Significant improvements made across the whole range. The new 2006 model year of the Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige ranges introduces new standard and optional quipment including lighter weight components, airbags, traction control and limited slip differential, enhanced trim, adjustable suspension and a new ProBax driver and passenger seat.
A new range of colours has been added, ranging from standard solid shades to metallic and fashionable lifestyle colours. The total number of colours available is now 21, excluding the bespoke custom option.
“The Elise has been a huge success, and we are keen to open up more options to the customer, to offer them the choice of making their Elise more track or touring focussed, as well as even more individual to themselves” said Trevor Houghton-Berry, Lotus Cars Head of Commercial Operations.
The improvements for 2006 Model Year
The Elise and Exige ranges have been improved with more options at both ends of the user scales. Four equipment packs are now available, two containing touring options and two containing sports options.
The Lotus customer can now order a car that satisfies either their demands for enhanced trim and more luxury equipment with the Touring Packs or their track and race requirements with the Sport Packs. Touring and Sport Packs can be combined too.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) rear lights with integrated reflectors are now standard. When
compared to conventional filament bulb lights, the LED brake lights illuminate 0.2 seconds (two-tenths of a second) quicker, which is equivalent to one Elise length at approximately 70 km/h (approximately 43 mph). The LED rear lights are also 36% lighter (around 0.6 kg total) than the conventional filament bulb lights.
Other changes include a new window seal fitted around the door that reduces the wind-noise into the cabin substantially, and a non linear tachometer / rev-counter dial with the unit spacing between 3000 rpm and 10,000 rpm being greater than the spacing between 0 rpm and 3000 rpm.
For security, central locking is standard across the range. The new light weight pedal box A new light weight pedal box with steel pedal arms and extruded aluminium pads is introduced on the 2006 Model Year Elise and Exige. This new unit has an electronic (drive-by-wire) throttle for quicker and smoother, more linear engine response, reduced brake pedal ratio and improved pedal feel for the brake and throttle. All three pedals have less travel and are better positioned for easier “heel and toe” brake and throttle control on downshifts.
Wheels and tyres
Lotus specific Yokohama Neova AD07 LTS tyres are now fitted to the Elise. These tyres have been extensively tested and developed by Lotus and Yokohama engineers and provide high levels of feed back to the driver. The Lotus Exige has the ultra high performance Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres.
ProBax Seats – Standard across the range. Lotus is the first car manufacturer in the world to introduce the “ProBax™” seat. The 2006 Model Year Elise and Exige models both have seats designed by Lotus and specifically adapted and developed by NuBax, helping to significantly improve the postural position of the occupant’s spine whilst seated. This not only results in an improved level of comfort, but also has significant medical benefits – maintaining a natural curvature of the spine, and markedly improving the body’s blood flow. Increased blood flow has been shown to enhance response times, raise alertness levels and reduce the onset of muscle fatigue. Tests on Lotus seats, with the new ProBax™ technology, have shown an improvement in blood flow of up to thirty per cent over the pre-2006 Model Year Lotus seat.
Steve Swift, Head of Vehicle Engineering at Lotus, commented, “We carried out extensive tests with people of various shapes and sizes in Lotus seats with ProBax technology and the results are extremely good. The seat padding and “cushion” have been specifically designed by NuBax, enabling us to remove the pre-existing lumbar mechanism. This has helped reduce weight, vital for Lotus of course, and increase the amount of useable space in the cockpit.”
The seats are clad in cloth for the base and the sports pack Exige and Elise, and in leather for the Elise with the Touring Pack. The Touring Pack Exige is clad in a lightweight stain resistant suede-effect material.
The Touring Pack includes electric windows, full leather interior for the Elise in a choice of colours (Black, Cream, Biscuit and Red) or Black suede effect interior with leather highlights for the Exige, full carpet set, high specification DAB Radio and CD/MP3 player, and sound and temperature insulation.
The Super Touring Pack includes the contents of the Touring Pack plus an upgraded interior trim with driver and passenger airbags, high specification leather covered steering wheel, front speakers located in the facia top panel, engine start button, trinket tray stowage unit, cup holder, leather handbrake sleeve, leather handbrake gaiter and gear shift knob and embroidered logo premium floor mats.
For both the Elise and the Exige, the Sports Pack includes twin oil coolers and switchable Lotus Traction Control (LTC) – see later for a full explanation of LTC.
In addition the Elise has sports suspension (uprated Bilstein dampers and stiffer Eibach Springs) and ultra light weight split-type 7-spoke forged (6J on the front) alloys wheels for use with the Yokohama Neova AD07 LTS tyres.
