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The Lotus Elise S2 2004 (USA model)

30th December 2003

The Federalised Elise was officially launched at the 2004 Los Angeles Auto Show. Some details (photos courtesy of Dan Medina):

Airbag with Lotus logo
Door inside
Gear lever
Heater and air-conditioning
Compulsory arch reflectors for US market only
Start button
Token sun blind
Toyota engine in situ.
Very nice new wheels

The main changes over the existing Elise S2 are the Toyota engine and 6-speed gearbox. The weight has been confirmed at 891kg. 0-60mph is claimed at 4.8 seconds and top speed at 150mph. The additional weight is down to twin airbags, brake servo and TRW anti-lock brakes, climate control, air-conditioning and carpets and additional sound proofing. It also has a larger fuel tank and a starter button.

8th September 2003

Lotus have announced that the Toyota 2ZZ-GE 1.8 litre 4 cylinder 16-valve engine with Variable Valve Timing and Lift-Intelligent (VVTL-i) system has been chosen for the US federalised Elise. This will be mated to a six-speed gearbox and tuned by Lotus specifically for the U.S. Elise to produce around 190hp. This US Elise is due in about 9 months time. It's also confirmed that the US Elise is going to weigh around 900kg.

To get some in-life experience of this engine and to reduce potential launch issues and associated legal problems in the US, Lotus Cars are going to offer the same engine in the new Exige S2, due to be launched at the Geneva motorshow in 2004.

January 2003

The first official announcement about a US bound Elise is made. This car is going to be based on the European Elise S3 but will have additional safety equipment (and hence weight) to satisfy the US legal profession. Lotus plan to start shipping in mid-2004.
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