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Old 03-26-2017, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Lotus Elise adds MORE lightness: new benchmark of 1759 lbs (798 kg)



In recent news from the "Always Room for Improvement" department...

If you're tired of driving around in a portly Mitsubishi Mirage (2,018 lbs base 2017 5-speed U.S. model), overweight last gen. Metro (~1800-1850 lbs?), or fat-cat 1st generation Insight (1878 lbs), Lotus has your car.

They managed to shave 90 lbs from an already featherweight 1,849 lb car, and in doing so created a "Sprint" special edition:

Quote:
  • the battery, now replaced with a new lightweight lithium-ion pack that sheds around 20 pounds.
  • open shifter (1.1 pounds),
  • carbon fiber race seats (13 pounds),
  • polycarbonate materials for the access panel, roll hoop cover, and engine cover, saving another 13 pounds.
  • optional two-piece brake rotors cut another nine pounds,
  • new wheel design saves an additional 11 pounds
Lotus Elise Somehow Sheds 90 Pounds for New Sprint Special Edition - Motor Trend

They only half-followed Chapman's philosophy though, because I don't think most of those mods count as "simplifying" to add lightness.

This news made me feel like such a slacker: it reminded me I've been driving my Firefly for ~11 years with rear factory speakers that have never even been hooked up. Together they might weigh 3 lbs? Think of the cumulative fuel and performance penalty!

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Old 03-26-2017, 08:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like it not just sprung weight, they did a good job reducing rotating mass too.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's darned impressive, that's for sure.

But now I've read a Green Car Congress report that says the numbers are for "dry weight".

Green Car Congress: New Lotus Elise drops even more weight; Sprint edition at 798 kg

Still impressive.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I worked with a guy at Langley up until 2008 he had a lotus that was fairly new at the time. Said the gas tank was up front and it was dangerous to drive when it was raining and when it's gas got below less than half a tank.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sure it sexy. That thing makes my Del Sol seem like a tank by comparison... In looks and weight
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Old 03-27-2017, 03:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I still won't be able to afford one, no matter how much they take off the car.
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Old 03-27-2017, 03:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
This news made me feel like such a slacker: it reminded me I've been driving my Firefly for ~11 years with rear factory speakers that have never even been hooked up. Together they might weigh 3 lbs? Think of the cumulative fuel and performance penalty!
Factory speakers are super flimsy, usually less than a pound for the pair I'd guess, so don't feel too bad
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When I see cars like this though, it makes me think... Hmm what could I do to my car with $42k (cost of Elise) instead of spending it on that. Heck I would run out of ideas after the first $15k and end up dropping the remaining $27k on the house.

I guess that's why these car manufacturers don't market themselves towards people like me.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortie771 View Post
When I see cars like this though, it makes me think... Hmm what could I do to my car with $42k (cost of Elise) instead of spending it on that.
Yet it's easily possible to spend that much - even twice that much - on an fancy oversized, overweight "handles like a waterbed" pickup or SUV.

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