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2011 Lotus Elise – Click above for high-res image gallery

Particularly given its performance capabilities, the Lotus Elise has always been remarkably fuel efficient. The Elise (and its hardtop Exige sibling) have long been a rolling testament to the benefits of light weight. Thanks to a new 1.6-liter, 136 horsepower inline-four and a new lower drag nose, the European-spec 2011 Elise S is now officially rated at 46.7 miles per gallon (U.S.) on the EU highway cycle, and the carbon dioxide emissions are just 149 grams per kilometer on the combined cycle.

The CO2 number makes the Elise S the cleanest gas powered sports car in the world, and all without resorting to redundant powertrain hardware like electric motors and batteries. While sipping fuel and minimizing emissions, the Elise S still promises to rip off a 0-60 mph sprint in just six seconds and handle like a dream. That's what a 1,931 pound curb weight will buy you. Alas, Americans will not be able to buy the 1.6-liter Elise S, as the entry level model here will remain a 190-hp 1.8-liter rated at 21/27 mpg by the EPA.

[Source: Lotus]
Show full PR text
8th April 2010


Naturally you couldn't resist clicking through! So, what does 149 mean exactly? And why are we so happy about it? Read on and all will become clear (that's a clue by the way!)....

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
      The laws of physics are a wonderful thing, huh? Problem is, this car, while being able to post big numbers with respect to both fuel mileage and performance, is really NOT the answer to much of anything. It's a rather extreme example of what a car car achieve. Certainly NOT an example of what could be called a wide market passenger car. The thing's only a step up from a go-kart. Great "toy" but, hardly anything that would fill the bill for the "average" driver. Makes for a great headline though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, they can have the 1.6L. If I am getting a true sports car, MPGs is the last of my worries.

        • 5 Years Ago
        MPG is just a bonus for this car. the main reason you would want the 1.6 over the 1.8 is because less engine weight = more balance = better handling, and it's got enough power as it is. 0-60 in 6 seconds is like light speed compared to a lot of other cars, and since my current car weighs more than the elise and gets to 115mph with only 115hp, the elise is plenty capable with 136hp.

        although the mileage is pretty sweet.
        • 5 Years Ago

        What sports car weighs nearly 6000lbs?

        Aside from that, the Elises and Exiges (including a 240) at the tracks I go to are good, but not great. They tend to stay with the auto-x prepped Neons and Miatas, and get lapped by everything else (including my 3100lb car). Dropping the power output by 25% isn't going to help that at all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Yeah, they can have the 1.6L. If I am getting a true sports car, MPGs is the last of my worries."

        Typical fanboy comment, congrats. You'll get smoked by an Elise on any racetrack, because your hulking "real sportcar" weighs 3x more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This would make a perfect "3rd" car for us as I would like something sporty and also fuel efficient. Too bad it's not available here, and the only economical choices I would consider are the Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000. Come on VW Bluesport!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, my big bad Miata, it is so heavy.

        That is not what I was saying though... I just don't get having a "True Sports Car", but worring about MPG... With the Elise, even though it is already SUPER light I would still rather have that extra HP.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I've seen these things in action on the track - it's amazing to see how so little can do so much!

      And those are great economy numbers, though I guess an 875kg curb weight, a slippery shape and a Corolla-derived engine will do that...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everything is cool except for those same old 90s era side-view mirrors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How come 190-hp 1.8-liter rated at 21/27??? Are engines
      • 5 Years Ago
      47mpg (US gallon) highway on the EU cycle isn't actually very much. That'd probably come out to mid 30s in the US system, which isn't bad for a sports car, but it won't be the only sports car in that range for long.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want this car with a VW twincharger 1.4 in it :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      In America, we get to look to the new Mazda diesels! Oh yeah... kicking hybrids off the hype wagon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The car that can solve EVERYTHING?

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
      Inigo Montoya
      • 5 Years Ago
      This just in: Water is reported to be wet...
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...but... but... but... fuel economy regulations will kill performance!1!!"

      I am glad that once again, good old engineering proves the doubters wrong.
      One thing that isn't clear, is this another Toyota engine or are they getting it from someone else??
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota 1ZR engine I believe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        See Porsche? Take notes. You don't need to have to power sources. Keep it simple.
      • 5 Years Ago
      See, celica's never had unintended acceleration. I hope they are putting the emergency stop systems on these corolla based drivetrains for this new lotus.
        • 5 Years Ago
        your card has just been revoked.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This car has the most reliable solution to UA... a clutch. AFAIK, no auto trans is even available, that would add too much weight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Me? What card?
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