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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.auto123.com/en/info/news/previews,view,Lotus.spy?artid=21765&pg=1

some nice pics of SAFFRON (not Lightening) elise in the photo gallery

New Lightweight Sports Car Makes Rivals Seem Obese

Lotus, the famed British racing green adorned brand that instilled fear in the hearts of the majority of its on-track competitors in the '60s and '70s, doesn't sell many cars in North America.


Lotus is poised for a major North American splash with its striking Elise. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
Its Esprit V8, while wonderfully agile in the corners and rakishly exotic to see on the street is decades old architecturally. What's more, its purveyors are often independent showrooms or garages with little brand identity adorning their establishments.

While stand-alone proprietary dealerships would be nice, the boutique manufacturer isn't about to invest mega-millions into anything other than product research and development, which is just fine with me. My local dealer, Weissach Performance in Vancouver, does a better job at servicing customers' needs than most any premium product company store anyway.


Comments from Mark O'Shaughnessy, director of sales and marketing for Lotus Cars USA Inc. indicate the demand for the Elise has been strong and widespread. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
On the subject, Mark O'Shaughnessy, director of sales and marketing for Lotus Cars USA Inc., said Lotus distribution will be "relatively widespread," with top-tier sports car retailers across the continent offering new cars for sale.

O'Shaughnessy coyly commented on Esprit sales mentioning that they have been "relatively even nationwide," accentuating his surprise that sales in colder jurisdictions where convertible sports cars traditionally shouldn't sell as well are similar to those in warmer regions. The comment was a great setup for his follow-up quip, "We'd like to see our performance improve on the West Coast, frankly."
The new Elise should help sales pick up dramatically if priced as low as the rumor mill is reporting. It previewed at the 2004 Los Angeles Auto Show last month, and will certainly do much to enhance the brand's image as well.


Helping boost the early demand for the Elise is the rumoured low sticker price. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
Lotus, now owned by Malaysian national carmaker Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton), will continue to manufacture the Elise, long since available in European markets, in the brand's Norfolk, England assembly facility.

Hardly supercar specifications, the Elise features a 190-horsepower 16-valve DOHC Toyota 4-cylinder engine. While a lightweight compared to the 350-hp Esprit, the North American spec Elise will be more powerful than the international version of the car. What's more, Lotus is smart to associate itself with what many consider to be the world's most reliable automaker, breaking the age-old British sports car image of unreliable daily usability.


The Elise features a 190-horsepower 16-valve DOHC Toyota 4-cylinder engine. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
Lotus announced a goal to sell approximately 2,000 new Elises per year in the United States, without mention of just how many would be available in Canada. Over the space of seven years (it became available in the summer of 1996); the European spec Elise has found more than 17,000 buyers.

Of course, a limited number of these European Elises have found their way to North America, but not officially. It has been nearly 14 years since the company has introduced a new model in North America, that being the 1990 debut of the short-lived Elan roadster.
On the subject of succeeding in the North American market, Mark O'Shaughnessy, director of sales and marketing for Lotus Cars USA Inc., commented to Reuters just before the unveiling, "I think it's a question of being able to offer the right product."


The appeal of the Elise also appears to be wide spread, attracting potential buyers both young and old. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
O'Shaughnessy offered that the new Elise's target buyer would most likely be both older men looking for what he dubbed a "fun machine," along with younger people capable of spending a higher price for "style and performance."

And just what kind of performance can be expected from 190-hp? Being extremely lightweight, thanks to its bonded and extruded aluminum chassis, the Elise will zip from zero to 100 km/h in less than five seconds and top out at a maximum speed of 241.4 km/h (150 mph).


Lotus has struck a balance with North American drivers who want creature comforts, and purists who are concerned about overall weight, by offering separate packages catering to each group. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
Road-holding should be exemplary due to a combination of its rigid extruded and bonded aluminum chassis, which in itself weighs only 68 kilos (150 lbs), and the resulting ultra-light curb weight of less than 907 kg (2,000 lbs) - the average towing capacity of a car-based SUV.

A slightly heavier Elise is expected to arrive in North America with everyday features such as dual front airbags, ABS, climate control, carpeting, a Blaupunkt audio system and power door locks. Purists should be able to opt for a lightweight version which deletes the air conditioning and audio system while lowering the price and about $700 to $800.
Weekend warriors can reportedly opt for a sport package at about $3,500 ($2,500 USD), with a touring package for those that appreciate the finer things in life said to include sound-deadening materials, leather interior seats and trim, plus an upgraded stereo.


