This is a discussion on Lotus Elise within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Apparently Lotus will be selling a street legal version of the Elise in the US. Should be available mid 2004. ...
A Lotus would be MAD sick to drive.. but under $40k seems very unlikely imo.
03 Subaru WRX Sedan WR Blue -
The price estimate was wishful thinking on my part. Racing spec Elise's are in the range of $65K and the only major difference from the road spec model is that these have a ~200hp engine.
On the other hand, in the UK Lotus has produced a range of Elise models including some that are very affordable. For example,
the Sport Elise 135R (basically a detuned version of the 111 model) is 27995 UK pounds which would be ~$45K.
Given that the UK price includes taxes which are much greater than in the US a price of $40K might not be out of the question.
I suppose it depends on who Lotus think they are competing with in the US- the Elise is such a pure enthusiast car that perhaps this doesn't matter. If you're considering a Z4 or a boxster you're missing the point. My guess is they'll go with a high end model first and see how much interest it generates.
Here's a completely unscientific way to estimate the price.
Shadow's UK conversion:
UK WRX: L19995
US WRX: $23995
UK Elise 111S: L27995
US Elise 111S: $31995
We can only hope that this happens.
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan 5MT - Midnight Black Pearl
2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon 5MT - Dark Gray Metallic
That might have to be my next car. They're beautiful!
I bet that an MSRP of ~$40K isn't out of the question for a ~135 hp US spec Elise.
As ever, the main concern will be adapting the mighty Rover K-series DOHC engine for US emissions regulations and low octane gas. The UK Elise uses the 1600 cc K-series engine but perhaps Lotus will use the 1800 cc version (its the same size) to keep the power up. Of course, the main idea of the Elise isn't raw power. It only weighs ~1600 (half as much as our WRX) pounds and if Road and Track thinks that the EVO handles like a go kart they're got a shock coming when they test the Elise.
If they release the Elise under $40k, I'm ditching the WRX AND the race car (240Z) for one. My 240Z, which I race wheel to wheel in vintage races, weighs 2240 lbs and has 305 horsepower. It only has 225/60/14 tires but still pulls over 1g. In the group I run with, they allow new Elises to run since Lotus sponsors the club. I can beat everyone but those friggin' Elises, at least the ones that are driven well. Even though I destroy them on the straights, they corner so well that they still wind up ahead, and by a lot. Could you imagine getting an Elise and bumping the power to about 250 to 275 hp or so? Unbeatable at 1600 lbs. Probably just add a low pressure turbo or supercharger and that's it.
The Elise will DEFINITELY be under $40k. No question. The Elise is a nice car, but not for me. I drove a few back in the UK and they're SMALL. Not for the tall people like me. Also, loud, and NOT luxurious. No radio and no electrics AT ALL.
Interestingly, you can leave the top off your Elise in the pouring rain and no damage will be done. THAT'S how spartan the interior is. Bloody amazing car though.
2010 SSM STI
I agree that the UK Elise is a snug fit although there is plenty of head room with the top off. My main recollection of riding in one was that the car is extremely low to the ground to start with and the seats accentuated the feeling of skimming along inches above the road.
I wouldn't be buying an Elise as a daily driver- fortunately I can afford to run a few cars. I'd see it as a link to what originally interested me in cars as a young man. I'd always admired Elans and Europas growing up in the UK and the more I read about them the more fascinated I was with their designer Colin Chapman. When I was at University I had a girlfriend with an uncle who worked for the McLaren Formula 1 team. I saw Chapman in person when we went to a testing day at Brands Hatch. Chapman made many contributions to race and sports car design. Unfortunately he died in his early 50s and was embroiled in the De Lorean scandal. Here's an interesting link if you'd like to learn more about him:
Great link, thanks.
If I could afford it, an Elise would be my weekender. I saw one in a local Lotus dealership a while ago and it blew me away. Seeing them in pictures only does not do it justice.
Steve McQueen's got nothin' on me...
I'll take you back, west of Pleiades...
1.4 US dollar is about
1 GB Pounds
£20,000 = $28,000
Current exchange rate is actually about 1.637.
So you are looking at ~$32,750, but cars do not really translate like that from the UK to the USA, cars are much more expensive there than here. A WRX in the UK costs in excess of $30K.
'02 WRB Sedan
Removed silencer w/ Akimoto Velocity Stack, Blitz Dual TT, Autospeed Prototype Up-pipe w/ Flex-joint, Autospeed Crank Pulley, Autospeed OEM Dead Pedal, Samco IC Hoses, Axxis Pads, Goodridge Lines, Neo Synth Brake Fluid, Speedbleeders, Eibach Pro-Kit, Perrin Endlinks and Rear Sway, 17" Sub Zeros w/ 225/45 ES100s, Crucial Racing Thermostat and 1.4bar Radiator Cap, Autometer Sport-Comp Oil Pressure, EGT, and Voltmeter on the A-Pillar, STI Hoodscoop.
At the Chicago autoshow the list price on the car was under $40 (or just above). If I remember I'll find my photos and double check. Very sexy looking car in person.
My Mom fell in love with it at the show, so we're going to go test drive it when they first come out. Knowing her, she'll find it too bumpy and keep her Corvette or upgrade to a 500SL though.
It's not a damn beanbag!
Elise's are awesome cars, I would just hate to see what happens when one meets an American SUV....
2004 Grand Prix CompG
Fully loaded w/Appreance Package.
Apparently the extruded aluminum space frame chassis of the Elise is incredibly strong. The car could be driven after a 30 mph barrier crash test. However, as you note, the driver wouldn't have much chance if the care goes under a truck or SUV.