World’s Cleanest Sports Car set world record – 2011 Lotus Elise

by Andrew Randall

The 2011 Lotus Elise has been certified with a CO2 emission rating of 149 gm/km, delivering a 16 percent reduction in CO2 emission than the previous Lotus Elise S and setting the new world record for the Cleanest Sports Car.

The 2011 Lotus Elise also offers a handsome fuel economy of 56.1 miles per gallon (or 5.04 liters per 100 km). This means that a full fuel tank can take the car for a massive 500 miles (or 800 km).

The astoundingly low emission ratings can be attributed to several reasons. First and foremost is the 1.6-liter four cylinder VVT-I engine producing 100 kW / 134 hp that propels the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.0 seconds (0 to 100 km/hr in 6.5 seconds).

Secondly, Lotus has focused exclusively on light weight and efficiency. The new Elise weighs a meager 876 kg. Add to this the fact that the car has been specially designed to deliver an aerodynamic improvement of 4 percent and the low fuel emission rating becomes obvious.

World’s Cleanest Lotus Elise Sports Car Video

The facts

Price/on sale from £27,450/now
Tested Lotus Elise 1.6/six-speed manual
Power/torque 134bhp/ 118lb ft
Acceleration 0-60mph in 6.0sec
Fuel economy 34.0mpg (urban)
CO2 emissions 149g/km
Verdict Britain’s 21st century eco hero, Lotus’s sports car with a conscience is terrific fun to drive.

The rivals

Audi TT 1.8 TFSI Roadster
Price from £24,435
Peerless build quality and image plus a fine turbocharged engine make for a great all round package. Can’t match the Lotus for out and out thrills though.

Caterham Roadsport
Price from £21,200
Another British lightweight sports car with superb handling and good economy, thanks to its 1.6-litre Ford engine. Makes even the Elise look practical.

Porsche Boxster
Price from £34,996
One of the best all-round cars on sale, blending Elise-like handling with Audi-like quality and refinement. Looks expensive in this company, however.

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