2008 Lotus Elise Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2008 Lotus Elise - Road Test Specs

2008 Lotus Elise Convertible

(1.8L 4-cyl. Supercharger 6-speed Manual)


Model year2008
StyleSC 2dr Convertible (1.8L 4cyl S/C 6M)
Base MSRP$54,500
Options on test vehicleLimited Paint ($3,300); Sport Pack ($2,600); Touring Pack ($1,600); Star Shield ($995).
As-tested MSRP$63,920


Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Engine typeSupercharged inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,796cc (110 cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum/Aluminum
ValvetrainDouble overhead camshaft, 4 vales per cylinder, variable intake valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)11.5
Redline (rpm)8,000 (8,500 allowed for 1.5 second bursts)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)218 @ 7,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)153 @ 5,500
Transmission type6-speed manual
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 3.12; II = 2.05; III = 1.48; IV = 1.12; V = 0.92; VI = 0.82; R = 3.25; Diff = 4.53


Suspension, frontIndependent, Double Wishbones, Coil Springs, Stabilizer Bar and monotube shock absorbers
Suspension, rearIndependent, Double Wishbones, Coil Springs and monotube shock absorbers
Steering typeUnassisted rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio (x:1)15.8:1
Tire brandYokohama
Tire modelAdvan Neova AD07
Tire typeSummer performance
Tire size, front175/55R16 80W
Tire size, rear225/45R17 91W
Wheel size16 X 6.0 front - 17 X 7.5 rear
Wheel materialForged alloy
Brakes, front11.5-inch ventilated and drilled rotors, 2-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, rear11.5-inch drilled rotors, single piston sliding calipers

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)3.1
0-60 mph (sec.)4.9
0-75 mph (sec.)7.1
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)13.3 @ 103.2
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.6
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)27
60-0 mph (ft.)110
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)72.4
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.96
Sound level @ idle (dB)55.4
@ Full throttle (dB)90.7
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)78.9

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsHighly repeatable launch, but it requires faith that the car won't explode. At 7,000 rpm and with a quick clutch engagement, the Elise leaves a shriek of wheel spin. The second gear synchro wasn't happy to be shifted at redline, so I had to do so at 8,000.
Braking ratingExcellent
Braking comments Erratic distances due to the Elise's extreme sensitivity to surface condition. Bumps, grit or smooth pavement makes a noticeable difference in behavior and distance. Quite a lot of noise from the ABS but no pulsing.
Handling ratingExcellent
Handling comments Massive lateral tug and high steering effort make a very physical driving experience. Excellent balance, but not easy to balance on-throttle. Fairly easily upset by midtransition bumps. Still, very capable in transitions. But be careful; there's an edge.

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (°F)72.6
Wind (mph, direction)7.4

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)20 City / 26 Highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)21.6
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)10.6

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,006
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)2,028
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)37/63
Length (in.)149.0
Width (in.)67.7
Height (in.)44.0
Wheelbase (in.)90.5
Track, front (in.)57.4
Track, rear (in.)59.3
Turning circle (ft.)32.8
Legroom, front (in.)43.5
Headroom, front (in.)38.5
Seating capacity2
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)4.0 (110 pounds maximum)


Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain3 years/36,000 miles
Corrosion8 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistanceNot available
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsNot available
Head airbagsNot available
Knee airbagsNot available
Antilock brakes4-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsElectronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlOptional
Stability controlNot available
Tire-pressure monitoring systemDirect tire-pressure monitoring
Emergency assistance systemNot Available
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested

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