Less Is More at Lotus

If you want to get a sense of just how obsessed they are with reducing mass at Group Lotus for the cars that they hand-craft, just take a look at this, which is found on the interior of the new Elise Sprint: Yes, that’s the open-gate manual gearbox.

If you want to get a sense of just how obsessed they are with reducing mass at Group Lotus for the cars that they hand-craft, just take a look at this, which is found on the interior of the new Elise Sprint:

EliseSprint2

Yes, that’s the open-gate manual gearbox. This isn’t something where a panel has been removed for demonstration purposes only. It is how it is in the car. And it is, the company has calculated, a 1-kg weight save.

All in (or maybe that should be “all out”), the Elise Sprint has a dry weight of 798 kg.

Like all Elises, the Sprint is based on an extruded and bonded aluminum chassis. It weighs 68 kg.

And among the other places where things are lighter in the Sprint, there are:

· A lithium-ion battery savings 9 kg

· Race seats saving 6 kg

· Forged alloy wheels saving 5 kg

· Carbon access panel, roll hoop cover, engine cover and polycarbonate rear screen saving 6 kg

EliseSprint

The whole Elise lineup gets a redesigned front clam panel with wider radiator apertures and a mesh pattern grille that cuts 8.7 kg. They redesigned the rear transom panel so there are two rear light clusters rather than four, which cuts weight by 0.3 kg.

And for those opting for the carbon sill covers, they reduce weight by 0.8 kg.

As Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus, so appropriately said, “Enhanced by less weight, the Elise now provides even more driving purity, greater agility and higher all-round performance. As we say at Hethel: less weight equals more Lotus.