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.
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!