Lotus has announced a Classic Heritage Edition run of the Elise in four different and striking colour schemes.
The Lotus Elise has always pitched itself as the fun, drivers’ car – sparse on the luxuries and intended for the pure organic driving experience. Easy to criticise if you want what it doesn’t offer, easy to admire if you want what it does offer.
It could also be argued that the Lotus Elise is now a bit long in the tooth having made its first appearance in the autumn of 1996. Yet, it continues to enthral and deliver. Far from being a dinosaur, it carves its own path. As testament to Lotus’s dedication to continuing the Elise rage, an electric powered version is expected in the not to distant future. Watch this space.
New limited editions
This month Lotus announced a limited Classic Heritage Edition run of the Elise in four different and striking colour schemes. Each option evokes a classic racing theme from the past. The most recognisable to most will be the John Player Special black and gold (minus any advertising decals). The JPS is based on the five Grand Prix winning Type 72D of Emerson Fittipaldi. If that’s not to your taste then you may prefer the very easy-on-the-eye red Elise with white and gold striping that pays homage to Graham Hill’s Lotus Type 49B from 1968. The Type 18 gets its tribute in the form of a dark blue with white striped 1960 Stirling Moss inspired racing car that the great man steered to Lotus’s first F1 win. The last model dips an appreciative nod to the 1980s, with a Nigel Mansell Type 81-inspired Elise in fetching red, blue and silver.
Each vehicle gets the exterior paintwork carried over into the cabin too, so for example, the JPS version features an opulent interior of mainly gold seating with copious amounts of black everywhere else – the other three interiors are a little more subtle. To my taste, while all are very well though out, I would go for the red and gold – both exterior and interior combine to give the car a pretty perfect, slightly understated look and feel.
Lotus will build only 100 Classic Heritage Editions of the Elise, all created around the 1.8-litre supercharged Elise Sport 220 as donor vehicle. Evo voted the Sport 220 as their Car of the Year in 2017 and with a kerb weight of 914kg, the Sport 220 is light and fast, and capable of a top speed of 145.4mph, plus a 0-62mph of just 4.6 seconds.
Cost will be around £46,250 for whatever colour-way you choose. While you might expect that 25 of each colour scheme will be built, Lotus say that the final split will be as a direct result of customer demand. So I guess in theory that if you are the only person that orders an Emerson Fittipaldi tribute Elise Classic Heritage Edition, then you will end up with a very rare car at a fairly reasonable price.
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