Ummm, I'll have one in Orange please.... The meanest Lotus in years and very much function before fashion, hardcore function at that. When a Lotus is this race-bred and focused you can keep yer 360 Modena thank you very much !


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This car in its initial guise was unveiled at the Geneva Motorshow March 1999 and then stunned the crowds in the summer at the Goodwood festival of speed.

The Lotus sport elise primarily represents Lotus' entry back into motorsport and will feature in a flagship one make championship  which will support the 2000 british touring cars series and 'fill the gap between club racing and top level sportcar racing' . Starting in 2000 the series will run for 3 years at the leading UK and European circuits with the factory preparing a grid of 25 cars and providing trackside support, service and preparation, race entry fees, testing costs, transportation and running costs, initial branding and a comlimentary race suit for each competitor. Cost is a paltry 55 grand (insurance not included).

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The car is also available to order at individual specification to clubman racing and privateer GT teams. It has been reported that aside the batch due for the one make race series, a 1999 allocation of cars have been sold to individuals by agreement with Lotus on the understanding that they will be racing - price was apparently 36K + vat. 

More importantly though, at the time of writing it is believed that a derivative of the motorsport elise will be available through one of the dozen or so Lotus motorsport franchises from early next year when they initialise at selected UK Lotus dealers. It is rumoured that a factory 111s elise will be on offer with the motorsport GT body but most definitely, the clamshells and fixed head will be available to order as retrofittable elise parts. My wish is that they offer the car with the detuned (and road legal) VHPD that was developed for the 340R car..... here's hoping.


The series will comprise between 12 to 14 rounds at leading UK and European circuits with an approxiamte share of 2/3 in the UK. The following tracks have been shortlisted for 2000:

Silverstone, Donnington, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton, Thruxton, Croft
Nurburgring, Magny-Cours, Spa, Monza, Zandvoort


The central character of this series is obviously a level playing field and whilst drivers will not be able to buy a competitive advantage the following set-up options will be available:

Aerodynamics (e.g. front splitter and rear wing)
Front anti roll bar
Damper settings
Brake balance
Tyre pressure
Slick and wet tyres

A purpose-built mobile Race Village incorporating  car prep. and hospitality areas will be transported to every race meeting. Cars will be prepared in groups of five and keep to this 5 car pit and the same team of mechanics for the whole season.

For added excitement and media interest, a celebrity driver will race a guest car at selected meetings.


ENGINE "tuned VHPD", in excess of 200bhp
TRANSMISSION Manual 5 speed transaxle, ultra close ratio gears
CLOSED GT STYLE BODY revised lightweight composite bodywork with improved aerodynamics
LIGHTWEIGHT SPORTS CHASSIS elise aluminium epoxy-bonded chassis will full roll cage
DATA LOGGING Motorsport instrument pack with data logging system
SPORTS SUSPENSION independent upper and lower wishbones, co-axial springs and adjustable platform racing dampers
PRECISE STEERING Rack & pinion, non power-assisted
PERFORMANCE BRAKES Front: 295mm rear: 282mm, crosdrilled ventilated discs with lightweight alloy mounting bells, front brakes fitted with AP Racing 4 piston calipers
WHEELS/TYRES front: 7x16 200/580 rear: 8.5x17 230/625
UNLADEN WEIGHT target weight = 700kg



Lotus motorsport official site (watch out - its shockwave)
pics of Goodwood appearance of the Motorsport elise
outline of race series and more pics at Eliseweb
movie of report from sky news


The Jackals Racetrack 1998 Richard Morris