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 1973 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S130
1973 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S130 Stock # 142TV

1973 Lotus 2 door, Dark Blue Exterior, power windows, 4 speed manual 
transmission, wood dash, miles reading 42,472,  black interior with matching carpets and dash,  Rare black sunroof, Lotus big valve with 2  
carbs, 4 cylinder, disc brakes front and back and ready to ride and or collect!

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1973 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S130
Condition:Pre-Owned, Clear Title
Odometer Reads:42,472
Stock No:142TV
Warranty:Do Not Display Warranty Info
Title:Clear Title
Engine:N/A
Exterior Color:BLUE
Interior Color:BLACK
VIN:

1973 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S130 Description:

 
Britain's cheeky, Grand Prix-winning engineering genius, the late Colin Chapman, knew more about lightweight sports cars than anyone in the past century except perhaps Ettore Bugatti. After a series of interesting—but not too practical starts—Chapman's brilliance finally produced the Elan. It boasts a featherweight fiberglass body, backbone chassis, independent suspension and reliable and revvy "Big Valve" twincam Ford four in a stylish roadster body that inspired the Mazda Miata.

 

Lotus Elan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Lotus Elan
1966 Lotus Elan
Production 1962-1975 and 1989-1995
Assembly Hethel, England
Engine(s) Lotus 1558 cc

Lotus Elan is the name of two convertible cars and one fixed head coupé produced by Lotus Cars. The original Type 26, 26R Racing version, 36 Fixed Head Coupe, 45 Drop Head Coupe, and the "Type 50" +2 Coupe, circa 1962 to 1975, are commonly known as the '60s Elans. The Type M100 from 1989 to 1995, is also commonly known as the 1990s Elan.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] 1960s Elan

First generation
1974 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint Coupe (integral, not hardtop)
Production 1962-1973
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1,558 cc I4

The original Elan was introduced in 1962 as a roadster, although an optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupé version in 1965. The two seat Lotus Elan replaced the elegant, but unreliable and expensive to produce Lotus Elite. It was the first Lotus road car to use the now famous steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 1,500 lb (680 kg), the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. Initial versions of the Elan were also available as a kit to be assembled by the customer. The Elan was technologically advanced with a twin-cam 1558 cc engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 4-wheel independent suspension. The Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine was based on Ford's Kent, with a Lotus-inspired Cosworth alloy twin-cam head. This Lotus-Ford 4-cylinder engine would go on to be used in a number of Lotus production and racing models.

Lotus Elan +2
Lotus Plus 2
Production 1967-1975
Body style(s) 2-door 2+2 seater coupe
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1,558 cc I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual all-synchromesh
Wheelbase 96 in (2,438 mm)
Length 169 in (4,293 mm)
Width 66 in (1,676 mm)
Height 47 in (1,194 mm)
Fuel capacity 59 L (15.6 US gal; 13.0 imp gal)[1]

An Elan +2 was introduced in 1967 with a longer wheelbase and two more rear seats. The Elan + 2 embodied the Lotus spirit: It was a fast and agile sport coupe, with very elegant lines. It combined the performance and reliability of the Elan "Coupe" with genuine 2+2 passenger comfort. Tested maximum power: 108-126 bhp(net)depending on the model); top speed: 120 mph (190 km/h), 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, 0-100 mph 21.8 seconds. 5,200 Elans + 2 were made: less than 1,200 of these cars remain in the roads today. Their relative rarity, beautiful lines, impressive performance and practicality are the main factors for the rising interest on these cars among collectors.

The Elan ceased production in 1973 and the Elan +2 in 1975. An estimated total of 17,000 original Elans and Elan +2's were built. Because of its successful design and technological sophistication, the Elan went on to become Lotus' first commercial success, reviving a company stretched thin by the more exotic and less commercially successful Elite, and enabling funding of the Lotus success in racing over the next ten years.

1970 Lotus Elan + 2

This generation of the two seater Elan was famously driven by the character Emma Peel on the British television series The Avengers. In 2004, Sports Car International named the Elan number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The original version of the car was designed by Ron Hickman, who also designed the first Lotus Europa as part of Lotus' GT40 project bid and made his fortune having designed the Black & Decker WorkMate.

