Lotus is widely recognised for the superb dynamic behaviour of its cars, due to fine engineering, low weight and efficient engines. Despite the fact that many Lotus cars with their 1.8-liter engines defy V8 machines on the track, the British company decided to present to the world at the British Motor Show even better ways to reduce weight and save fuel.
Based on the already light Elise S (860 kg), the Eco Elise manages to be 32 kg lighter, removing 15.8 kg out from the wheels alone - not even the audio system escaped the weight reduction effort. Considering the engine is the same 1.8-litre Toyota that generates 134 bhp, this 4% reduction in weight will help the car's already amazing 0-to-100-km/h time of 6.1s be even better, as well as give it a slightly higher top speed. Even so, since the idea is to be greener, the Eco Elise should present better fuel consumption figures than the Elise S offers, which are already hard to beat for any sports car: 8.9 km/l in the city and 15.4 km/l on the road.
Besides the weight reduction, the Eco Elise also uses natural fibres, such as hemp and sisal in the body panels, seat fabrics and carpets. Although the body panels still need a polyester resin to be done, Lotus expects to have a fully recyclable resin in the next few years.
Another way to show the brand’s concern about the environment was putting a green shift light into the Eco Elise. As well as Lotus traditional red shift light helps drivers extract the maximum from the engine of its cars, the green light will help them drive in a fuel-saving way, when the car is not at a track, but at normal daily use. In the hard top, solar panels also help save energy.
The Eco Elise, which is not for sale, but may be, if customers demand it, will be presented at the British Motor Show, where it will surely be out of the spotlights due to the unfair competition with one of the most awaited new vehicles from Lotus, the Eagle.