An Even Lighter Lotus Elise
The Lotus Elise is a mid-engined, two-seater with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that propels the car from 0 to 100 km/hr (a.k.a. 62 mph) in a quick 6.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 204 mph. And thanks to its lightweight structure—it features a chassis that consists of epoxy-bonded aluminum alloy extrusions with an integral steel seatbelt support structure and light weight steel rear subframe—it weighs just 876 kg (a.k.a. 1,927 lb).
Through a feat of amazing lightweight engineering, Lotus engineers have developed the Lotus Elise Club Racer—which won’t be coming to the U.S., incidentally—that weighs 24.96 kg less than the normal Elise. Now some of the savings indicates that this is really a car meant for the track rather than the motorway.
For example, there is a 4-kg savings by eliminating the driver’s and passenger’s airbags. A 4.5-kg savings was achieved by removing the noise insulation and carpet. The biggest savings, 5.9 kg, is the removal of the soft top. (Begin to see why this isn’t a car you’d be driving around town even if you could?) Another big save is a lightweight battery, which reduced 5.4 kg.
What’s notable are other savings, inasmuch as they show a keen attention to detail. Take out the radio and speakers and save 4 kg. Passenger’s footrest? 0.2 kg. Mudflaps: 0.6 kg. Remove the central locking mechanism: 0.3 kg.
And here’s the most impressive one of all, even though it is a savings of a mere 60 g, or a little more than 2 ounces: They removed the 3D Lotus badge on the back and replaced it with a decal.