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Lotus models, news & reviews
By the CAR road test team
10 January 2008 11:02
We’ve been subjected to some rather tenuous special edition Elises in the past, but this is a bit different. The fastest, most powerful production version of Lotus’s baby sports car yet, it’s essentially an Elise R (formerly the 111R, now renamed) fitted with a supercharger to provide an extra 28bhp.
If only things were that simple. Yes, it uses the same basic 1.8-litre Toyota engine, but the Exige is fitted with an intercooler that sits on top of the engine under the fastback. The Elise though has a flat engine cover meaning the intercooler won’t fit. So Lotus reengineered the car to work without an intercooler. Incredibly, the non-intercooled engine produces the same 217bhp as the intercooled car as well as 156lb ft of torque. Those figures don’t represent a massive on-paper improvement over the 189bhp and 133lb ft but the torque curve is fuller and and the peak shifts from a silly 6800rpm to a more usable 5100rpm. And remember, the Elise is incredibly light, so although the 870kg SC is 10kg heavier than the R, it still has a better power to weight ratio: 250bhp versus 220bhp per tonne.
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Lotus Elise SC (2008) CAR review
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I've now driven the supercharged Elise. Unlike the S, the SC actually out-accelerates a bicycle below 3000 rpm - just kidding! Seriously, the increased torque around 3-4,000rpm helps a lot in real world driving, although for my taste the engine is still too weak below 5 grand. Given the noise levels I can't imagine taking this car to Le Mans and actually enjoying the experience. Pity as it is great fun otherwise
19 February 2008 12:05
I wonder how much time these journalists actually spend driving the cars they write about. To say that the original Elise S is the best car is astounding. I may be wrong, but most people would say that the S is underpowered.
I own both an Elise Sports Racer and an Europa S. I use the Europa for longer journeys as the ride is much softer. They are both fun if you know how to max out the kit.
The difference between the two cars is the way the engines perform, and the Yoko boots are far superior to the Bridgestones. The re-chipped Europa has an improved power curve. Obviously you can take the lid off the Elise which is a great bonus.
The strange thing is that most people who comment prefer the look of the Europa to the Elise! Additionally with the roads becoming more potholed people prefer the ride of the Europa to the Elise (including 2 Elise owners.)
I have driven the Supercharged Exige and had a number of laps around the Hethel track in that car. The only problem was not hitting people up the rear on roundabouts! The Elise SC is another great step forward and the performance per ££££ is great value, compared to the competition.
If you don't want a car with quick acceleration and pinpoint steering, but an armchair with a large boot.... don't buy a Lotus.
PS- the new 2+2 Lotus due out this year is going to be IRO £44,000 according to one Lotus dealer. More money for a less sporty car. The journalists views should be interesting. My Elan +2 130/5 suffices on the few occaisions when I require more than 2 seats.
25 January 2008 15:47
Lotus just keep getting better
It seems at the moment, that whenever you open a car mag lotus have come up with another great model ! It makes you proud to be british !
Fun, Lightweight, Eco Friendly, and now outright performance !
23 January 2008 22:25
I had one of the first original Elises off the line and it was just a revelation. Never felt anything so focused or alive before or since and though it wa dinky the head and legroom was superior to most hatches and small Exec cars. A staggering package. But always wished for more than the 124bhp as I knew the chassis was up to it. Although this has put on 70-80kg from the original it's 217bhp is nearly double the originals so can't imagine it being anything other than abs' fantastic fun to drive :)
17 January 2008 20:37
Elise is a great steer, but the chap who mentioned how heavy it is- think the clue is in that he borrowed a london dealers car. At lower speeds the steering on my sports racer does feel heavier- especially parking. Wouldn't say its very heavy just a massive contrast to how it feels when you use the car as intended, i.e. over 6.2k in second gear plus!
Essentially- don't judge a sports car on how it drives in london (don't drive inside the m25 at all if you can help it).
12 January 2008 23:46
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