Sports convertible enthusiasts have been searching long and hard for a respectable sports car that also respects the planet. This is especially true due to the skyrocketing fuel prices across the globe. The 2011 Lotus Elise 1.6 finally offers the solution that these admirers have been looking for. Its central tenant is to achieve speed through light weight. The Lotus Elise 1.6 achieves this well by combining an impressive amount of sports power with a relatively light frame and incredible gas mileage. Of course, these enthusiasts will need to be willing to reach into their pockets, as this sports convertible is a little higher than most (though not all) cars in its class.
The 2011 Lotus Elise 1.6 features a 1.6L 134 bhp. This may not sound like much, but it's important to remember that the entire convertible weighs only 876kg. It's enough to propel the car from 0 to 60 mph in just six seconds. A short time later, the car can reach its top speed of 127mph. This allows excellent performance while still getting 34 mpg even in the city and a combined 45 mpg. The six-speed manual transmission is specially designed to facilitate the most performance this small yet powerful engine has to offer.
The exterior features of the Lotus Elise 1.6 are truly something to behold. It features a sleek, modern sporty design that is sure to set the convertible apart from its competition. Both the front and rear lights feature LED lamps that enhance its style while providing optimal levels of illumination. The hood's engine lid adds to the unique style of the body, while the rear diffuser completes the look from front to back. The standard black soft top has been carefully designed to compliment any color, although other color options are available for an additional fee. Overall, the exterior is sure to impress and turn the heads of pedestrians.
The interior of the Lotus Elise 1.6 offers an interesting twist for its class. The plush bucket seats will help passengers relax for even the longest road trips. A decent selection of color options is available for the convertible's cloth seats. All of the essential controls are placed within easy reach of the driver seat. The car's style is enhanced with an aluminum trim featured on the gear-shift and handbrake lever. The gear-shift also features shift-up lights to let the driver know when the car is ready to change the gears up. One major downside, however, is that air conditioning is not available standard, only as an extra option.
The Lotus Elise 1.6's small engine and innovative design were still enough to merit 9 stars out of 10 stars for performance. Styling also received 9 stars, while handling received a perfect 10. However, comfort only received 4 stars and space/versatility only got 2.
Despite its small size, the Lotus Elise 1.6 still takes safety seriously. The bespoke brakes continue the Elise's long history of excellent braking systems. The anti-lock braking system will ensure that drivers never lose control in the event of a sudden stop. However, it is not as overzealous as ABS options in other cars and only activates during an emergency. The chassis is designed to withstand strong impacts and absorb most of the force away from passengers. However, one downside to the Elise 1.6's safety features is the lack of protection against a side impact.