• Apr 9th 2010 at 10:56AM
  • 12
2011 Lotus Elise – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Tesla Motors wanted a lightweight sports car body for its Roadster electric vehicle, the company turned to Lotus. Why? Because Lotus has, for a long time, made some of the best light and small sports cars in the world. That history once again comes alive in the new 2011 Lotus Elise with an official rating of 46.7 miles per gallon (U.S.) on the European cycle in a car that weighs just 876 kg (1,931 lbs.). Along with the lower weight, when the new Elise was unveiled in Geneva, we learned it had improved aerodynamics (up four percent) and that the car will be available with a new 1.6-liter 4-cylinder VVT-I engine. Lotus says that this powerplant in the new Elise will have CO2 emissions of 149 grams per kilometer, a number it says is "outstandingly low." Some might quibble with this, but it is 16 percent lower than the previous Lotus Elise S. 149 grams per kilometer gives the Elise "the lowest CO2 for its performance level for any gasoline sportscar in the world." The performance numbers include a 0-60 time of 6 seconds. All that in a car that looks like the Elise and gets better mileage than a Honda Insight? Outstanding.

[Source: Lotus]


We are delighted to announce that the new 2011 Lotus Elise has just been certified with an outstandingly low emissions figure of 149g of CO2 / km which represents a reduction of 16% over the previous Lotus Elise S.

This means that the Elise has the lowest CO2 for its performance level for any gasoline sportscar in the world.

Not only does this low emissions figure give a greener drive with less guilt but it also relates directly to fuel consumption with the new Elise turning in an impressive figure of 56.1 mpg (5.04 litres per 100 km) extra urban. This means that the Lotus Elise could travel a colossal 500 miles (800 km) on one tank of fuel – the equivalent of Paris to Marseille or London to Aberdeen.*

Fed up with the figures yet? Stay with us, there's more.

These world leading emissions and economy figures are a direct result of Lotus' commitment to its core values of performance through light weight and efficiency. The Elise weighs just 876 kg and to put this weight into perspective, a nameless convertible sportscar from Stuttgart (Germany) weighs in at 1335 kg.

Aerodynamics have been improved by 4% and a new super efficient, 1.6 litre 4 cylinder VVT-I engine has been installed which is 200 cc smaller than the engine in the outgoing Lotus Elise S and produces the same power. And the performance figures speak for themselves: 0-60 mp/h in 6.0 seconds and 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds!

Are you ready to celebrate with us?

* driving style dependent

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I keep having to tell people DO NOT compare US EPA results with EU New European Driving Cycle test results. The Honda Insight may not be in Prius territory but it uses less fuel than this Lotus: 62.8mpg (imperial) on the extra-urban part of the cycle.


      I also note that the press release doesn't give a figure for the urban part of the cycle, which is where petrol-powered cars (that aren't hybrids) are particularly weak. On their site it's given as 34 mpg for a combined result of 45 mpg.

      I normally quote EU test results in metric units of litres per 100 kilometres (L/100km) because that's how the testing is done, and how the results are rounded, to one decimal place. The UK is allowed a derogation from the units legislation to also display the traditional units of miles per gallon, but the metric calculation is the primary one, and the conversion to imperial measures is done *after* rounding.

      It's still very impressive. Lotus target low weight to get good power-to-weight ratios, and Toyota have done a good job on the Valvematic 1ZR-FAE engine. Lotus are claiming 4 bhp more than Toyota do for the engine when installed in the Avensis.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Word. These numbers definitely aren't USA fuel economy numbers.

        I wish there were more cars like this out there. Wish i could afford to go out and buy a MR-S right now as it's basically the same car.. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I keep having to tell people DO NOT compare US EPA results with EU New European Driving Cycle test results."

        I'm happy that ABG is finally stating that they're EU Cycle measurements, but I still agree with you. Many people can't make the comparison. All they see is a high MPG rating (on a car that may not be legal here anyway) and then then start complaining about why we don't get such vehicles here.

        Drives me crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So 0-60mph is 6.0 seconds and 0-100kph (0-62mph) is 6.5 seconds... Something doesn't sound right!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now THAT'S a performance car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Which 1.6 motor is in this? I always thought it had a 1.8 but who cares with that kinda mpg and performance sign me up! Although if VW ever gets its act together with the blue-sport thats the ride for me!

      @ neptornix
      The MR-S is a sweet car driven one but cant help but think if I owned one I would be investing in the veilside body kit in a heart-beat, plus there is a low psi turbo kit that boost power and the mpg. The problem is everyone in canada thinks the car is made of gold or something and wants 20k for one that has over 90,000 miles on it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've never driven one, but i've driven a MR2 and those cars are effin' awesome..

        Used MR2's in good condition.. a '92 or so is $4k+ out here.

        An '01 model usually goes for ~$10k here.
        Poor Canadians.. MR-S cars must be *super rare* out there.

        I heard that the 01-03 models had serious potential engine problems due to the precat material getting into the combustion chamber. That's what's kept me away from those cars... you'll never see a 04-05 for sale out here either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a Toyota 1ZR-FAE "Valvematic" engine, originally designed for and used in the European Corolla and Avensis. "Valvematic" means it uses the engine's variable timing to control the air/fuel intake, making the throttle mostly redundant.

        Lotus have tuned it - probably with a change to the ECU parameters - to get another 4 bhp compared to the Avensis.

        It replaces the Toyota 1ZZ-FE or 2ZZ-GE (both 1.8L) in the previous generation of Elise, but produces the same power and torque as the 1ZZ-FE engine. Earlier Elise models up to 2003 (I think) had a 1.8L Rover K-series engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have still only seen a handful of the MR-S's even around let alone for sale I am not sure that Toyota even offically sold them in Canada, because the one I drove came from the US and was all in MP/H not KM/H. The MR-2 is still a good car but even they have a high-asking price although I can get a RHD turbo with low KM for about $8000 but I would rather the light weight of the MR-S. I hadn't heard of the precat material problem. I have heard that it is a fragile motor though espically when adding boost. Most people who own one switch to the Celica GT-S motor in them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ah, well the 2.2 and 1.8 is a hard call.. one has a lot of low end torque.. the other is kinda blahze. From what i've seen, the MR2 is a lot more serviceable. For the MR-S it looks like you have to drop the engine from underneath the car for any serious work. Looks like a pain in the ass to me.

        Yeah, the ~138hp 1.8 is really fragile, i can't believe anyone would turbo that. It's like turboing an ecotec - better have a spare motor lying around.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great, now I can make up my constant bald tire replacements with lower fuel costs.. :->
      • 5 Years Ago
      If only they'd add the methanol and ethanol compatibility to the production model that they've already demonstrated with the Exige 270E Tri-Fuel.

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