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Lotus Elise S2 Circuit CarThe 'circuit car' was launched as the Lotus 2-eleven.
October 2006The prototype Lotus "Circuit Car" now features on the Group Lotus web site. It is now quoted as being around 650kg and this is for as a single-seater car (two seats is an option). It is now stated that it has been designed and engineered solely for Track Days and Club Racing, so I'm not sure if this makes it road legal. There is no SVA or road package offered in the options list.
It has lightweight composite bodywork and a normally aspirated or supercharged and intercooled 1.8 litre engine. The aluminium chassis has high side sills that reduce the complexity of the chassis structure and since it has no doors, it was always going to be a climb over and in car. The lightweight GRP composite bodywork is now bolted to the chassis for easy removal, to enalbe maintenance and reapairs. The design is best described as functional, with decent aerodynamics. The small frontal area and lack of windscreen is combined with flat, unsculptured sides and no air-intakes, for minimal drag. A deep front splitter, a large rear wing (single plane as standard and dual element as an option) and a rear diffuser help to produce a fair amount of downforce.
There are two power options offered:
190 (standard) - Toyota 2ZZ-GE, 4 cylinder, dohc 4 valves per cylinder with variable valve timing and lift, 1796cc, 190hp (141 kW) @ 7800rpm, 138 lb-ft (181 Nm) @ 6800 rpm.
240 (option) - Toyota 2ZZ-GE Supercharged engine, developed by Lotus Engineering, 1796cc, 243hp (181 kW) @ 8000rpm, 174 lb-ft (236 Nm) @ 7000rpm.
Engine management is using the Lotus T4 unit, along with with drive-by-wire throttle control. Transmission is the C64 Gearbox, all aluminium lightweight construction, 6-speed, close ratio, constant mesh helical gears and open differential. A limited slip differential is optional. The battery is a lightweight dry cell battery to save weight.
Wheels are 8x Y-spoke cast wheels. 7 twin-spoke, lightweight forged wheels and Lotus Sport 5-spoke, light weight forged wheels are also options. Tyres are Yokohama Advan AO48 but Yokohama A006 racing wet tyres, Yokohama A005 racing slick tyres and Yokohama A005 racing slick tyres and all options.
Brakes are cross drilled discs with AP racing front brake calipers abd Brembo rear brake calipers, both with ABS.
The chassis is a new design with epoxy bonded aluminium alloy extrusions and lightweight steel rear subframe. It features a high side sill. Integral FIA and SCCA compliant rollcages are an option.
Suspension is fully independent suspension utilising unequal length wishbones, coaxial mono-tube gas damper, Eibach coil spring at each corner, front anti-roll bar and Bilstein dampers. Ohlins 2-way adjustable dampers are an optional.
29th June 2005Lotus is planning to build a new 'Circuit Car' to challenge the existing trackday specials. It will be developed by Lotus Sport and based on the Elise chassis. The target weight is 600kg and it will have a choice of the naturally aspirated and supercharged Toyota VVTL-i engines. The supercharged variant is identical to the spec found in the Exige 240R and produces 243bhp. This gives the new car a projected 0-60mph time of 3.5sec with 100mph in less than 9.0sec. Cool!
It is the rumoured that it will cost less than a base Elise (circa £20k), which means it should sell well. The idea for a pared-down Elise has apparently been knocking around Lotus for a while and its something I've been asking for, for ages! The sketches have been produced by Barney Hatt, a ten-year veteran of Lotus Design who was also involved in the styling of the M250. Now that the idea has the green light, the concept has gone back into the main design pool to be developed into a viable production car.
As it is based on known hardware, Lotus should be testing now and delivering customer cars fairly soon. It can also be produced on the main Elise assembly line. Initial plans are for about 100 per year starting December 2005. Lotus say it is a track-only machine but some owners may be tempted to try for Single Vehicle Approval, to make them road legal.
12th June 2005Lotus Press Release (PDF)
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