For the first time in over seven years, the venerable Lotus Elise benefits from a substantial facelift. And if you're noticing a few cues cribbed from the Evora, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.
However, the new front fascia isn't just there to lend some familial ties to its 2+2 sibling – since this is Lotus, it's all about efficiency. Thanks to the smoother, lower nose, restyled headlamps (now with daytime running lights), larger grille and side ducting, new engine cover and reworked rump, the 2011 Elise's coefficient of drag has been reduced by four percent.
The 1.8-liter remains amidships, putting out 192 hp in naturally aspirated guise and 217 hp when equipped with a supercharger, and for the first time Lotus will be offering a new Toyota-sourced 1.6-liter engine – which will not be available in North America – with 134 hp (at 6,800 rpm) and 118 pound-feet of torque (at 4,400 rpm), which should result in a 0-60 time of around six seconds. A six-speed manual remains standard on all models, and two new lightweight forged wheels are available as an option, along with cruise control.
Expect the 2011 Lotus Elise to arrive in dealers across the pond this April , with sales in the U.S. beginning later this year.
UPDATE: We've received word that the 1.6-liter will not be available in the U.S. or Canada. Both the UK-spec and U.S.-spec press release after available after the jump.