It’s hard to believe, but Lotus’ pint-sized sports car has soldiered on with only minor changes for the last 10 years. For 2011, more small changes are on the way to give the Elise a fresher look for the new decade.
For the most part, styling revisions are limited to the car’s front fascia. Designers sought to visually tie the Elise with the company’s all-new Evora, replacing the quad headlamps with two angled lamp assemblies. The lower fascia receives a grille and side splitters that ape the Evora, while the upper air intake is also restyled for a resemblance. Side air intakes are simplified on the new model, and the engine cover has also been restyled.
To cut fuel economy and CO2 emissions, Lotus plans on offering a 1.6-liter I-4 in entry-level European-spec cars, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Elises destined for North America continue to use the tried-and-true Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Expect the refreshed Elise to go on sale in Europe later this year and make its way Stateside by early 2011.