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Lotus Elise Club Racer arrives

Stripper special: The Lotus Elise Club Racer has a minimal interior, helping to strip a further 24kg from the kerb weight.

Less is more as Australia gets ten examples of the Lotus Elise Club Racer

19 Apr 2012

THE stripped-out, ultra-light Lotus Elise Club Racer has arrived on Australian shores priced from $68,990 plus on-roads – $1000 more than the better-equipped entry-level Elise roadster on which it is based.

Australian Lotus importer Ateco Automotive has secured just ten examples, all of which are in dealerships now.

Lotus has cut a further 24kg from the already-lithe Elise by fitting a lighter soft-top, a motorsport battery and removing creature comforts such as sound insulation, carpets and the audio system.

In a move that would make founder Colin Chapman proud, the British marque has even gone to the trouble of replacing the existing badges with decals, shaving off a further 60g.

The car also gets a Lotus-first Sport setting for its Dynamic Performance Management traction control system, different sport suspension (including Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers) and an adjustable anti-roll bar for “race track fun”.

Power comes from the same Toyota-sourced 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine as the base Elise, producing an unchanged 100kW and 160Nm, matched to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Despite the reduction in weight to just 852kg, the Club Racer records the same 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.5 seconds as the standard model.

Fuel economy is also unchanged at 6.3 litres per 100km, allowing the CR to dodge the Australian luxury car tax.

Lotus has previously offered a Club Racer version of the Elise in Australia, importing ten examples in early 2010. That car weighed slightly more at 860kg and was sold for $72,990 – $4000 more than the latest model.

The Club Racer arrives a week after Lotus issued an unusual press release refuting speculation that the company was in trouble as a result of last month’s takeover of parent company Proton by Malaysian corporation DRB-Hicom.

Ateco assumed the Australian distribution rights for Lotus from Proton in August last year, at which point it slashed pricing by as much as $31,000 across the range, which is comprised of the Elise, Exige and Evora.

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