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Lotus Elise 111SThis car was called the Sprint prior to it's launch. The 111S was launched on the 8th March 1999 and was first shown at the Geneva Motorshow. The main difference on this model is that it has the Rover K-series 1.8 Variable Valve Control (VVC) engine which gives 143bhp giving improved performance figures of 0-60 in 5.38 secs, 0-100 in 14.4 secs, and a maximum speed 133mph. a large part of the performance improvement can be attributed to the close ratio gearbox. The VVC progressively changes the cam profile, unlike the Honda VTEC engine which is more of an on/off action. These means that it also comes into effect lower down the rev range, giving a wider and smoother power band. The following graphs show power and torque for the standard K-series 1.8 and the VVC equivalent, and were taken from the Rover 200 sales brochure.
Since I also own a Rover 200Vi, I'm well aware of the capabilities of this engine and I love the way it delivers its power. Unfortunately the 111S costs a lot more than the standard Elise and the higher price is hard to justify given the large number of tuning options for the standard car.
The 111S also features wider 225 section rear tyres and some controversial cosmetic changes such as new 6-spoke wheels, a spoiler, an egg-crate grille, and a carbon effect dash. It also has aluminium window winders and optional 111S decals.
The 111S was removed from the Elise line up in August 2000 and replaced by the Sport 160 Elise.
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Copyright © Rob Collingridge 2009 - Last updated 02 Aug 2000