Throttle-back Thursday: Our first dance while using the Lotus Elise

Reports from China denote Lotus’ new owner Geely investing heavily in rejuvenating the fabled British marque, injecting the Hethel, England-based company with almost $2 billion to flourish its manufacturing, research and style facilities.

Before Geely acquired controlling fascination with the performance car maker late in 2009, the organization assured enthusiasts that your new Elise was still while in the works, likely a refresh of the present design — nevertheless the influx of investment from cash-rich Geely might shift plans, while using Chinese company hinting on the prospects for a clean-sheet approach.

Geely has recently done a creditable job of turning within the fortunes at Volvo, so it also owns, while burnishing the manufacturer that has long depended on its safety cred by using a heaping helping of style and tech. The transformation at Volvo from Geely bodes well for whatever fate awaits Lotus.

In short, 66 years on since Colin Chapman founded the sports vehicle company — and putting his mantra of “adding lightness” in the center of automotive mission — Lotus looks to possess a chance at joining the ranks of mainstream sports car makers like Porsche and Ferrari. As it stands, Lotus hasn’t released a fresh car in a decade — as well as the Elise is actually unchanged as it rolled out in 1996

Here we set aside a second to search back at our first time in the driver’s seat on the Elise, a prototype there we were told then “weren’t developed for the U.S. market, nor any kind of plans to import it,” largely due to the by using a non-emissions certified Rover engine. Thankfully for American enthusiasts, Lotus eventually turned into a Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter for power, therefore we got our first taste on these shores within the intoxicating little racecar.

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Autoweek February 12, 1996 — Lotus Elise first drive(10.55 MB)Go here to download PDF

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