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Elise specials pay homage to Lotus’ F1 past. Image by Lotus.

Elise specials pay homage to Lotus’ F1 past
Four new liveries and fully laden kit list for 100-off Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Edition, from £46,250.
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What's all this about?

There are few manufacturers with a motorsport history as rich and successful as Lotus and to celebrate this fact, the Norfolk-based concern has come up with four special liveries for a limited-run Elise called the Classic Heritage Edition.

And what does an Elise CHE involve?

You can choose from black and gold, or red, white and gold, or blue, red and silver, or finally blue and white. All of these paintjobs are lifted from various Formula 1 contenders from Lotus' past: the first references the Type 72D driven by Emerson Fittipaldi in the 1972 campaign, where he won five of 11 races and became the youngest-ever F1 drivers' champion (at age 25) for the next 33 years until a 24-year-old Fernando Alonso picked up his maiden title in 2005; the second mimics the Type 49B Graham Hill piloted during the 1968 campaign, picking up his second drivers' crown in the process; the third was used on the Type 81 of 1980, which marked the debut of Nigel Mansell and which was also driven by Elio de Angelis and Mario Andretti; and the last one pays homage to the Type 18 of 1960 - the car which picked up Lotus' first-ever F1 pole position and grand prix win at Monaco 60 years ago. And the driver of that Type 18? None other than the recently departed Sir Stirling Moss. Poignant.

So, other than the misty-eyed F1 reminiscing, they're just fancy colour schemes?

Not quite. Each Classic Heritage Edition is based on an Elise Sport 220 and not only do they come in the four bespoke liveries, they have a numbered build plaque on the dashboard, plus an array of standard-fit features which were formerly cost options. So expect kit like a DAB digital radio with four speakers, air-conditioning, cruise control, ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels with a racing livery finish, two-piece disc brakes and black carpets with floor mats. The Elise interior colour pack is also integrated into the CHEs, with various interior details picked out in whatever shade the exterior is finished in; the exception to this is the blue-and-white 'Type 18' Elise, which gains red Alcantara seat centres instead of blue.

There will still be further options available for the special editions, including a fibreglass hardtop roof, lightweight lithium-ion battery and titanium lightweight exhaust, but the price increase on a Sport 220 is £6,350 for a figure of £46,250, applicable to whichever colour scheme you go for. However, in mitigation, allow us to comfort you with the following points: one, you enjoy £11,735 of extra standard features for the increase, so you're getting £5,385 of 'free stuff', in essence; and two, just 100 Classic Heritage Editions will be built in total - so rarity is built in. The split of liveries, by the way, will be dictated purely by customer demand. It won't be a case of 25 of each finish, for example, so it could be that more people pick black and gold than pick blue, red and silver, meaning certain liveries might turn out to be rarer than others.

Ema Forster, head of product marketing for Lotus, said: "Motorsport success has been at the heart of the Lotus philosophy for more than seven decades and the Elise is our iconic roadster known around the world for its exceptional 'For The Drivers' performance. What better way to celebrate than by bringing these two pillars of our brand together, launching four new Classic Heritage cars which fans will instantly recognise?"

Matt Robinson - 6 May 2020

2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.

2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.2020 Lotus Elise Classic Heritage Editions. Image by Lotus.       - Lotus road tests
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