The original Elan is commonly credited as being the design inspiration for the highly successful 1990 Mazda MX-5 (Mazda Miata in North America). In fact, two Elans were intimately evaluated by Mazda[citation needed] in the process of designing the MX-5.

[edit] 1990s Elan

Second generation
Lotus Elan from the front (with aftermarket wheels).
Production 1989-1995
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Layout FF layout
Engine(s) 1,588 cc I4
1990 Lotus Elan SE

The second Lotus Elan (known as the M100 Elan), released in 1989, was a technical tour de force and defined Lotus' "performance through light weight" tradition, although the base car was heavier than a Mazda Miata and the few normally aspirated versions produced had a similar power to weight ratio. All vehicles imported into the USA were turbocharged and significantly outperformed most contemporary sports cars, including the Miata. Its styling by Peter Stevens, who was also responsible for the redesign of the Lotus Esprit, was also controversial. Lotus Engineering had spent five years in tuning other cars and they put the knowledge from that into the new Elan. They wanted a very rigid chassis and used their gained knowledge to create a roadster chassis as rigid as a coupé.

The idea of a front-wheel drive Lotus, powered by an Isuzu turbocharged engine and motivated by an Isuzu five speed transmission, was a brave concept and its cornering performance was undeniable (on release the Elan was described by Autocar magazine as "the quickest point to point car available"). However the handling was negatively compared to the original Elan by the press, often being accused of lacking driver feedback.[citation needed] According to Lotus sales literature, "The ride and handling engineers at Lotus found that for a given vehicle weight, power and tyre size, a front wheel drive car was always faster over a given section of road. There were definite advantages in traction and controllability, and drawbacks such as torque steer, bump steer, and steering kickback were not insurmountable." [1] This was the only front wheel drive vehicle made by Lotus. Every model made since the M100 Elan, such as the Lotus Elise, has been rear wheel drive.

The relatively high price of the M100 Elan (vs. e.g. the Mazda Miata), along with the mixed reviews and the downturn in the global economy in 1992, particularly in the USA, meant it was not a sales success, list price being around $40,000 similar to that of the Elise when launched in the USA over 10 years later.

Lotus Cars USA cited US sales of 1,500 units in 1991, and also issued a statement that they sold more than 2,000 Elans in the US in 1991 and 1992, these US figures are inaccurate and massively inflated. Lotus UK archives (backed by all other manufacturer's records and by recall data) indicate total production of 3,855 vehicles from November 1989 - July 1992. Included in this 3,855 total is the series 1 production of 129 normally aspirated examples built for the UK market only. In 1991 (the only year the vehicles were available in the USA), Lotus UK records indicate that 559 Elans were sold into the US market. 800 S2s were also built, none of them for the US.

US market vehicles featured a 'stage 2 body' which had a different rear boot spoiler arrangement together with a lengthened nose to accommodate a USA compliant crash structure and 16" wheels instead of the UK car's 15". Far East market cars combined the UK/Europe nose and wheels with the US boot arrangement.

  • Engine: The M100 Elan used a 1588 cc twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged engine, sourced from the Isuzu Gemini (a third generation of this engine was later used in the Isuzu Impulse), which produced 162 horsepower (121 kW). 0-60 acceleration time was measured by Autocar and Motor magazine as 6.5 s, and a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) was recorded. In June 1992 Elan production ceased due to economic conditions and a desire by the then owner of Lotus, General Motors, to reduce losses which amounted to some 36 million UK pounds over the period the Elan was in production. In 1996 and 1997, Kia Motors built the Elan under license as Kia Elan for the Korean market, using a 151 horsepower (113 kW) 1.8 L engine instead of the Isuzu made 1.6.
  • Series 2 M100 Elan: A limited edition (of 800) Series 2 (S2) M100 Elans was released during the Romano Artioli era (produced June 1994–September 1995) when it was discovered that enough engines were available to make this possible. According to Autocar magazine, the S2 addressed some of the concerns over handling, but the 0–60 acceleration time allegedly increased to 7.5 seconds, which they thought was probably due to the legislative requirement to fit a catalytic converter in all markets. In overall performance the S2's have very similar performance to the USA vehicles, having an identical engine management system calibration and a slightly lower overall vehicle weight.

