Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition (2015) revealed

Published: 20 March 2015

► New 20th anniversary Lotus Elise
► Replaces the Elise S Club Racer
► Great, but pricey at £39,900

Now here's an anniversary worth celebrating: two decades of the seminal Lotus Elise.

And Hethel has responded in kind, unveiling the 20th Anniversary Special Edition Elise, with a further 10 kilos trimmed from the kerbweight and a slew of extra goodies.

So how is Lotus blowing out 20 candles for the Elise?

By taking one Elise S Club Racer, adding some period paint choices from the model's back catalogue and sprinkling some extras around willy-nily. Buyers can choose from leather or alcantara upholstery while the only colours offered are 'heritage' Elise hues of '90s blue, green, yellow or silver.

Equipment upgrades include body-coloured centre console, colour-coded stitching and seat hoops, forged black alloy wheels, auxiliary driving lamps and 20th anniversary decals.

It is an expensive way of joining the Elise club, however. The birthday treat costs an eye-watering £39,900...

Lotus claims that the extra equipment added is worth an additional £5150 in total, despite the £2700 rise over a regular Elise S.

Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition: the spec

Down to the numbers. This version is powered by the supercharged 1.8-litre Toyota four-cylinder engine, tuned to develop peak power of 214bhp and thrust rated at 184lb ft. The lighter sports seats, alloy wheels and interior trim contribute to a 10kg weight saving for a kerbweight of 914kg.

That makes it quick enough for 0-62mph in 4.6sec and a top speed quoted at 145mph. Drivers can select a Sport mode, to sharpen throttle response and shift the traction control threshold, allowing a greater degree of slip before the car intervenes. We have to say that in a Lotus, you'll have to be going worryingly quick for that to happen on the open road...

The Elise: a quickie history

Lotus first unveiled the Elise at the 1995 Frankfurt motor show and it's gone on to become the marque's most successful model ever. Nearly 32,000 have been built in Norfolk, and here's to hoping that number continues to swell in the coming years.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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