The 2011 Lotus Elise CR (Club Racer) is the incarnation of every dream experience by exotic sports car enthusiasts. It designed more like a race car than one for the daily commute, though it offers plenty of features suitable for both. The sports convertible has innovative features throughout that reduce the overall weight without sacrificing the driver's comfort; that is, of course, unless the driver happens to be tall, heavy, or both. Horsepower, gas mileage and low emission levels are brought together in ways that most other sports car manufacturers can only dream of. The price is a bit higher than other cars in its class, though the innovations found within just might be worth the extra money. This is especially true given the low depreciation rate of the Lotus Elise CR.
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For appearance, the 2011 Lotus Elise CR gets a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. Performance is given 4 stars, which is actually impressive for the convertible's small engine. Comfort only received 3.5 given the small size of the sports car, but value was still given 4.5 stars. The exterior of the Lotus Elise CR features an exotic look that really compliments the innovation featured throughout the convertible. Unique curves are found throughout the body and only the most unique and highest quality paints are used to color the convertible. A shower cap is included to cover the cab, but buyers are free to upgrade it to a black vinyl top or even a matte hard cover. The black 12 spoke rims add the perfect combination of strength and style to the Lotus Elise CR. Overall, this great looks great despite the fact that it's been stripped down so heavily.
The interior may seem anything but comfortable at a first glance. The seats, although stylish, look more like leftovers from the materials used to forge the exterior with small, thin pads placed here and there. However, these cushions have actually been placed in ergonomically sound locations, ensuring the maximum level of comfort while still keeping the car's weight low. The steering wheel may be small, but it's strategically positioned to facilitate complete control with ease. Suede inserts are included with the steering wheel to provide a more stylish look and comfortable feel. Just behind it, drivers will find a mark that guides their vision to the front wheels' straight-ahead direction.
The interior is not perfect; however, Engineers went to great lengths in ensuring an extremely light weight car and included the removal of some pretty standard features. Air conditioning is only available as a premium option and is not provided on the base model. Many would argue that it is, after all, a convertible. But if rain pops up on a particularly warm day, passengers will have no other way to cool themselves off. Surprisingly, the car also lacks a radio. Fortunately, plenty of sockets are provided to power mobile devices. Buyers can also opt for a radio by choosing a premium package. Finally, there is little room in the cab. Taller and heavier people will not find comfort in this. The seats are only a few inches above the floor, so passengers will be doing more stretching with their legs than bending. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on preference.
The Lotus Elise CR sports a nice upgrade for the 2011 mode: a 1.8 liter engine under the hood that provides 134 bhp. This may not sound like much, but given the Lotus Elise CR's light weight, this small engine results in excellent performance while keeping gas mileage high and emissions low. The car can get from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 6.1 seconds. The car remains green in that it only consumes one gallon of fuel for every 27 miles and produces only 149 g/km of CO2 emissions. These optimal levels of performance and green attributes are achieved by integrating the Valvematic system with the dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent technology in the engine.
Safety is always a concern with small performance cars and Lotus has, for the most part, reacted accordingly with the Elise CR. The brakes on the convertible work quite well in stopping the car quickly and also feature anti-lock brakes. Airbags in the steering wheel, dashboard and fascia will help keep passengers safe during a collision. Despite its light weight, strong structural additions have been carefully integrated with the frame to ensure a sound design. Still, passengers are not quite as protected from a side impact as one might expect.