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Lotus Elite
aka Type aka here, not up there
Production 1957-1962
1000 units

Class Sports Car, GT
Body Style 2-Door, 2+2-seat Convertible+Coupe
Length 181.10 in
Width 74.80 in
Height 51.97 in
Wheelbase wheelbase - type here
Weight 3600 lb (1650 kg)
Transmission 7-speed Dual-Clutch, RWD
Engine 5.0 litre Lexus IS-F V8
Power 542 hp (611 R-Tuned) @ N/A rpm
530 lb-ft of torque @ N/A rpm
Similar similar (competition)
Designer Peter Kirwin-Taylor and Frank Costin

The Lotus Elite name was used for three vehicles from Lotus. The first Elite or Lotus Type 14 was an ultra-light two-seater coupé, produced from 1957 to 1962. In 2014, the nomenclature has been revived again in the form of a 600hp retractable hardtop Grand Tourer.

See Wikicars' comprehensive Lotus Elite Review.

Recent Changes

  • The 2010 Paris Motor Show is playing host to the debut of the third-generation MY2014 Lotus Elite. Now wearing a 2+2 Grand Tourer body, 3600 lb car packs a 5.0 litre V8 producing 542 hp and 530 lb-ft of torque (611 hp in the R-tuned version) mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This allows it to blast its way to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and top out at 315 km/h (196 mph). Plans are in the works to offer it as a hybrid with emissions as low as 215 g/km and featuring technologies such as a hybrid gearbox (with integrated electric motors) and a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). The car is set to go on sale in spring of 2014 with a base price of £115,000 (including a VAT of 17.5%)[1][2]

Styles and Major Options

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Engine and Transmission

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Main Competitors

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Hybrid Models

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Unique Attributes

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Current Generation: (2014–present)

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Second Generation (1974-1982)

From 1974 to 1982, Lotus produced the considerably larger Type 75 and later the Type 83 4-seat Elite II. Lotus's first saloon car was front engined with rear wheel drive. Like all production Lotuses, the Elite II used fiberglass for the bodyshell mounted on a steel backbone chassis evolved from the Lotus Elan and Lotus Europa. It had a 4-wheel independent suspension and used Lotus's all-new 907 4-valve DOHC aluminium engine, which would have been the first 4-valve per cylinder, 2.0 L production engine had the Triumph Dolomite Sprint not been introduced the year before. In both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged versions the engine was the foundation for the Lotus Esprit powerplants. The Elite II was the basis for the Lotus Eclat, and later the Lotus Excel four seaters.

Correction: The Lotus 907 engine was first used in 1972 as the power-plant for the Jensen-Healey, and its use pre-dates Triumph's Dolomite.

"Like all production Lotuses since the Elan, the Elite II used fiberglass for the bodyshell, mounted on a steel backbone chassis"

First Generation/Origins (1957-1962)

1958lotus elite small3.jpg

The Elite's most distinctive feature was its highly innovative fiberglass monocoque construction, in which a stressed-skin unibody replaced the previously separate chassis and body components. Unlike the contemporaneous Chevrolet Corvette, which used fiberglass for only exterior bodywork, the Elite also used this glass-reinforced plastic material for the entire load-bearing structure of the car, though the front of the monocoque incorporated a steel subframe supporting the engine and front suspension.

The resultant body was both lighter, stiffer, and provided better driver protection in the event of a crash. The weight savings allowed the Elite to achieve sports car performance from a 75 hp (55 kW) 1216 cc Coventry Climax all-aluminium I4 engine. Climax-powered Elites won the "Index of Performance" six times at the 24 hour Le Mans race and many other races worldwide. The Elite was the first Lotus produced car to race in Australia and the original car to be raced in Australia is currently in boxes under re-furbishment.

Advanced aerodynamics also made a contribution, giving the car a very low drag coefficient of 0.29 — quite low even for modern cars. This accomplishment is all the more notable considering that the engineers did not enjoy the benefits of computer-aided design and wind tunnel testing. The original Elite drawings were by Peter Kirwin-Taylor. Frank Costin, (brother of Mike Costin, one of the co-founders of Cosworth), at that time Chief Aerodynamic Engineer for the DeHaviland Aircraft Company, contributed to the final design.

Just over 1,000 Elites were built.

  • Length: 3708 mm
  • Width: 1506 mm
  • Height: 1181 mm
  • Weight: 503.5 kg
  • Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
  • Engine: 1.2 litre Coventry Climax Inline-4
  • Power: 75 hp (55 kW)


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Design quirks and oddities

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See Also


Proton Holdings Berhad

Proton | Lotus Group Plc. | Lotus

Current: Elise · Exige · Evora

Upcoming: Elite · Elan · Esprit · Eterne

Historic: Excel · Eclat · Europa · Europa S

Concept: APX Concept · M90 · 340R · Exige GT3 · Hot Wheels Concept · Eco Elise Concept · M250 Concept · Evora 414E Hybrid Concept · Evora Carbon Concept · Etna Concept · City Car Concept · Elise Concept · Elan Concept · Esprit Concept · Elite Concept · Eterne Concept

Performance: Carlton · Cortina · Zytek Elise

Racing: T127 · 2-Eleven · Evora Type 124 · Evora Cup · Cosworth KV Racing IndyCar · Mk1 · Mk2 · Mk3 · Mk4 · Mk5 · 6 · 7 · Mk8 · Mk9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 20B · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 27 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 38 · 39 · 42 · 43 · 48 · 49 · 56 · 56B · 63 · 64 · 72 · 76 · 77 · 78 · 79 · 80 · 81 · 85 · 86 · 87 · 88 · 91 · 92 · 93T · 94T · 95T · 96T · 97T · 98T · 99T · 100T · 101 · 102 · 105 · 107 · 109 · 112 · 114 · 115 · 119 · Exos Type 125

Group Lotus · Lotus Racing · Lotus Sport · Colin Chapman

Colin Chapman Corporate website A Division of Group Lotus

This article use content from Wikipedia Lotus Elite page with these contributors.

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