Track-day wonder, fuel-sipping daily driver and one of the most affordable bits of exotica on the road--the Lotus Elise seemingly does it all. All except carry much in the way of luggage space or creature comforts, that is--though the 2011 model year updates bring it a bit more toward the comfy end of the spectrum, with the addition of cruise control.
Three models will be available--the Elise, Elise R and supercharged Elise SC. Acceleration times for the base model are 6.0 seconds to 60 mph, while the R manages the dash in 5.1 seconds and the SC does it in a mere 4.3.
Fuel economy is improved by 23 percent thanks to the new 136-horsepower 1.6-liter engine and a 4 percent reduction in drag provided by the new bodywork, meaning emissions are reduced too, by about 13 percent. It's not clear if that engine will make its way to the U.S., where 1.8-liter units are the norm for the range.
Other updates are primarily superficial, with a new look that's modeled to closer align the car with the new Evora 2 + 2. A new front bumper, lower splitter and reworked headlights with LED running lights give it a fresher look. At the rear, a new bumper and engine cover continue the updates.
A pair of new cast and forged alloy wheel options and a new six-speed gearbox, plus a boost from two years to three years/36,000 miles for the factory warranty also join the range for the 2011 model.
Pricing for the 2011 Lotus Elise will be announced in March.