[edit] References

  • Arnold, G. 1981. The Lotus Elan and Plus Two Buyers Guide 1962 - 1975. Club Lotus
  • Clarke, R.M. Lotus Elan Collection No.2 1963-1972. Brooklands Books. ISBN 0 907 073 689
  • Harvey, C. 1982. Lotus: The Elite, Elan, Europa. Oxford Illustrated Press. ISBN 0902280 85 6.
  • Lotus Cars Limited. 1974. Lotus Elan +2 Workshop Manual. Lotus Cars
  • Read, Robin (1989), Colin Chapman's Lotus (The early years, the Elite, and origins of the Elan). Haynes/Foulis, ISBN 8 85429 703 0.
  • Robinshaw, P. and Ross, C. 1995. Authentic Lotus Elan and Plus 2. Motor Racing Publications LTD. ISBN 0 947981 950.
  • Robinshaw, Paul & Ross, Christopher (1989), The Original 1962-1973 Lotus Elan (Essential Data and Guidance for Owners, Restorers and Competitors); additional notes by Ron Hickman. Motor Racing Publications Limited, ISBN 0 947981 32 2.* Taylor, M. 1990. Lotus Elan, The complete story. The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN 1 86126 0113
  • Taylor, W. 1998. The Lotus Book, a complete History of Lotus Cars, 50th Anniversary Special. Coterie Press Limited. ISBN 1 902351 002.
  • Wherret, D. 1993. Lotus Elan. Osprey. ISBN 1 85532 377 X
  • Wilkins, Miles (2003), Lotus Twin-Cam Engine. Motorbooks, ISBN 978-0760316924.

[edit] Sources and further reading

  1. ^ Daily Mail Motor Show Review 1972 on 1973 Cars (London: Associated Newspapers Group Ltd): Page 33 (Lotus Plus 2 S130). October 1972.

[edit] External links

 

 

 


1973 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S130 Features and Options
Service History

Lotus Elan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Lotus Elan
1966 Lotus Elan
Production 1962-1975 and 1989-1995
Assembly Hethel, England
Engine(s) Lotus 1558 cc

Lotus Elan is the name of two convertible cars and one fixed head coupé produced by Lotus Cars. The original Type 26, 26R Racing version, 36 Fixed Head Coupe, 45 Drop Head Coupe, and the "Type 50" +2 Coupe, circa 1962 to 1975, are commonly known as the '60s Elans. The Type M100 from 1989 to 1995, is also commonly known as the 1990s Elan.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] 1960s Elan

First generation
1974 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint Coupe (integral, not hardtop)
Production 1962-1973
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1,558 cc I4

The original Elan was introduced in 1962 as a roadster, although an optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupé version in 1965. The two seat Lotus Elan replaced the elegant, but unreliable and expensive to produce Lotus Elite. It was the first Lotus road car to use the now famous steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 1,500 lb (680 kg), the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. Initial versions of the Elan were also available as a kit to be assembled by the customer. The Elan was technologically advanced with a twin-cam 1558 cc engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 4-wheel independent suspension. The Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine was based on Ford's Kent, with a Lotus-inspired Cosworth alloy twin-cam head. This Lotus-Ford 4-cylinder engine would go on to be used in a number of Lotus production and racing models.

Lotus Elan +2
Lotus Plus 2
Production 1967-1975
Body style(s) 2-door 2+2 seater coupe
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1,558 cc I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual all-synchromesh
Wheelbase 96 in (2,438 mm)
Length 169 in (4,293 mm)
Width 66 in (1,676 mm)
Height 47 in (1,194 mm)
Fuel capacity 59 L (15.6 US gal
13.0 imp gal)[1]

An Elan +2 was introduced in 1967 with a longer wheelbase and two more rear seats. The Elan + 2 embodied the Lotus spirit: It was a fast and agile sport coupe, with very elegant lines. It combined the performance and reliability of the Elan "Coupe" with genuine 2+2 passenger comfort. Tested maximum power: 108-126 bhp(net)depending on the model)
top speed: 120 mph (190 km/h), 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, 0-100 mph 21.8 seconds. 5,200 Elans + 2 were made: less than 1,200 of these cars remain in the roads today. Their relative rarity, beautiful lines, impressive performance and practicality are the main factors for the rising interest on these cars among collectors.

