It was at the Frankfurt Auto Show back in 1995 that Lotus first introduced a car called the “Elise”, and now, two decades on, the automaker from the British town Hethel is celebrating the milestone with a special edition Elise. The new special edition is called the “Elise 20th Anniversary Edition”, and it’s based on the Elise S, albeit with some weight-saving mods that help shed around 22 pounds from the vehicle’s curb weight, bringing the new total to just 2,015 lbs.
That’s incredibly light compared to most other cars in production, but it’s somewhat hefty compared to the original Elise, the Series 1, which tipped the scales at just 1,598 lbs. The car was in production for just five years before stricter crash safety regs lead to the design of the current Series 2 Elise. It was at this time that Lotus also introduced the hard-top Exige.
The Elise 20th Anniversary Edition, with its lightweight, aero-optimized body, is powered by the Elise’s familiar supercharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. The engine is tuned to deliver 217 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to rocket the car from 0-62 mph in just 4.6 seconds and see it reach a top speed of 145 mph.
Some of the car’s weight-saving mods include lightweight forged wheels finished in matte black, a special lightweight center console that matches the body color, and lightweight sports seats in leather or Alcantara with color coded stitching. A sport mode is also included which increases throttle response and alters the traction slip thresholds allowing the driver enhanced control before intervention.
Four classic Elise colors are available on the Elise 20th Anniversary Edition: Blue, Green, Yellow and Silver, and the rear diffuser, wing mirrors, roll hoop cover and rear diffuser are all finished in matte black. Special badging, inside and out, also hints at the car’s significance.
Unfortunately, the Elise is no longer offered in the U.S. market, so this special edition model won’t be available locally. In markets where it is sold, the car is priced from approximately $58,916.