Lotus has a long history of naming its vehicles with words starting with the letter “E”. The Lotus Elite follows that trend however the name refers to two different production vehicles and a more recent production car. Today we’re going to take a look back at the cars using the Elite name to learn more about them. More about Lotus Elite: here
The first ever vehicle to use the name was the 1958 Lotus Elite Type 14. The two-seater sports coupe remained in production for 5 years and it experienced moderate success along the way. The vehicle made its debut in 1957, a year prior to it going into production. A highly innovative fibreglass monocoque construction made the vehicle unique, which is why it stood out among its rivals. It included a 1.2-litre Coventry Climax Straight-4 75-105 hp engine and it was capable of reaching a top speed of 111.8 mph (179.9 km/h). Around 1040 units were produced however different sources indicate different numbers.
The next production car to use the name Elite was introduced in 1974. The Lotus Elite Type 75 was very different to the Type 14. Its design didn’t resemble the previous vehicle at all and the two cars had very little in common. The Type 75 was still a sports car, which is no surprise considering that’s what the brand is known for. It included a 2.0-litre l4 engine and was capable of reaching a top speed of around 125 mph. The vehicle remained in production until 1982 before it was discontinued.
In 2010, a concept car was exhibited by the brand at the Paris Motor Show. The brand brought back the “Elite” name with a production version planned, however in 2012 the project was cancelled for unknown reasons. The Elite concept sported very modern styling, which made it stand out. It had slight resemblance to certain other Lotus vehicles on the market at the time and it was rather powerful. It included a 5.0-litre V8 engine sourced from Lexus and it was capable of reaching a top speed of 315 km/h.
We’re certain it’s not the last we’ve seen of the Elite and we’re hoping that eventually the Elite concept will find its way into production. If not we’re very much looking forward to seeing an all-new vehicle bearing the Elite name.