The Elan ceased production in 1973 and the Elan +2 in 1975. An estimated total of 17,000 original Elans and Elan +2's were built. Because of its successful design and technological sophistication, the Elan went on to become Lotus' first commercial success, reviving a company stretched thin by the more exotic and less commercially successful Elite, and enabling funding of the Lotus success in racing over the next ten years.

1970 Lotus Elan + 2

This generation of the two seater Elan was famously driven by the character Emma Peel on the British television series The Avengers. In 2004, Sports Car International named the Elan number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The original version of the car was designed by Ron Hickman, who also designed the first Lotus Europa as part of Lotus' GT40 project bid and made his fortune having designed the Black &
Decker WorkMate.

The original Elan is commonly credited as being the design inspiration for the highly successful 1990 Mazda MX-5 (Mazda Miata in North America). In fact, two Elans were intimately evaluated by Mazda[citation needed] in the process of designing the MX-5.

[edit] 1990s Elan

Second generation
Lotus Elan from the front (with aftermarket wheels).
Production 1989-1995
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Layout FF layout
Engine(s) 1,588 cc I4
1990 Lotus Elan SE

The second Lotus Elan (known as the M100 Elan), released in 1989, was a technical tour de force and defined Lotus' "performance through light weight" tradition, although the base car was heavier than a Mazda Miata and the few normally aspirated versions produced had a similar power to weight ratio. All vehicles imported into the USA were turbocharged and significantly outperformed most contemporary sports cars, including the Miata. Its styling by Peter Stevens, who was also responsible for the redesign of the Lotus Esprit, was also controversial. Lotus Engineering had spent five years in tuning other cars and they put the knowledge from that into the new Elan. They wanted a very rigid chassis and used their gained knowledge to create a roadster chassis as rigid as a coupé.

The idea of a front-wheel drive Lotus, powered by an Isuzu turbocharged engine and motivated by an Isuzu five speed transmission, was a brave concept and its cornering performance was undeniable (on release the Elan was described by Autocar magazine as "the quickest point to point car available"). However the handling was negatively compared to the original Elan by the press, often being accused of lacking driver feedback.[citation needed] According to Lotus sales literature, "The ride and handling engineers at Lotus found that for a given vehicle weight, power and tyre size, a front wheel drive car was always faster over a given section of road. There were definite advantages in traction and controllability, and drawbacks such as torque steer, bump steer, and steering kickback were not insurmountable." [1] This was the only front wheel drive vehicle made by Lotus. Every model made since the M100 Elan, such as the Lotus Elise, has been rear wheel drive.

The relatively high price of the M100 Elan (vs. e.g. the Mazda Miata), along with the mixed reviews and the downturn in the global economy in 1992, particularly in the USA, meant it was not a sales success, list price being around $40,000 similar to that of the Elise when launched in the USA over 10 years later.

Lotus Cars USA cited US sales of 1,500 units in 1991, and also issued a statement that they sold more than 2,000 Elans in the US in 1991 and 1992, these US figures are inaccurate and massively inflated. Lotus UK archives (backed by all other manufacturer's records and by recall data) indicate total production of 3,855 vehicles from November 1989 - July 1992. Included in this 3,855 total is the series 1 production of 129 normally aspirated examples built for the UK market only. In 1991 (the only year the vehicles were available in the USA), Lotus UK records indicate that 559 Elans were sold into the US market. 800 S2s were also built, none of them for the US.

US market vehicles featured a 'stage 2 body' which had a different rear boot spoiler arrangement together with a lengthened nose to accommodate a USA compliant crash structure and 16" wheels instead of the UK car's 15". Far East market cars combined the UK/Europe nose and wheels with the US boot arrangement.

