Candles on a Victoria sponge would be an anti-climatic way to celebrate 20 years of creating seriously rapid track cars, so Lotus is going for a special edition Elise instead. And maybe a few party poppers.
The 20th Anniversary Special Edition Elise is based on the Elise S Club Racer (nothing to do with the pop group from the 1990s) including the Elise colour schemes, but weighs 10kg les thanks to matt black forged wheels, lightweight centre console and sports seats wrapped in either leather or Alcantara.
Power comes from a 1.8-litre supercharged petrol that rockets the track weapon from 0 to 62mph in as little as 4.5 seconds before topping out at 145mph. CO2 emissions and fuel economy are said to be 173g/km and 47.6mpg, respectively.
Four colours – blue, green, yellow and silver – are available as a contrast to the matt black rear diffuser, wing mirrors, roll hoop cover and rear transom, while decals on the dashboard, seats and on the side indicator make it known this is no run-of-the-mill Elise.
The extra equipment is worth £5,150, according to the British manufacturer, but the special edition Elise is only £2,700 more than the standard Elise S, which costs £37,200. Optional extras include a hardtop (£1,200), air-conditioning (£1,250) and a CD/radio with USB connection (£1,200).
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said: “It is sometimes hard to believe that the Elise has been around for 20 years. It was ground breaking when it was launched and continues to be the benchmark for handling and performance in its class.”
“Over the years we have improved and refined the Elise but we have also ensured that we have retained the purity of the driving experience and for the Elise to remain as the sports car to which other marques aspire,” he added.
Want to feel old? Lotus unveiled the original Elise at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 1995, the year John Major was Prime Minister. More than 32,000 have been built and sold globally since then.
The special edition Elise will replace the Elise S Club Racer and is available to order now.