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The Lotus Elise S2

February 2002

Lotus announce two new paint colours for the Elise, Ardent Red and Starlight Black. Ardent Red has been created to 'produce a flamboyant solid red much darker, richer and bluer than the Calypso Red'. Starlight Black is a 'crisp sharp colour where the level of metallic flake has been optimised to create a rich metallic black with a sizzling gold pearl effect in sunlight'.

9th October 2000 - Official Launch

This car had been rumoured for a long, long time. Stories of directories being removed from the internal Intranet, Lotus project codenames (Monza) and the launch of the VX220 all put pressure on Lotus to move the Elise story on. On 9th October 2000, Lotus made an official announcement detailing the developments that would be made to the Elise model, with production starting late October 2000. The first S2 built on the production line was chassis no. 012, 001-011 being the five development cars and the first six press cars, which were built in the workshops. The first customer car built was chassis 122, all the cars built before that were dealer demonstration cars.

The new Elise shares a lot of ideas and technology with the VX220. A large number of body panels, using a new process and creating a better quality and lighter weight finish. The actual car is slightly longer providing more storage space in the rear. Crucially the weight has been kept low to 710kgs (prototype figure only). The Sports Tourer option pack adds 14kg and the Race Tech option pack 12kg. The rear diffuser is a finned and the optional one is a composite material. The fuel filler cap is a new motorbike style cap, the high level brake light moved to the roll bar cover and the boot now has separate lock mounted on it. The fuel tank is stated in the brochure as being 32 litres but in reality it is over 36 litres.

The redesigned suspension features revised geometry, stiffer springs and Lotus tuned Bilstein dampers. It has new six-spoke wheels and tyres jointly developed with Bridgestone (Potenza RE040 tyres, 175/55R16 front, 225/45R17 rear).

The standard 1.8 K-series engine remains but Lotus and added their own Lotus K4 ECU and on-board diagnostics system to ensure EU compliance until at least 2004. With 120bhp and a close ratio gearbox as standard (the larger 17" wheels negate some of this effect), it reaches 0-60 in approximately 5.6 seconds and 125mph. The gearing provides a 0-100mph time of approximately 17.5secs and mph/1000rpm figures for the gears are; 1st 6.1, 2nd 10.1, 3rd 13.5, 4th 17.1, 5th 20.9. The speed limiter operates at 6950rpm. At 80mph in 5th this equates to 3830rpm which is not quite as relaxed as the mk I's 3300rpm but is not quite as manic as the 4000rpm of the 111S.

The power curves (Excel spreadsheet) show the normalised torque at the wheels against speed and thus show the optimium gear change points. These can be summarised as:

  • Go up to the rev limiter in first.
  • Change up from 2nd at 6500rpm (63mph)
  • Change up from 3rd at 6300rpm (82.5mph)
  • Change up from 4th at 6170rpm (103mph)

Click images below for full size:

(2750 x 1015 pixels, 364K)

(1520 x 1000 pixels, 179K)

(1540 x 1000 pixels, 168K)

Inside it features new plastic sill covers and a new dash layout with a storage shelf. Aluminium controls are standard as are 'high-grip', black, cloth seats. There is provision for a 4 speaker audio system with the additional speakers being mounted on the vertical slope of the sill covers. There is a whole new range of options some of which were standard features on the out-going model. Options include adjustable passenger footrest, carpets, aluminium instrument and control bits, etc.

The larger boot (115 litres) improves practicality. The new targa style hardtop features gullwing roof panels which can be stored in the boot but, it is not available until April 2001. The soft-top has been redesigned to simplify assembly, removal and storage.

The basic car list price is £22,995. The options list is yet to be published but would appear to include radio fitting kit, driving lights and hard top. Two options packs are available:

Sports Tourer

This package costs £3195 and includes:
  • Cross-drilled brakes
  • Black brake callipers
  • Front mudflaps
  • Sill protection tape
  • Alarm system (Cat 1)
  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Pearlescent or metallic paint
  • Carpets
  • Aluminium gear knob, handbrake sleeve, heater knobs and window winders
  • Adjustable passenger footrest
  • Centre console with phone/drinks holder (this option was deleted from the specification and dropped from the options list in May 2001)
  • Leather seats with lumbar support
  • Leather trimmed dash, door panels and steering wheel
  • Luggage bag
  • 4 speaker audio system with CD head unit

Race Tech

This package costs £2995 and includes:
  • Cross-drilled brakes
  • Black brake callipers
  • Front mudflaps
  • Sill protection tape
  • Alarm system (Cat 1)
  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Pearlescent or metallic paint
  • Alcantara/carbon seats with lumbar support
  • Alcantara trimmed dash, door panels and steering wheel
  • Steel blue high tech floor covering (?)
  • Aluminium handbrake sleeve, heater knobs and window winders
  • Leather and aluminium gear knob
  • Passenger foot rest
  • Luggage bag
  • 2 speaker audio system with CD head unit

Original Brochure

The following brochure is scanned at 200dpi and 24-bit colour, resulting in rather large files.

295Kbytes 383Kbytes 328Kbytes 360Kbytes 352Kbytes 416Kbytes 329Kbytes 346Kbytes 287Kbytes 429Kbytes 370Kbytes 414Kbytes 345Kbytes 295Kbytes 224Kbytes 290Kbytes 369Kbytes 357Kbytes

Colour Choice

Choice of colour is a personal thing. The approximate percentages of each colour sold up to November 2001 were:

  • Aqua 1.4%
  • Lava Orange 1.5%
  • Racing Green 3.8%
  • Ruby Red 4.1%
  • Black 5.1%
  • Calypso Red 5.5%
  • Quartz 5.8%
  • Ice Blue 7.2%
  • Lightning Yellow 7.8%
  • Gun Metal 10.5%
  • Cobalt Blue 12.9%
  • Silver 15.8%
  • Laser Blue 17.8%

There wil be a bias in these figures towards Laser Blue since this was the only colour available intially for the first orders of the Sports Tourer and Race Tech versions.

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Copyright © Rob Collingridge 2009 - Last updated 20 Mar 2002