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The Lotus Elise S1


The standard engine is a Rover K-series 1796cc with 4 cyclinders in line, and mid mounted transversely. It has an aluminium engine block and aluminium cylinder head with double overhead camshaft, hydraulic tappets, and fuel injection. Peak power is 118bhp (88Kw) at 5500rpm, peak torque is 122 lb.ft (165Nm) at 3000rpm. Bore/Stroke are 80mm / 3.1"/89.3mm / 3.5". Ignition is a Motorola electronic ignition system with a 85A alternator. A 135bhp engine upgrade is available from Lotus. The Elise Sprint engine is the Variable Valve Control (VVC) version with maximum power of 143bhp at 7000rpm and maximum torque of 174Nm at 4500rpm. The Elise Sport 190 is powered by the 190 VPHD version of the 1.8 K-series engine which develops 190bhp (141kW) at 7500rpm. The red line is increased to 8000rpm.


Manual 5 speed transaxle driving rear wheels and a hydraulic clutch. The standard cars final drive is 3.938 and the Sport 190 is 4.2. The gear ratios and Mph/1000rpm are:

GearStandardSport 190
Gear RatioMph/1000rpmGear RatioMph/1000rpm


Composite body panels with detachable front and rear "clamshells", integral fixed headlamps. The Elise Sport features lightweight front and rear clamshells. The CdA is 0.59m2 according to Autocar 3 July 1996. They guesstimate a frontal area of 1.65m2 yielding a Cd of 0.36.


Lotus-designed spaceframe structure of epoxy-bonded sections of aluminium extrusions (built by Hydro Aluminium) incorporating integral roll over hoop. It has a torsional rigidity is 10,133 Nm/degree which is the highest for an open top car and is comparable to the BMW 3 series saloon.


Double wishbones with single coil springs over monotube dampers all round. Lotus-patented uprights of extruded aluminium, made by Alusuisse. The Elise Sport has competition spings and dampers which are fully adjustable and lower the cars ride height by 50mm from standard.


Rack and pinion, non power assisted.

Wheels And Tyres

Lotus-designed 5-spoke, by Alloy Wheels International. Front are 5J15, rear are 7J16. Tyres are Pirelli P Zero, front 185/55 R15, rear 205/50 R16.


282mm diameter cast iron (metal matrix discs have are no longer supplied) ventilated discs, mounted outboard. Non-servo split hydraulic system, including unique Lotus/AP Racing opposed piston front callipers. The Elise Sport has competiton pads and calipers operating on steel, drilled disks.

Performance And Fuel Consumption

Top speed is 126mph (202 km/h) and 0-60mph time is 5.8 seconds, though this varies on fuel type and load in car. Fuel consumption (93/116/EC): Urban conditions 28.9mpg (9.6l/100km), Extra urban conditions 49.9mpg (5.7l/100km), Combined 39.4mpg (7.1l/100km). CO2 production is 168g/km. The fuel tank is stated in the brochure as being 36 litres but in reality it is over 40 litres.


Wheel base is 2300mm (90.6"). Front track is 1440mm (56.7"). Rear track is 1453mm (57.2"). Overall length is 3726mm (146.7"). Overall width is 1701mm (67.0") excluding mirrors. Overall height is 1202mm (47.3"). Ground clearance is 160mm (6.3"). Fuel tank capacity is 8.0 gallons (36.4 litres) and fuel grade is 95 RON minimum octane.


The original target weight fot he Elise was 550kg. The first brochures list it at 690kg with a 39%/61%, front/rear distribution. Early Elises weighed in around 725kg and various modifications have meant that the standard car now weighs 755kg and the 111S weighs in at 770kg. The Elise Sport 190 is 670kg.

Servicing And Warranty

Twelve month unlimited mileage warranty from factory. Aluminium chassis eight year warranty against perforation corrosion. First service 1500km thereafter 15000km or annually.

Original Brochure

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

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Copyright © Rob Collingridge 2009 - Last updated 22 Feb 2002