The Exige with the Sports Pack already has the sports suspension so in addition, is equipped with sports seats and a T45 steel roll-over hoop and harness bar for the aftermarket fitment of four point harnesses for track use only.
The Super Sports Pack includes the contents of the Sports Pack plus ultra lightweight forged split-type 7-spoke (6.5J front) alloy wheels (saving a massive 1.2 kg of unsprung weight per corner – compared to the already lightweight Elise and Exige cast wheels), track suspension with Eibach springs and Bilstein one-way adjustable dampers – with a single adjuster for bump and rebound – and adjustable ride height), adjustable front anti-roll bar, double shear track control arm brace to help cope with the expected kerb abuse during hard track day driving.
In addition the Elise with the Super Sports Pack has ultra high performance Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres and a motorsport specification T45 roll-over hoop which when fitted with a Lotus Sport aftermarket 6-point roll-cage is FIA race approved.
Stand alone options
Lotus Traction Control and Limited Slip Differential A switchable Lotus Traction Control System (LTC) is available for the first time on the Elise and Exige for 2006. The LTC works through the engine management system to reduce power when required to maintain traction. Unlike many traction control systems, LTC has been tuned to complement the skills of the driver without taking over. The Lotus LTC is active above 5 mph (8 km/h) and operates much more quickly than many brake based systems. The system can be deactivated with an illuminated button which is located adjacent to the gear lever. A Torsentype limited slip differential (LSD) is also available for tight and twisty driving (such as in auto tests). The LSD is only available if LTC has been specified and is not available by itself.
Air-conditioning is available as a cost option (standard in some markets) and weighs in at a featherweight 15 kg (~33 lbs).
Body Coloured Hard Top
A hard top is available for the Elise for seasonal use.
The New Range of Colours
A new range of colours has been added, ranging from standard solid shades to metallic and fashionable lifestyle colours. New colours include a vivid aspen white, non metallic British Racing Green, a hot Chilli Red, a high metallic Solar Yellow and a harmonious Autumn Gold.
The total number of colours now available is 21, excluding the bespoke custom colours.
Engine and Engineering Design
With a VVTL-i engine (Variable Valve Timing and Lift – Intelligent) producing a maximum power output of 192 PS (189 hp or 141kW) and 181Nm (133.5 lbft or 18.5 kgm) of torque, the Elise 111R sprints to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds (60 mph in 4.9 seconds) and 160km/h (100 mph) in 13.0 seconds before reaching a certified top speed of 241km/h (150 mph).
The Lotus Exige has similar straight line performance to 100 km/h (60 mph), reaches 160 km/h (100 mph) in 13.2 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 237 km/h (147 mph) – slightly slower than the Elise due to the higher levels of aerodynamic downforce, giving phenomenal cornering power, with around 42 kg of downforce at 160 km/h – the equivalent of the weight of a new-born rhinoceros!
This performance is achieved without compromise to environmental considerations with the fully Euro IV Emissions Compliant engine helping the Elise to return 8.8 litres/100km (32.1 mpg) on the combined cycle, as well as the very low figure of 208 g/km of CO2 emissions.
Notes about the Lotus Elise:
Lotus cars are now sold in over 25 countries around the world through more than 150 dealers. Over the last two years, the company has entered important new markets including the USA, South Africa and Mexico, and will be entering further territories such as Canada and the Middle East within the next 12 months. Expansion of the sales territories is planned over the next few years as Lotus rolls out a new range of products including a GT type car and a new mid-engine supercar.
Around 25,000 Elise have been built by Lotus at its award winning manufacturing facilities at the Hethel headquarters in Norfolk, UK which brings the total number of Lotus cars built since Colin Chapman’s first in 1948 to 75,000. Of this impressive tally, the last third of the volume is Elise and Exige from the last 10 years!
Even though Lotus is building more cars than ever before, a Lotus is still a rare and head-turning sight on the roads, keeping the brand exclusive for those who have one aim: to drive, what is regarded by many, as the finest handling of cars in the world.
2006 Model Year Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige are now available from Lotus dealers in November 2005.
Recommended retail prices are below:
Elise MSRP £27,995
Exige MSRP £29,995
Solid Paint standard
Metallic Paint £595
Lifestyle Paint £1,010
Air Conditioning £1,295
Touring Pack £1,995
Super Touring Pack £1,995
Sports Pack £1,495
Super Sports Pack £2,495
Other world market prices will be issued shortly