By on February 16, 2010

The Lotus Elise has been refreshed for 2011 [via Autocar] to bring it more in line with its new flagship sibling, the Evora. In the process, the Evora’s ability to look more achingly beautiful in person than any photo would lead you to believe may just have been passed along. From these pictures, the Elise does seem to have lost a bit of the je ne sais quoi that put its predecessor on top of my quasi-realistic dream car list, but that’s alright. Even if the new looks don’t improve in person, the used models are more realistically obtainable. Besides, the Evora haunts my dreams more relentlessly than any car has in a while (helped not a little by rave reviews from such trusted sources as Dan Neil and evo Magazine). Don’t you worry about me.

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12 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Evora-lution Edition...”

  • avatar

    It looks like a 58 Lincoln and a 61 Chrysler had a cute little baby.

  • avatar

    Donato Coco recently moved from Pininfarina to Lotus, I’m not sure if he’s been able to project his influence yet, but I do see a Ferrar California-cation of the front.

  • avatar

    Its not been buggered up with a massive grill. That in its self can be considered a successful refresh given what other manufacturers do when they face lift to their cars

  • avatar

    Speaking of Loti, do they possess the sudden acceleration gene?


  • avatar

    One of the notable things about this car is that it has kept the weight under control (about 3000 lbs). The benefits of reasonable weight are considerable, fuel economy, handling, braking are all improved. I wish mainstream manufacturers would start concentrating on weight control. Like bring out a new model that is similar in size to the old one but the weight is lower.

  • avatar

    I agree with you about the Evora’s aching beauty. I invite more cars to take my breath away. Please.

  • avatar

    First off..
    This is a really nice drive-able / track able, lightweight (prob 35-50g) car that really doesn’t need the updates..

    With that said…
    I cant help but think of ELON MUSK and his Tesla. It was mentioned here, and almost everywhere else I read (LA Times, NY times, Detnews, autoblog, and jalopnik) that the frames underneath are identical, just like the “ENVI” b.s that Chrysler tried to pass off with a cheap Dodge front clip.

    What I want to know is..
    If Elon Musk is producing a Lotus framed car and is going to can it soon to produce the S sedan, (which makes absolutely no sense, knowing that the two should be COMPLETELY RELATED). Unless there isn’t “room” for both to co-exist, (which also doesn’t make much sense.. if you are “logically”-HAHA) putting this together.

    GM is just getting around to the automaker 101 classes that say you can build a coupe, sedan, wagon or SUV off of the same frame…

    Its Toyota who has a Masters in it.. but is back to 101 classes when trying to decide which cars ON THE SAME FRAME get which pedals CTS or DENSO. – HAHA.

    I believe TTAC mentioned that if this car goes away.. so does his frame. Well, why doesn’t he just get in contact with Lotus’ suppliers (unless Lotus is making the frame themselves) and put together a deal (unless he / they are money hungry).

    In the end..
    I cant help but to look at this car.. and be almost completely confused. It can do so much… just not enough.

  • avatar

    I see Mazda MX-5 all over that front clip.

    • 0 avatar

      This car CLEARLY isnt as happy as the Miata.

      Its not even vaguely styled like the Nagare concept

      It also doesn’t have that chrome trimmed maw that sits behind the plastic bumper re-inforcement that makes up the front of the frame.

      Then again…
      I don’t think the prices are competitive. Yeah, who buys a Miata cause they couldn’t get a Lotus Elise or Exige.

  • avatar

    Does anyone know why Lotus didnt opt for the Toyota Direct Injected 3.5 for the Evora? Is it so they can introduce a higher performance model down the line, to maintain margins, performance limitations of the DI motor… not sure, but it just seemed odd to me that they went with a sub 300hp motor…. nothing wrong with the power-to-weight ratio of the Evora as is, but the 306hp DI motor would likely have pulled in some more sales…. and I understand that Evora cup car has a 4.0L V6 putting out 400hp/295tq (shockingly similar stats to the M3 V8, albeit with 2 fewer cylinders and an entirely different duty cycle)….

  • avatar

    Colin Chapman will prove to be more influential than Enzo Ferrari. Composites, reducing weight, aerodynamics, innovative construction techniques. Lotus, on the road and on the track, has been a pioneer. For those of us who were fans of Lotus back in the day or owned some of their early cars, the success Lotus has had in the past decade or so has been gratifying. Mike Kimberly, who recently retired, steered the company through some very rough waters and left it in much better shape than it was when Chapman died. It’s now one of the leading automotive engineering firms in the world. They’ve done contract work ranging from the original DOHC ZR-1 Corvette V8 to the aluminum superstructure of the current Aston Martins. Their road cars are generally acknowledged to be the closest thing to a track car on the road today as well as competing performancewise with much more expensive cars. As the Wall Street Journal called the original Elise, “Ferrari performance at Toyota prices”.

    One thing that I like about the current crop of Loti is that they bring up styling cues from the original Europa and Elan. Nothing wrong with the Giugiaro Esprit – it’s a classic, but lately Lotus has been very good with having a consistent brand identifying style. The Evora took the styling language in a particular direction and now Lotus is redoing the Elise to reflect that trend. They both still immediately say Lotus to me.

    This would be the third generation of the Elise, if I’m not mistaken. It’s hard to imagine but the Elise is now 14 years old. Frankly I like the styling of the 1st gen Elise better than #2, but I can live with the styling of any Lotus, even the Lotus Cortina, as long as it handles like a Lotus.

    Lotus’ reputation for lightweight cars is so well established that when the Evora was announced there was a certain amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Lotus faithful over the idea of a 3000# Lotus, but the Evora is both larger than the Elise, it’s also much more luxuriously fitted. The Elise is, even in it’s most luxurious trim, pretty hair shirt.

    FWIW, one can trace the development of Lotus cars from the original Elite, through the Elan and Europa, to the Elan +2, to the four seat Elite and Eclat cars to the growth of Chapman’s family. As he got older, he had no problem making bigger, more luxurious cars for himself and for his customers. Colin Chapman enjoyed the nicer things in life. While Lotus cars have always given great bang for the buck, they’ve never been cheap and with the exception of the early Elises have generally been fitted along the lines of luxury cars. Heck, they were fitting Elans with electric windows by the late 1960s (Lotus never bothered to engineer a crank window regulator – early Elans had counter sprung pull up windows).

  • avatar

    I lust after the Elise and Exige. Fortunately my day job allows me enough seat time in Exiges that I haven’t had to buy one yet. I had approval from my better half, but that was before the baby came. Oh well, he who hesitates…

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