Lotus builds 40,000 Elise-platformed cars

Published: 22 April 2015

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Lotus has passed a new milestone as it built its 40,000th Elise-based model using the clever lightweight ‘Small Car Platform.’ 

That’s the official name for the extruded and bonded aluminium tub that’s formed the basis for all roadgoing and track-based Elise models, and the wider family of spin-offs.

The lightweight architecture has underpinned everything from Exiges to Europas, 340Rs to Vauxhall VX220s and 2-Elevens. 

And Lotus has continued to hone its sports car platform; engineers claim today it weighs just 68kg - lighter than a McLaren MonoCell carbonfibre tub (although it is smaller, too).

The 40,000th lightweight Lotus

First revealed in 1995, the Series 1 Elise was an instant hit with enthusiasts and critics alike, who praised it for its light weight bringing manifold benefits including nimble handling and zesty performance. 

Click here to read our guide to buying a secondhand S1 Elise.

Jean-Marc Gales, Lotus’s chief exec, said: ‘The small car platform was a landmark development in 1995 and developed at the right time in the company’s history. Yet, in an environment of continuous improvement, while a correlation exists between today’s platform and the first of the lightweight, bonded and extruded aluminium structures, it has altered radically.’

The 40,000th Lotus built using the ‘Small Car Platform’ was an Elise S 20th Anniversary model.

Gales said Lotus remained committed to using the aluminium tech on its future models.

By Tim Pollard

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

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