliest days behind the wheel.  Sadly, the brand names I grew up with – Triumph, MG, Austin-Healy – have all vanished, leaving just a few options for those who covet British racing green.  Morgan is little more than a costly paean to the past.  But there is another option, one that has both captured the essence of that bygone era and yet brought it into line with the modern world.

Admittedly, owning a Lotus does require some sacrifice, and for aging Boomers, indeed, anyone  over about 5’10, it requires either a chiropractor on call or an extended study of yoga to squeeze into the little Elise.  But that’s a small price to pay.

Stay on Top!

Fans will immediately recognize the basic lines of the 2011 Lotus Elise; the changes for the upcoming model-year are modest, but nonetheless significant.  With a revised front clamshell, rear bumper and engine cover, as well as better-integrated headlamps – which now incorporate LED running lights and turn signals – Lotus has improved Elise’s aerodynamics by about 4%.  A small number, perhaps, but one that nonetheless translates into a measurable improvement in fuel economy, the maker claims.