Lotus Elise SC vs Lotus 2-Eleven: English mix

Frank Herzog
Comparison test: Lotus Elise SC versus Lotus 2-Eleven
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B ritual leisure pleasures are - not only since the most recent revelations - traditionally of a more special nature. To relieve stress after work, the well-groomed gentleman from the island likes to have a more unusual hobby. He's right: if you can clear your head, please do it with good taste. It doesn't necessarily have to be lacquer and leather or the driven hunt horn. To heat the curves instead of whipping them can also have a liberating effect. For the benefit of such inclinations, Lotus has the right tools in its range.

Elise SC version with 220 HP

Small, fine and a little mean are the motto for the model range. Despite the recurring basis for all variations, the aluminum chassis, there should now be something for everyone who loves something a little more sly in their free time - from hard to hardcore, undoubtedly more sly than conventionally dignified. And yet in the case of the youngest foal in the stable, the Elise SC, comparatively generous luxury is taking hold. In the revised model year 2008, renunciation is no longer everything. As you get older, you get a few extra pounds - but at least well proportioned. It will be cozy in the Elise. Not only because of the selected plastics, which convey a flattering quality, and the standard airbags for driver and co-pilot. The touring package, which costs 2,795 euros, also exudes fine charm. After all, it includes leather covers for doors, handbrake levers and of course for the seats, a chic set of carpets, an iPod connection, a lightweight cup holder and a “noise insulation package”. So in good German a couple of additional insulating mats and a layer of lining material especially for the hood. Externally, the Elise SC with touring ambitions now has a standard rear bumper and redesigned light alloy rims as a distinguishing feature. Fully fueled and fully equipped, the strongest of its kind now weighs 913 kilograms. A serious fact that does not have to cause a hemorrhage in the fan base. The Elise does not leave her path, she simply positions herself wider. With a total of three variants, of which the SC version with 220 supercharged hp is the strongest. And for the extremists, satellites are added to the neat mother ship, which are still the extremesearch. For example, as Exige with a fixed or Spartan 2-Eleven without a roof.

Good long distances with the SC

In view of this most radical form of the mixture With its aluminum frame and plastic body, the Elise SC actually takes the comfortable side. Nevertheless, the chassis set-up still has crisp features, but is still able to keep short strikes away from the sparse seat upholstery. At least as far as the front axle is concerned. The rear then passes on angular bumps more roughly. All in all, however, the SC can be used to cover distances surprisingly well - even long distances. Especially since the background noise of the supercharged 1.8-liter Toyota engine is by no means penetrating on the nerves. Greedy and robust sounds from the rear, but at no time excruciatingly hysterical. This may also be due to the fact that exploring the full performance potential is not initially necessary. Juice and power are available from 2,500 rpm. Which means that a maximum of 6,000 tours are sufficient to board the country roads with great enthusiasm and joy. Enough to warm up at first, as the mechanically clacking, but perfectly working six-speed gearbox neatly fillets the 212 Nm of maximum torque.

In contrast to the similarly constructed Exige S propellant, the supercharged Toyota engine manages without a charge air cooler, but it still has plenty of power on the pan. Especially when the second air comes from 6,000 revolutions. Now the four-cylinder adds a few more acoustics, cheering boldly towards the 8,000 mark. Only then does the last of the three shift lights come on. Straight lines become a short pleasure, the next corner an entertaining act. Bends are a practiced dance, jagged and lively to take - thanks to the precise steering and the pronounced dribbling skills still the preferred terrain of an Elise. Because on the autobahn, the joys are limited, limited to speeding-up taunts against far more massive conspecifics. In addition, the precision of the steering gradually decreases at higher speeds. A result of the basically rear-heavy weight balance, which is undoubtedly reinforced by the rear spoiler at top speed (240 km /h). In addition, the storm rages loudly and powerfully with the hood off, grabs the hairstyle by the forelock and disperses it in all eternity and cardinal directions.

Hearty 2-Eleven

But in the end this puristic way is just a warm copy of what a 2-Eleven offers and demands. For example, an entry ceremony, in which the pilot does not get into his chariot, but glides down into it from above. In the absence of doors, it drifts elegantly into the ravine of the leather-covered bucket seats, knots itself flush with the four-point belt and then sees itself withfaced bare facts. With an instrument panel whose explicit emphasis is clearly more on the board than on instruments. Three buttons for operating the lights and one for the hazard warning lights, two round buttons - that's it. The ventilation rushes into the interior via the minimalist windshield and can be regulated via the gas foot. Whereby the hairstyle is neither washed nor blow-dried, but neatly laid. And that under the helmet, which is strongly recommended in view of the radically open confessions.

Despite the protective headdress, enough influences still penetrate the central nervous system. For example the drastic background noise that differs fundamentally from that of the Elise SC despite the congruent technical knitting pattern. More robust, throaty and louder, the muffler fires the exhaust gas composition from 1.8 liter displacement and compressor with charge air cooling into the open. The rear mid-engine seems to scream with longing - in the approach to the country road, certainly not to the motorway, but full of expectation after the race track. Because the way there is lined with onlookers and incomprehensible glances when the 1.1 meter flat flounder snakes through the city below the belt or almost overpowering trucks tunnels through the axles. And that recently became completely legal, even with German registration. Although the play options with the 2-Eleven offer a large portfolio - starting with the base, which costs just over 42,000 euros, but then intended for the race track without headlights and equipped with a 192 hp vacuum cleaner. The list of surcharges is almost insatiable and leaves almost nothing to be desired, right up to the body made of carbon fiber.

Porsche Boxster S level

The test car in front is therefore only half equipped and yet well equipped to make a big impression in Hockenheim flay. Including individual purchase, the piece of jewelery costs around 59,000 euros. 255 HP strong - equipped with adjustable spring-damper components from Öhlins and adorned with the special paint 'Launch Edition'. Technically more interesting, however, is the launch control, which can be set in several stages. The play on the knob on the left below the cross strut of the roll bar is really necessary - at least in dry conditions - but not. Because the combination of limited-slip differential and Yokohama semi-slick tires already produces traction that is second to none. Not to mention the downright perverse directness when turning and a neutral behavior in the border area, which ensures true cheers under the visor. And then there would be a brake like an anchor - with a fine controllability, a bestial bite and a stability like the chalk cliffs of Dover. 776 kilograms have a tremendous effect, whether longitudinally or transversely. RadicalFormula feeling even without free-standing wheels. It's a gift that the 2-Eleven just misses the factory specification of the acceleration.

The lap time on the small course and the deceleration values ​​are more than forgiving. 1.11.9 minutes scratch the myth of the 911 GT3. 12.6 m /s² at 200 km /h is a record. 74.8 km /h for the 18-meter slalom again ensure full points, even if the 2-Eleven suddenly wedges the rear on the pylon course. In view of such performance, the Elise SC is almost SUV-like. On the one hand, the roadster tends to understeer at the limit, and it also reacts sensitively to load changes, which leads to permanent corrections to the steering wheel - so exploring the limit range in the SC is not quite as easy and fun as with the 2-Eleven. The Yokohama Neova tires alone do not speak in favor of it. Which, however, should not diminish the fundamental willingness to put on a very brisk round on the floor. After all, 1.16.5 minutes for the 2.6-kilometer short course are worth all honors. This means that the fastest Elise to date has the most distinctive comfort trim to date, at least on a Porsche Boxster S level. A Lotus Elise SC with touring package only differs from its base price by around 2,500 euros. But that's the way it is with unusual leisure activities - they are seldom cheap fun. But using the example of Elise SC or 2-Eleven, they certainly do not damage the reputation, but strengthen it.

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