First Look: Lotus Elise Club Racer

    There's no arguing that a Lotus Elise is one of the most simple, pure sports carsv presently on the market, but apparently, it too can be further simplified. Lotus's new Elise Club Racer model, destined to debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show next month, promises to be a stripped-down, hardcore take on the company's beloved sports roadster.

    As the name suggests, the Elise Club Racer is designed to be even more agile on the track. As such, engineers abided by the longtime corporate principle of adding lightness, and put the car on a diet. A number of weight saving measures, including lighter wheels, a lighter battery, removing sound insulation, and replacing emblems with printed decals, allowed nearly 55 pounds to be stripped from the car, bringing its curb weight down to a lithe 1875 pounds.

    In addition to the crash diet, Lotus also added a few extra goodies designed to appease weekend racers. An adjustable front anti-roll bar allows drivers to adjust handling to their taste, and a new traction control system (Dynamic Performance Management, in Lotus-speak) has a revised sport mode, which permits greater wheelspin.

    The Club Racer's powertrain, however, was left untouched. Power is still provided by a Toyota-sourced 1.6-liter I-4, which is good for 136 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque. An optional Club Racer Power Pack, which adds unique air intake and exhaust systems, boost output to 142 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque -- but also renders the car illegal for street use.

    Not that we'll be seeing the Elise CR on our roads anytime soon, as Lotus plans on the Elise Club Racer remaining a European-market exclusive. Pity -- it looks rather fun.

    Related Articles