Lotus Elise Series 1 – 1996 – 2000
The Lotus Elise is a British made light weight two seat sports car. The Series 1 was manufactured from 1996 until 2001. This roadster is rear wheel drive with the engine mid- mounted on a 2.3 meter wheel base; it is 3.726 meters (146.7”) long (146.7”), 1.719 meters wide (67.7’), and 1.202 meters (47.3”) high with the basic cars curb weight at 725 kg (1,598 lbs. The GT1 roadster is capable of speeds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). The hand finished fiberglass body shell is riding on an extruded rigid aluminum frame which gives the suspension a strong platform and also keeps weight down while minimizing production costs. Equipped with a five speed manual transmission coupled to a 1.8 Liter engine putting out 118 bhp (88 kW; 120 PS) a 1996 GT1 model did 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.8 seconds. The Elise GT1 is known for great braking, cornering, and low fuel consumption; for the most part due to its low weight and small displacement high performance engine. The fuel consumption of the Elise is nothing short of amazing with the 134 hp (100 kW; 136 PS) engines getting up to 34 mpg or 8.3 liters per 100 km in the city and 56 mpg or 5 liters per 100 km on the highway while the higher performance engine rated at 217 hp (162 kW; 220 PS) gets 27.3 mpg or 10.3 liters per 100 km city and 47.6 mpg or 5.9 liters per 100 km on the highway.
© Themaxx23 | Dreamstime.com – Lotus Elise Meeting And Alps Landscape Photo
Higher performance variations in the Series 1 Elise GT1 include the Sport 135 in 1998-99 with 145 bhp (108 kW; 147 PS), Sport 160 in 2000 putting out up to 160 bhp (119 kW; 162 PS), and the Sport 190 producing 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS). Equipped with a special suspension, racing rims and tires these models did well on the track. Other special editions are the Lotus 50th anniversary model and the Type 49 Gold Leaf without power variations only the paint jobs to designate them.
© Mrallen | Dreamstime.com – Lotus Elise Sportscar Photo
Three other performance models were offered in the Series 1 edition. In 1999 the Elise M111 powered by a VVC Rover K series 1.8 Liter engine featuring a modified head and producing 143 bhp (107 kW; 145 PS) this inline four engine is coupled to a close ratio manual gear box with a low ratio highway gear and came with six spoke rims.
© Korisei | Dreamstime.com – Lotus Elise Photo
In 2000 the roofless 340R limited edition is introduced with only 340 units produced and is equipped with 340 bhp (254 kW/tonne) and weighing just 701 kg (1,545 lbs.). This car is also offered with a “track pack” option available; the power is boasted to 192 bhp (143 kW; 195 PS) in a car that weights only 571 kg (1,259 lbs.).
Another model also introduced in 2000 is the hard top Exige and comes with larger wheels and a rear wing or spoiler as an identifying feature. This car comes with the 1.8 liter engine producing 177 bhp (132 kW; 179 PS) but if you chose it could be upgraded to a version producing 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) due to the cam timing; this upgrade is more responsive with some ECU changes.