  • Engine: The M100 Elan used a 1588 cc twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged engine, sourced from the Isuzu Gemini (a third generation of this engine was later used in the Isuzu Impulse), which produced 162 horsepower (121 kW). 0-60 acceleration time was measured by Autocar and Motor magazine as 6.5 s, and a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) was recorded. In June 1992 Elan production ceased due to economic conditions and a desire by the then owner of Lotus, General Motors, to reduce losses which amounted to some 36 million UK pounds over the period the Elan was in production. In 1996 and 1997, Kia Motors built the Elan under license as Kia Elan for the Korean market, using a 151 horsepower (113 kW) 1.8 L engine instead of the Isuzu made 1.6.
  • Series 2 M100 Elan: A limited edition (of 800) Series 2 (S2) M100 Elans was released during the Romano Artioli era (produced June 1994–September 1995) when it was discovered that enough engines were available to make this possible. According to Autocar magazine, the S2 addressed some of the concerns over handling, but the 0–60 acceleration time allegedly increased to 7.5 seconds, which they thought was probably due to the legislative requirement to fit a catalytic converter in all markets. In overall performance the S2's have very similar performance to the USA vehicles, having an identical engine management system calibration and a slightly lower overall vehicle weight.

[edit] References

  • Arnold, G. 1981. The Lotus Elan and Plus Two Buyers Guide 1962 - 1975. Club Lotus
  • Clarke, R.M. Lotus Elan Collection No.2 1963-1972. Brooklands Books. ISBN 0 907 073 689
  • Harvey, C. 1982. Lotus: The Elite, Elan, Europa. Oxford Illustrated Press. ISBN 0902280 85 6.
  • Lotus Cars Limited. 1974. Lotus Elan +2 Workshop Manual. Lotus Cars
  • Read, Robin (1989), Colin Chapman's Lotus (The early years, the Elite, and origins of the Elan). Haynes/Foulis, ISBN 8 85429 703 0.
  • Robinshaw, P. and Ross, C. 1995. Authentic Lotus Elan and Plus 2. Motor Racing Publications LTD. ISBN 0 947981 950.
  • Robinshaw, Paul &
    Ross, Christopher (1989), The Original 1962-1973 Lotus Elan (Essential Data and Guidance for Owners, Restorers and Competitors)
    additional notes by Ron Hickman. Motor Racing Publications Limited, ISBN 0 947981 32 2.* Taylor, M. 1990. Lotus Elan, The complete story. The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN 1 86126 0113
  • Taylor, W. 1998. The Lotus Book, a complete History of Lotus Cars, 50th Anniversary Special. Coterie Press Limited. ISBN 1 902351 002.
  • Wherret, D. 1993. Lotus Elan. Osprey. ISBN 1 85532 377 X
  • Wilkins, Miles (2003), Lotus Twin-Cam Engine. Motorbooks, ISBN 978-0760316924.

[edit] Sources and further reading

  1. ^ Daily Mail Motor Show Review 1972 on 1973 Cars (London: Associated Newspapers Group Ltd): Page 33 (Lotus Plus 2 S130). October 1972.

[edit] External links




Tires & Wheels

Lotus Elan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Lotus Elan
1966 Lotus Elan
Production 1962-1975 and 1989-1995
Assembly Hethel, England
Engine(s) Lotus 1558 cc

Lotus Elan is the name of two convertible cars and one fixed head coupé produced by Lotus Cars. The original Type 26, 26R Racing version, 36 Fixed Head Coupe, 45 Drop Head Coupe, and the "Type 50" +2 Coupe, circa 1962 to 1975, are commonly known as the '60s Elans. The Type M100 from 1989 to 1995, is also commonly known as the 1990s Elan.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] 1960s Elan

First generation
1974 Lotus Elan S4 Sprint Coupe (integral, not hardtop)
Production 1962-1973
Body style(s) 2-door coupe
2-door roadster
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1,558 cc I4

The original Elan was introduced in 1962 as a roadster, although an optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupé version in 1965. The two seat Lotus Elan replaced the elegant, but unreliable and expensive to produce Lotus Elite. It was the first Lotus road car to use the now famous steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. At 1,500 lb (680 kg), the Elan embodied the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. Initial versions of the Elan were also available as a kit to be assembled by the customer. The Elan was technologically advanced with a twin-cam 1558 cc engine, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 4-wheel independent suspension. The Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine was based on Ford's Kent, with a Lotus-inspired Cosworth alloy twin-cam head. This Lotus-Ford 4-cylinder engine would go on to be used in a number of Lotus production and racing models.

