Lotus has announced four new special-edition versions of its Elise sports car will be inspired by the company’s historic racing liveries. Just 100 of the Classic Heritage Editions will be built, with each bearing one of four motorsport-based colour schemes, as well as “enhanced” specifications.
Possibly the most iconic of all Lotus’ many well-known liveries, the black-and-gold colour scheme of the Type 72D F1 car is recognised among the special Elises, alongside the red, white and gold paintwork of the 1968 Type 49B driven by Graham Hill. The blue, red and silver of the 1980 Type 81 driven by Nigel Mansell and Mario Andretti is represented, too.
The fourth new Elise, finished in blue and white, pays tribute to the 1960 Type 18, which became the first Lotus to achieve an F1 pole and victory. It was a feat accomplished 60 years ago this year, and it came courtesy of the late Sir Stirling Moss, at the Monaco Grand Prix.
As well as their special paintwork, each car also comes with an exclusive ‘build plaque’ that denotes its position in the production run. Although production will be limited to 100, Lotus will not necessarily build 25 of each version. Instead, the final number for each car will be determined by customer demand.
More conventional features include a range of goodies normally found on the Lotus options list. That means the Classic Heritage Editions will get a DAB digital radio, air conditioning and cruise control. Ultra-lightweight alloy wheels will be thrown in, too, along with two-piece disc brakes and black carpet with floor mats.
Each car will also benefit from the Elise interior colour pack, which includes the upper door trim and central seat insert in the body colour. Detailing on the door, gear selector surround and dashboard will also pick out key colours in the livery. The only car not to conform to this is the blue-and-white version, which comes with red Alcantara on the seats.
In total, Lotus says the Classic Heritage Editions get options worth almost £12,000, but all 100 cars will cost £46,250 (or €47,848 for European customers). That means each one is just £6,350 more expensive than the standard Elise Sport 220.
As with that car, the Classic Heritage Editions will come with a 1.8-litre supercharged petrol engine that produces 217 bhp. That gives the little drop-top a power-to-weight ratio of around 235 bhp per ton, permitting a 0-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds. The top speed is 145 mph.
“Motorsport success has been at the heart of the Lotus philosophy for more than seven decades, and the Elise is our iconic roadster known around the world for its exceptional ‘For The Drivers’ performance,” said Ema Forster, the head of product marketing at Lotus. “What better way to celebrate than by bringing these two pillars of our brand together, launching four new Classic Heritage cars which fans will instantly recognise?”