Not to be confused with Lotus Elite. The Lotus Elise is a two-seat, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined roadster conceived in early 1994 and released in September 1996 by the British lotus elise s2 manual pdf Lotus Cars. The series 1 Elise had a hand-finished fibreglass body shell atop its bonded extruded aluminium chassis that provided a rigid platform for the suspension, while keeping weight and production costs to a minimum.
The Elise was named after Elisa, the granddaughter of Romano Artioli who was chairman of Lotus and Bugatti at the time of the car’s launch. Braking and fuel consumption are also improved by the car’s reduced weight. Series 1 was designed by Julian Thomson, then head of design at Lotus, and Richard Rackham, Lotus’s chief engineer.
These were more competent on track with sports suspension, wheels and tyres, seats according to model. Grand Prix car type numbers. The Series 1 Lotus Elise 80 was briefly assembled on a dedicated assembly line at Proton’s Shah Alam factory between 1997 and 2000.
The Malaysian-assembled Elise costs less than its British-built counterpart as it was manufactured with more Malaysian-sourced components. The Malaysian-assembled Elise was also exported to regional markets, including Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
However, parent company Proton had been severely affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which brought an early end to the Malaysian assembly of the Lotus Elise in late 2000, only three years after it commenced and with an estimated 150 units sold. The Proton-assembled Elises were assigned the code ‘B’ in the eleventh VIN position, while the original Hethel-built units were stamped with the code ‘H’. It also had more padding in the seats. The 111S had headlamp covers, rear spoiler, cross drilled brake discs, alloy window winders and a six-spoke road wheel design.
In 2000, the 340R limited edition model, based on a Series 1 Elise was introduced. This roofless car was a special edition, limited to only 340 cars being built.
However, in production models the 340 refers to the number of cars built. The Series 1 could not be produced beyond the 2000 model production year due to new European crash sustainability regulations, so Lotus needed a development partner to meet the investment requirement for a Series 2 car.
General Motors offered to fund the project, in return for a badged and GM-engined version of the car for their European brands, Opel and Vauxhall. The Series 2 Elise, announced on 9 October 2000, was a redesigned Series 1 using a slightly modified version of the Series 1 chassis to meet the new regulations, and the same K-series engine with a brand new Lotus-developed ECU.
The design of the body paid homage to the earlier M250 concept, and was the first Lotus to be designed by computer. Vauxhall VX220 were built on the same production line, in a new facility at Hethel.