The new Lotus Elise will no doubt rewrite the book on affordable sports car performance in North America. (Photo: Lotus Cars Canada)
While a final price is yet to be announced, it is expected to be in the mid-fifty to low-sixty thousand dollar range, with dealers already taking orders. The much-anticipated model will be available on this side of the Atlantic by late May, 2004. For more information about the Elise, check out the company's North American website at www.lotuscars.com. Canadians interested in the brand should contact either Weissach Performance in Vancouver (www.weissach.com) or Gentry Lane Automobiles in Toronto (www.gentrylane.com).

No doubt, just like it has in Europe the new Lotus Elise will rewrite the book on affordable sports car performance in North America, making new fans of the revered brand in the process.

Specifications:

Price Range (estimated MSRP): $55,000 - $60,000
Body Type: 2-door convertible
Layout: front engine, RWD
Engine: 190 hp, 135 lb-ft of torque, 1.8-L, DOHC, 16-valve I-4
Transmission: 6-spd manual
Acceleration (0 - 100 km/h): 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 241.4 km/h (150 mph)
Brakes (front/rear): disc/disc, ABS
Seating Capacity: 2
Website: www.lotuscars.com / www.weissach.com / www.gentrylane.com

Note: Additional larger photos available in photo album.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
here's one (actually this one might be lightening, but all the others look like Saffron - hope Ridgman isn't watching)
 

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Can someone remind me please

I thought it had been determined that the Elise wasn't going to be available in Canada - something about 5 mph bumpers rings a bell - anyone?
 

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ivan1 said:
here's one (actually this one might be lightening, but all the others look like Saffron - hope Ridgman isn't watching)
Need to get a photo from ATP with the car in 'no sun' daylight to be sure. Sincerely, 'Guess who?'
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That car is definitely a different car from all the others in the gallery - it is the only one without reflectors - just not sure if it is also Saffron or lightening. The others look like the silver and saffron LA show cars.....
 

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That article certainly makes it sound like Canada will get it< I thought they couldn't get exemptions from CA.
Chris
89 days and a wakeup.......................
 

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Discussion Starter #7
O'Shaughnessy offered that the new Elise's target buyer would most likely be both older men looking for what he dubbed a "fun machine," along with younger people capable of spending a higher price for "style and performance."

I am afraid as to which group I would be put in:(
 

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Delete?

"Purists should be able to opt for a lightweight version which deletes the air conditioning and audio system while lowering the price and about $700 to $800."


Has anyone heard about this delete option?

Thomas
 

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Re: Delete?

Thomasio said:
"Purists should be able to opt for a lightweight version which deletes the air conditioning and audio system while lowering the price and about $700 to $800."


Has anyone heard about this delete option?

Thomas
I have heard about this delete option and plan to have my Elise optioned in this manner. Last I have seen written was $500 US off, but I would pay a premium for this. Chris of US Lotus at the LA Auto Show told me there might be a possibility of different seats as well, I presume to save weight.
 

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ivan1 said:
O'Shaughnessy offered that the new Elise's target buyer would most likely be both older men looking for what he dubbed a "fun machine," along with younger people capable of spending a higher price for "style and performance."

I am afraid as to which group I would be put in:(
You're in the 'lookin to impress young babes' group......just like everyone else!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looks like they changed it on the website since I cut and pasted it - it now reads:


Price Range (estimated MSRP): $55,000 - $60,000
Body Type: 2-door convertible
Layout: mid-engine, RWD
Engine: 190 hp, 135 lb-ft of torque, 1.8-L, DOHC, 16-valve I-4
Transmission: 6-spd manual
Acceleration (0 - 100 km/h): 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 241.4 km/h (150 mph)
Brakes (front/rear): disc/disc, ABS
Seating Capacity: 2
Website: www.lotuscars.com / www.weissach.com / www.gentrylane.com
 

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3 canadian dealers are listed on that lotus site in the thread above
 

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ivan1 said:
here's one (actually this one might be lightening, but all the others look like Saffron - hope Ridgman isn't watching)
This is the 111s, look at the top of the front; there is no big 111R/Fed new cover
 

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Iceman- said:
This is the 111s, look at the top of the front; there is no big 111R/Fed new cover
'Big Brother' sees everything..... thru Saffron colored glasses......or Lightening....or Norfolk....
or Custard....... Well, they're some kind of yellow anyway.
 
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