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New in SA: Supercharged Lotus

2008-04-14 07:24

Hailey Philander

Extreme sports car manufacturer Lotus chose to unveil its quickest Elise model yet, the SC, at the Durban Motor Show.

This new model was first seen at the Tokyo Motor Show late last year and effectively squeezes into the niche left by siblings - the tamer Elise 111R and the mad Exige S.

Elise SC (for supercharged) follows the Lotus formula to a fault. It uses a lightweight body construction - the entire body weighs only 870 kg - and a potent 1.8-litre powerplant sourced from Toyota.

This time, it also employs a low-pressure supercharger (it reportedly produces just between 0.5 and 0.6 bar boost) developed by Lotus Engineering. Weight is everything for Lotus and since SC does without an intercooler, it's more compact and lightweight too, shaving more than 8kg off the comparative weight of the Exige S's powerplant.

The four-cylinder is linked to a six-speed close ratio gearbox and power is quoted at 162 kW with a peak torque figure of 210 Nm.

Elise SC has a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds and apparently tops out at 240 km/h. It is touted as being the fastest production Elise yet it reportedly returns a fuel consumption index of just 8.5 l/100 km.

SC's also more flexible with lots of low-torque albeit with the high-revving qualities of the 1.8-litre motor.

This model is also visually different from its other Elise siblings with its new wheel design, a centally-mounted exhaust outlet and a new rear spoiler.

Inside the cabin, changes include a new standard dashboard, a new instrument panel with digital trip display, "progressive shift lights" that ignite in sequence when the rev limiter is being approached, service light warning and "secret-until-lit" warning lamps, an engine starter button, standard dual passenger and driver airbags and "anatomically-designed" ProBax seats.

Further changes also include a new key and alarm system with integrated fob.

Elise SC comes with a choice of two optional packages; the Sports and Touring packs. Standalone options include a hardtop, limited slip differential and traction control.

New Lotus Elise SC costs R599 000. This price includes transport and delivery costs, local taxes and the cost of the first service.


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