Lotus Elise and Exige to join Thai market

Lotus Exige

It's hard not to like cars like the Lotus Elise R and Exige S. They offer super-car performance to the masses with very reasonable price-tags (in the UK at least) considering the blistering performance they are capable of.

Finally enthusiasts in Thailand have access to the Elise and Exige via importer, and authorised distributor Niche Cars. Within the next 12 months, Niche Cars plan to add additional models to their Lotus line-up, including the Exige Cup 255, Elise S and 2-Eleven.

On paper the Elise and Exige might seem a little on the tame side. Both are powered by modest 1.8 liter normally aspirated engines. In the Elise R is a 189hp unit, while the Elise R power plant produces 218hp. But the engine is only half of the story.

So how fast are they?

What makes these Lotus cars so exciting is their lightweight construction, consisting of an aluminium chassis and plastic shell. This means that the Elise R weights in at just 860kg, while the Exige S is 935kg. In addition to providing electrifying driving dynamics, the resulting power-to-weight ratio gives both cars exciting pace as well. Now those 1.8 liter mid-mounted engines don't seem so puny.

The Elise R takes just 5.2 seconds to reach 100km/h from standing start, while the Exige S completes the task in just 4.3 seconds! Top speeds are 241km/h for the Elise and 238 km/h for the Exige thanks to power-to-weight raitos of 216hp per ton and 237hp per ton respectively. So you can break the speed limit twice in either car!


Unfortunately, with pricing of THB 4.7 million for the Elise R and THB 5.7 million for the Exige S, both cars are still well outside my budget. But when you consider that these cars will be able to keep pace with cars costing 4 or 5 times more, I think Niche Cars might manage to move a few units through their Siam Paragon showroom.

Niche Cars are also the authorised service provider for Lotus cars in Thailand, and they will be providing a 24-hour emergency service throughout the country.

But before you go to place your order, you might want to take a look at this:

Crashed Elise

According to this article the driver didn't make it out of this wreck alive.