The Lotus Elise Club Racer is the latest variation on the long-serving Elise, which will debut at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
Lotus Elise Club Racer: don't say they've Bahar-ed the Elise for 2011...
Disciples of the 'Lotus=lightweight' mantra will be pleased to know the Elise Club Racer does without the German tuner bling, additional luxury features or merchandising that have appeared during CEO Dany Bahar's bold reinvention of the Hethel sports car maker.
The Elise Club Racer marks a return to old-school values for Lotus, with some 24kg of extraneous weight removed from the 15-year-old Elise; and added hardware tweaks to ensure the well-regarded roadster retains its performance edge.
What makes the Club Racer special?
The weight-loss programme on something as lithe at the current Elise involved changes large and small. Out go airbags, central locking, sound deadening, the audio system, passenger footrest, mudflaps and the soft-top. In goes an 'ASO shower cap' for keeping raindrops at bay, a lightweight motorsport-style battery and Lotus stickers instead of badges across the back.
There's a dedicated Sport mode to the switchable DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) stability control system, and adjustable front anti-roll bar for fettling your angle of attack through the Goodwood chicane. Retuned Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs are included.
Your Lotus dealer will happily supply you with a 'Club Racer Power Pack', which includes a new intake and exhaust. Grunt rises by 6bhp and 4lb ft of torque over the standard Toyota-supplied 1.6-litre engine, but the Power Pack is for trackday use only. Handy, as you may want a helmet on to deal with the lack of sound-deadening anyway.
You can also opt for the 'Comfort Pack', in which case you'll negate the weight-savings putting various features back into your Elise...
So how much more do they want for the Elise Club Racer?
Although Lotus is going through some radical changes, it hasn't adopted Porsche-style premiums for their stripped-out sports car. The Elise Club Racer will go on sale at £27,500, £600 less than the current list price for the standard Elise S.
The Lotus Elise Club Racer will arrive at the 2011 Geneva motor show, along with the Lotus Evora by Mansory.
>>A righteous return to Lotus fundamentals, or a cynical de-speccing of the beloved roadster? Share your thoughts in the comments below