Lotus has launched this more extreme, stripped-out version of its baby Elise at the Geneva motor show.
Called Elise Club Racer, the new model is designed for improved track day use. It offers a more sophisticated chassis set-up than the regular car, and should have a small performance advantage too thanks to some weight savings.
The biggest change on the Club Racer is the addition of a Sport mode to Lotus’s Dynamic Performance Management chassis control. The new set-up is still tied to the same parameters as a regular Elise - corner brake control, drag torque control, differential lock, traction control, stability control, ABS, hydraulic brake assist and electronic brake distribution - but it increases the amount of traction slip allowed and removes understeer recognition.
Lotus claims the new setting “allows the driver more vehicle control before an intervention is required”. The car also gets an adjustable front anti-roll bar (instead of the standard Elise’s fixed item) for further configurability.
The Elise’s 1.6-litre engine remains unchanged, although the optional, track-only Club Racer Power Pack will give a modest increase in power, from 134bhp to 139bhp. However, the Club Racer should still be quicker, because it weighs almost 25kg less than a standard car. The savings come through a lightweight battery (5.4kg), the use of a decal instead of a badge (60g) and the removal of the soft-top roof (5.9kg).
Further kilos are saved through the deletion from the spec of the central locking, radio and speakers, noise insulation and carpets, passenger footrest, mud flaps and the driver’s and passenger’s airbag. Lotus claims the total saving is 24.96kg.