Lotus Elan +2
Lotus Plus 2
Production 1967-1975
Body style(s) 2-door 2+2 seater coupe
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1,558 cc I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual all-synchromesh
Wheelbase 96 in (2,438 mm)
Length 169 in (4,293 mm)
Width 66 in (1,676 mm)
Height 47 in (1,194 mm)
Fuel capacity 59 L (15.6 US gal
13.0 imp gal)[1]

An Elan +2 was introduced in 1967 with a longer wheelbase and two more rear seats. The Elan + 2 embodied the Lotus spirit: It was a fast and agile sport coupe, with very elegant lines. It combined the performance and reliability of the Elan "Coupe" with genuine 2+2 passenger comfort. Tested maximum power: 108-126 bhp(net)depending on the model)
top speed: 120 mph (190 km/h), 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, 0-100 mph 21.8 seconds. 5,200 Elans + 2 were made: less than 1,200 of these cars remain in the roads today. Their relative rarity, beautiful lines, impressive performance and practicality are the main factors for the rising interest on these cars among collectors.

The Elan ceased production in 1973 and the Elan +2 in 1975. An estimated total of 17,000 original Elans and Elan +2's were built. Because of its successful design and technological sophistication, the Elan went on to become Lotus' first commercial success, reviving a company stretched thin by the more exotic and less commercially successful Elite, and enabling funding of the Lotus success in racing over the next ten years.

1970 Lotus Elan + 2

This generation of the two seater Elan was famously driven by the character Emma Peel on the British television series The Avengers. In 2004, Sports Car International named the Elan number six on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. The original version of the car was designed by Ron Hickman, who also designed the first Lotus Europa as part of Lotus' GT40 project bid and made his fortune having designed the Black &
Decker WorkMate.

The original Elan is commonly credited as being the design inspiration for the highly successful 1990 Mazda MX-5 (Mazda Miata in North America). In fact, two Elans were intimately evaluated by Mazda[citation needed] in the process of designing the MX-5.

[edit] 1990s Elan

Second generation
Lotus Elan from the front (with aftermarket wheels).
Production 1989-1995
Body style(s) 2-door roadster
Layout FF layout
Engine(s) 1,588 cc I4
1990 Lotus Elan SE

The second Lotus Elan (known as the M100 Elan), released in 1989, was a technical tour de force and defined Lotus' "performance through light weight" tradition, although the base car was heavier than a Mazda Miata and the few normally aspirated versions produced had a similar power to weight ratio. All vehicles imported into the USA were turbocharged and significantly outperformed most contemporary sports cars, including the Miata. Its styling by Peter Stevens, who was also responsible for the redesign of the Lotus Esprit, was also controversial. Lotus Engineering had spent five years in tuning other cars and they put the knowledge from that into the new Elan. They wanted a very rigid chassis and used their gained knowledge to create a roadster chassis as rigid as a coupé.

The idea of a front-wheel drive Lotus, powered by an Isuzu turbocharged engine and motivated by an Isuzu five speed transmission, was a brave concept and its cornering performance was undeniable (on release the Elan was described by Autocar magazine as "the quickest point to point car available"). However the handling was negatively compared to the original Elan by the press, often being accused of lacking driver feedback.[citation needed] According to Lotus sales literature, "The ride and handling engineers at Lotus found that for a given vehicle weight, power and tyre size, a front wheel drive car was always faster over a given section of road. There were definite advantages in traction and controllability, and drawbacks such as torque steer, bump steer, and steering kickback were not insurmountable." [1] This was the only front wheel drive vehicle made by Lotus. Every model made since the M100 Elan, such as the Lotus Elise, has been rear wheel drive.

