Lotus today announced a series of revisions to its evergreen Elise and Exige sports cars.
The improvements are available on 2006 model-year models on sale this week – and are designed to make the roadster and coupe more practical.
No mechanical changes have been made, leaving a straightforward choice of two models: the cheapest Elise is now the 111R, powered by a Toyota-sourced 189bhp 1.8; the same engine is also available in the hard-top Exige.
Performance is still electric, with both models achieving 0-60mph in just 4.9sec and a top speed of around 150mph.
Lotus now offers safety equipment to give the two-seater better protection in an accident. Twin-front airbags are available as an option for the first time, but only as part of the £3990 Super Touring Pack, which includes leather trim, digital radio, extra sound insulation and cupholder.
Traction control and a limited slip differential, for improved traction on slippery roads, are options for £395 and £995, respectively.
New light-emitting diode (LED) rear lights replace conventional bulbs and are claimed to illuminate 0.2sec faster, to warn drivers behind quicker if the Elise is braking.
Cosmetic changes include the addition of more paint options, taking the total number of colours available to 21. New window seals are claimed to cut wind noise in the cabin, more comfortable seats are fitted and new instruments are designed to be easier to read.
Prices remain unchanged, starting at £27,995 for the basic Elise 111R and £29,995 for the Exige hard-top. However, the collapse of MG Rover means that the cheapest £22,995 basic Elise – which used an MGR engine – has been axed.
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