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Car Review

2011 Lotus Elise: Overview

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2011 Lotus Elise

author photo by Doug DeMuro

Pros:

  • Go-kart handling makes for a great track car
  • Supercar styling for less than half the cost
  • Toyota engine means good reliability and cheap parts

Cons:

  • Extremely tight cabin for even medium-sized drivers
  • Unknown future for Lotus as a brand
  • Safety is a concern due to small size and low weight

What's new: The 2011 Lotus Elise received major changes for its last year on the market. A new front end was the biggest, integrating its front lights into one unit for the first time. New wheel designs were also available, as were several special editions - an Elise signature.

Overview:

The British-built Lotus Elise debuted in the US for the 2005 model year. All Elise models are mid-engine, rear-wheel drive two-seaters, and all featured a six-speed manual transmission. The Elise offered a removable roof, while its Exige stablemate was sold as a track-oriented hardtop, lacking even a rear window.

The Elise used a Toyota-built 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 189 horsepower. An available supercharger increased that figure to 217 horses. While that may not seem like much power, the Elise's paltry 2,000-pound curb weight meant it could reach 60 mph from a stop in around five seconds.

The 2011 Lotus Elise started around $52,000. Opting for the available supercharger added about $3,100 to that figure, while the upscale Roger Becker Edition started around $58,000 and included the Touring and Sport packages as standard equipment. By comparison, the track-focused 2011 Exige started at nearly $66,000.

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Used 2005 Lotus Elise
Used 2005 Lotus Elise
$36,350
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Used 2010 Lotus Elise
Used 2010 Lotus Elise
$1,250,000
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Used 2006 Lotus Elise
Used 2006 Lotus Elise
$36,900
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Used 2008 Lotus Elise
Used 2008 Lotus Elise
$51,786
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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2011 Lotus Elise: Overview