Today, there are virtually no automotive manufacturers adhering to this philosophy with the notable exception of Lotus. This British sports car manufacturer, founded in the minimalistic philosophy of Colin Chapman, was known in the 60′s for its lightweight fiberglass machines that would tear up the tracks despite their small-displacement engines. The Elise continues this tradition.
The 2006 Lotus Elise weighs in under 2000 lbs., thanks in part to its stiff aluminum subframe and composite body panels. As a result, it can roar from 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. That’s right, under 5 seconds! Folks, we are talking about true supercar territory here.
A supercar that can achieve an estimated 29 mpg (old EPA test cycle) on the highway! The Elise is truly in rarefied company and handles and turns heads like no other car under $50,000. Colin Chapman would be smiling.
Note: 2005 and earlier Elises have old EPA gas mileage ratings of 23/27 mpg (city/hwy). Also, although due to the new post-2007 EPA testing methodology, 2008-2010 Elises will have window stickers purporting lower mpg ratings but should get similar gas mileage to the 2006-2007 models.
Also check out the new hardtop version of the Elise, the Lotus Exige.