20,000th Lotus Elise Drives Off The Production Line

Lotus Elise 111R

Production of the Elise reaches landmark figure, making it the most popular Lotus ever.

Desirability of the multi-award winning Elise is proving to be phenomenal, with Lotus' production facilities working hard to satisfy demand for the most successful model in the marque's history. The 20,000th Lotus Elise is a UK specification 111R in Saffron Yellow, which has already been delivered to the UK Lotus dealer network prior to being passed to the customer.

The Elise was launched to great critical acclaim in September 1995 and has continued to evolve throughout its life picking up awards with remarkable frequency. The uncompromising Lotus brand philosophy has given the Elise strong attributes: performance through lightweight, fun to drive, great ride and handling, and innovation, all of which have made the Lotus Elise a winning formula.

The key Lotus philosophy is performance through lightweight. The Lotus Elise weighs roughly half that of a family saloon car* which contributes to the phenomenal driving experience that has been honed over decades of road and racecar development.

The Elise has been available in many guises since its launch, from the 120 bhp base model to the latest 111R. The 111R with a 189 bhp engine offers serious performance with a 4.9 seconds 0-60 mph time (0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds) and a top speed of 150 mph (241km/h). As with all Lotus cars, the Elise offers precision handling and beautiful balance ensuring that the supercar performance can be exploited to the full.

Throughout its history, Lotus has produced over 70,000 cars and the Elise production contributes 20,000 to this figure, illustrating the significance of the car to the brand. Annual production at Lotus' manufacturing facility in Norfolk is running at 4,500 units and the Elise is sold in about 40 countries around the world.

Production Manager, Luke Bennett said, "Looking to the future, many more production landmarks are likely to be exceeded with the continued popularity of the Elise".

Manufacturing Director, Clive Dopson said "The hand built Elise has grown from strength to strength with rates of production of the car increasing, coinciding with increases in quality and efficiency. The advances in production are very pleasing and are due to the magnificent culture and modern facilities at Lotus". Adding "credit for the achievements of the Elise has to rest with the engineers and technicians in Lotus Engineering and Manufacturing, their determination and hard work have made the Elise the success it is today".

*Lotus Elise with 1796cc 120hp engine; unladen weight with no options 785 kg

Published : 20/12/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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