AM Online

'Super' Elise for US

Lotus is to mount a major sales push in the US with a specially-tweaked version of the Elise. The special model, which should be on sale in the States by the middle of 2004, is likely to sport driver's airbag, ABS and air-conditioning.

Although these GM/Opel-supplied additions will push up the vehicle's weight compared to the UK version, this is likely to be compensated for through boosted power. MG Rover already produces a normally-aspirated 156 bhp VVC version of the same engine, and there are widely available tuning kits that can boost power beyond 200bhp.

The US “grown up” Elise will go head-to-head with the Ferrari 360 Modena on the US market.

But US market insiders warn that Lotus will have to hone up their production quality if they are to secure sales in any volume on this discerning market. US buyers are “quality obsessed”, says one commentator.



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