If you’re unfamiliar with the Elise marque, it was named after Elisa, granddaughter of Romano Artioli, who was chairman of LOTUS when the first model was launched in 1996. Hence, you can bet ‘she’ received quite a fair bit of attention while in production. In fact, the popular roadster pioneered a technology that would become a staple in all its successors to come – a lightweight aluminum chassis which weighs a mere 68kg, which would ultimately result in one of the most nimble marques available at LOTUS, a member of the DRB-HICOM Group.
Now renowned as an award-winning chassis, the ingenious creation to debut with the Elise is rendered in state-of-the-art, extruded and bonded aluminium to achieve its remarkable light weight. Next, it is coupled with a motorsport derived wishbone suspension with body panels made from lightweight composite – all without compromising the rigidity of the chassis and agility of the Elise as a whole. To achieve this feat, high-tech processes and hand finishing techniques are combined from start to finish of chassis construction. And to oversee the process, are highly trained LOTUS specialists on hand to ensure each and every component lives up to stringent quality control standards, and that they embody Colin Chapman’s original principle of delivering top-notch performance through lightweight construction.
That said, you can expect nothing but the highest levels of quality and performance from the latest incarnation of the Elise, as each and every detail is specifically designed to strike the perfect symbiosis between design, performance and the driver.
Lotus marques are all about making a connection with their drivers, and the engineering innovations certainly don’t end with the chassis. Standard features also include Blisten dampers, Eibach springs, and a track tuned braking system – components that work in perfect harmony with the frame, making the Elise ever-ready to take on either the track or road, and tackle even the most treacherous bends.
Now that you know some of the marque’s lesser known details about the evergreen Elise, you can save yourself the trouble of peering beneath her side-skirt. After all, she’s a lady.
BY KENNETH LIM