Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Eco Elise!

never mind the bollocks heres the eco elise

We've been pointing out for some time that lighter cars are more fun to drive and more eco-friendly than, uh, heavier cars. Enter the Lotus Eco Elise show car. The Lotus boys have still managed to shave another 70 lbs. from the donor Elise S' 1896 lbs. frame (ouch). And really, that's the sales pitch. Sure, the body panels are made of hemp-based composites (smoke 'em if you got 'em), there are photovoltaic panels on the roof (to power what?), the paint is water-based (woo-hoo!) and its production has more environmental credentials than Greenpeace. But the buzzword-laden materials and production techniques wouldn't mean a thing if this Lotus couldn't take wing. While other manufacturers struggle to reinvent the internal combustion engine, Lotus is simply following founder Colin Chapman's dictate and adding lightness. But not luggage. Nope. Not a bit.

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  • Campisi Campisi on Jul 11, 2008

    If these "eco" methods save that much weight on the standard Elise, then why doesn't the Add Lightness company just make the changes standard?

  • RGS920 RGS920 on Jul 11, 2008
    Yeah, really the only way to improve the Elise would be to throw one of those delightful 2.0L K series Honda motors in there from the factory. No way! You've probably never driven a car with a 2ZZ engine in it. When lift engages around 6,600 RPM it's like all hell breaks loose. The 2.0 L K series is much more sedate. I like my lotus with a side order of insane. In all fairness though, the one huge benefit the K series offers over the 2ZZ is that even when you shift at red line it doesn't fall out of lift. The SC Elise fixes this problem though by having a variable engagement point for lift, basically lift engages as low as 4,500 RPM depending on the amount of throttle being utilized.

  • Stingray Stingray on Jul 11, 2008

    Well, I don't really care if it has a Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Chevy, Ford, Chrysler or Chery engine. The point is, the Elise just rocks (don't forget the Exige). It looks gorgeous, has good power & power/weight ratio, it's light, and being a Lotus, it must handle like it's on rails. This means it must be TONS of fun. And it's not f@#$%&ng expensive. And I think Audi, BMW, Mercedes and some others used water based paints. And have been doing for some time too.

  • Foxy STi Foxy STi on Jul 11, 2008

    RPrellWitz, I'd suggest pointing out how fuel efficient it is (Over the lifetime of my owning the car, I've averaged just under 30mpg). Since you have other cars, you can insure it as a weekend toy for hardly anything. And of course, what could be better for escaping the kids on the weekend than a romantic drive in a two seater with the top off? Stephan, I wouldn't say that he was trashing the Lotus. The Elise's engine doesn't have nearly the sonic character of many sporty cars, at least from inside the cabin. It doesn't have the barrel-chested roar or delicious backfiring pops like a GTO does. It doesn't have the iconic boxer grumble of an STi. It doesn't snarl like a BMW inline six. From the driver's seat, the Elise does sound like a hoarse moan. The Elise really could use some more firepower, like the Elise SC. The chassis is capable of handling so much more. While it is hugely fun and more than zippy enough for punching around down and slicing through traffic and carving around your favorite twisties, a healthy dose of Vitamin HP couldn't hurt. The 2ZZ's 6200+ RPM performance isn't bad, but it's not quite 'all hell breaking loose.' It feels about the same as a WRX coming on boost; it's nowhere near as frenetic as my STi, for instance. I'd love to swap in a F20C or F22C into the Elise, or go for one of the many forced induction kits available. All that said though, I've never been in a more fun car. I love driving the Elise, and I try to drive it as much as possible, weather and destination permitting.

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