The relatively high price of the M100 Elan (vs. e.g. the Mazda Miata), along with the mixed reviews and the downturn in the global economy in 1992, particularly in the USA, meant it was not a sales success, list price being around $40,000 similar to that of the Elise when launched in the USA over 10 years later.

Lotus Cars USA cited US sales of 1,500 units in 1991, and also issued a statement that they sold more than 2,000 Elans in the US in 1991 and 1992, these US figures are inaccurate and massively inflated. Lotus UK archives (backed by all other manufacturer's records and by recall data) indicate total production of 3,855 vehicles from November 1989 - July 1992. Included in this 3,855 total is the series 1 production of 129 normally aspirated examples built for the UK market only. In 1991 (the only year the vehicles were available in the USA), Lotus UK records indicate that 559 Elans were sold into the US market. 800 S2s were also built, none of them for the US.

US market vehicles featured a 'stage 2 body' which had a different rear boot spoiler arrangement together with a lengthened nose to accommodate a USA compliant crash structure and 16" wheels instead of the UK car's 15". Far East market cars combined the UK/Europe nose and wheels with the US boot arrangement.

  • Engine: The M100 Elan used a 1588 cc twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged engine, sourced from the Isuzu Gemini (a third generation of this engine was later used in the Isuzu Impulse), which produced 162 horsepower (121 kW). 0-60 acceleration time was measured by Autocar and Motor magazine as 6.5 s, and a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) was recorded. In June 1992 Elan production ceased due to economic conditions and a desire by the then owner of Lotus, General Motors, to reduce losses which amounted to some 36 million UK pounds over the period the Elan was in production. In 1996 and 1997, Kia Motors built the Elan under license as Kia Elan for the Korean market, using a 151 horsepower (113 kW) 1.8 L engine instead of the Isuzu made 1.6.
  • Series 2 M100 Elan: A limited edition (of 800) Series 2 (S2) M100 Elans was released during the Romano Artioli era (produced June 1994–September 1995) when it was discovered that enough engines were available to make this possible. According to Autocar magazine, the S2 addressed some of the concerns over handling, but the 0–60 acceleration time allegedly increased to 7.5 seconds, which they thought was probably due to the legislative requirement to fit a catalytic converter in all markets. In overall performance the S2's have very similar performance to the USA vehicles, having an identical engine management system calibration and a slightly lower overall vehicle weight.

[edit] References

  • Arnold, G. 1981. The Lotus Elan and Plus Two Buyers Guide 1962 - 1975. Club Lotus
  • Clarke, R.M. Lotus Elan Collection No.2 1963-1972. Brooklands Books. ISBN 0 907 073 689
  • Harvey, C. 1982. Lotus: The Elite, Elan, Europa. Oxford Illustrated Press. ISBN 0902280 85 6.
  • Lotus Cars Limited. 1974. Lotus Elan +2 Workshop Manual. Lotus Cars
  • Read, Robin (1989), Colin Chapman's Lotus (The early years, the Elite, and origins of the Elan). Haynes/Foulis, ISBN 8 85429 703 0.
  • Robinshaw, P. and Ross, C. 1995. Authentic Lotus Elan and Plus 2. Motor Racing Publications LTD. ISBN 0 947981 950.
  • Robinshaw, Paul &
    Ross, Christopher (1989), The Original 1962-1973 Lotus Elan (Essential Data and Guidance for Owners, Restorers and Competitors)
    additional notes by Ron Hickman. Motor Racing Publications Limited, ISBN 0 947981 32 2.* Taylor, M. 1990. Lotus Elan, The complete story. The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN 1 86126 0113
  • Taylor, W. 1998. The Lotus Book, a complete History of Lotus Cars, 50th Anniversary Special. Coterie Press Limited. ISBN 1 902351 002.
  • Wherret, D. 1993. Lotus Elan. Osprey. ISBN 1 85532 377 X
  • Wilkins, Miles (2003), Lotus Twin-Cam Engine. Motorbooks, ISBN 978-0760316924.

[edit] Sources and further reading

  1. ^ Daily Mail Motor Show Review 1972 on 1973 Cars (London: Associated Newspapers Group Ltd): Page 33 (Lotus Plus 2 S130). October 1972.

[edit] External links


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