Lotus Elite Series 2 is modified version of very attractive two-seater, fixed head coupe, which was first launched by the brilliant Colin Chapman stable in the mid-fifties. Powered by a four-cylinder, 1216-cc, ohc engine which develop 75 bhp at 6100 rpm, or 83 bhp at 6500 rpm in the Special Equipment variant, which was introduced at
the same time as the Series 2 Elite in October 1960.
Elite – October 1960 advert.
LOTUS ELITE, coupe, $5323.30 (West Coast p.o.e.), Great Britain
The Elite, a coupe that looks fast while standing at the curb, continues in its exotic form without change this year. There has, however, been an addition, a Special Equipment model especially suitable for competition. Both have the smoothly finished stressed and reinforced fiberglass body that has proven the practicality of this material in coupes.
The two versions differ in power train. From the basic 75.25-cubic-inch, overhead-cam engine the standard Elite is rated at 75 hp at 6100 rpm and the S.E. has 83 horses at 6500. It gets the extra boost through dual carburetors and a freer exhaust system. Standard gearbox is a BMC unit, while the S.E. has an all-synchro ZF box with closer ratios.
Interior finish is quite good. There are two comfortable racing-type bucket seats and plenty of legroom. Storage area is divided between space behind the seats and a small trunk. The driving position is set up in the classic arms-out position, which is not uncomfortable but takes some getting used to. Although the side windows resemble roll-ups with windwings, the entire assembly snaps out.
Front suspension is all-independent through A-arms and combined shock-coil spring units; rear suspension is also independent by a system worked out by Lotus builder Colin Chapman. It makes use of the tubular shock to determine the camber angle of each wheel, while the fixed-length axle shaft, jointed at each end, provides lateral location. Steering is by rack and pinion while 9½-inch disc brakes are used all around.
The Elite is very fast, about 120 mph, and very light, under 1300 pounds, which means good acceleration. Further, it is an exciting car to drive, a real thrill to handle.
Lotus builds various series of sports-race and formula cars that have achieved a worthy international reputation. They are available on order. Shipments of the S.E. are expected but no delivered price is available.
General specifications: Wheelbase, 88 inches; front and rear tread, 47; overall length, 144; width, 58; height, 46.
Other versions: Special Equipment Elite, $N.A.
Motor Trend, April 1961
Stirling Moss in the Lotus-Climax 18 winning Monaco GP, Monte Carlo (Rob Walker Racing Team).
Jim Clark in the Lotus-Climax 21 qualifying for Belgian GP, Spa (Team Lotus).
Monaco GP, Monte Carlo, Stirling Moss, Lotus-Climax 18.
Lotus 11 at Targa Florio.
Lotus Elite (Mk 14) chassis #1440, engine: Coventry Climax 1.216 cc; Bernard Kosselek / Pierre Massenez; Ecurie Edger; 24h Le Mans.