SAVE
Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
Compare
Back to top

Key Specs

of the 2011 Lotus Elise. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Racing heritage
  • Performance
  • Gas mileage

The Bad

  • Seating space
  • Ride comfort
  • Cargo room
  • Sparse cabin

Notable Features of the 2011 Lotus Elise

  • Lotus-tuned 189-hp four-cylinder
  • Available supercharged Elise SC
  • Six-speed manual
  • Removable hardtop available
  • Performance Value Package

2011 Lotus Elise Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The Elise is a compact, lightweight sports car meant for track driving. As such, its competitors, such as the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, generally boast more comfort but fewer at-the-limits performance attributes. The Elise comes in two trims: the entry-level Elise with a non-supercharged four-cylinder, and the Elise SC, which adds a supercharger for more horsepower.

New for 2011
There are no significant changes to the Elise and Elise SC for 2011.

Exterior
Countless cars are described as "aggressive," but the Elise truly looks the part, with its huge air intakes behind the doors; its long, sloped headlight covers; and its ground-hugging stance. Exterior features include:

  • LED taillamps
  • Composite body panels are used, and the entire car weighs slightly less than 2,000 pounds
  • Standard removable black cloth top, available body-colored hardtop
  • Sixteen-inch alloy wheels up front, 17-inch alloys in back

Interior
Two occupants sit in composite sport seats. The cabin is sparse, with an Alpine head unit for the stereo and an aluminum gearshift knob and handbrake. Interior features include:

  • Momo steering wheel
  • LCD screen displays essential vehicle information
  • Standard air conditioning
  • CD stereo with optional iPod compatibility
  • Power windows and locks
  • Starter button and immobilizer alarm
  • Optional leather sport seats, center cupholder, stowage net and additional sound insulation

Under the Hood
The Elise has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from Toyota and tuned by ...

Vehicle Overview

The Elise is a compact, lightweight sports car meant for track driving. As such, its competitors, such as the BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxster, generally boast more comfort but fewer at-the-limits performance attributes. The Elise comes in two trims: the entry-level Elise with a non-supercharged four-cylinder, and the Elise SC, which adds a supercharger for more horsepower.

New for 2011
There are no significant changes to the Elise and Elise SC for 2011.

Exterior
Countless cars are described as "aggressive," but the Elise truly looks the part, with its huge air intakes behind the doors; its long, sloped headlight covers; and its ground-hugging stance. Exterior features include:

  • LED taillamps
  • Composite body panels are used, and the entire car weighs slightly less than 2,000 pounds
  • Standard removable black cloth top, available body-colored hardtop
  • Sixteen-inch alloy wheels up front, 17-inch alloys in back

Interior
Two occupants sit in composite sport seats. The cabin is sparse, with an Alpine head unit for the stereo and an aluminum gearshift knob and handbrake. Interior features include:

  • Momo steering wheel
  • LCD screen displays essential vehicle information
  • Standard air conditioning
  • CD stereo with optional iPod compatibility
  • Power windows and locks
  • Starter button and immobilizer alarm
  • Optional leather sport seats, center cupholder, stowage net and additional sound insulation

Under the Hood
The Elise has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from Toyota and tuned by Lotus. It incorporates variable cam timing and lift technology to produce 189 hp and 133 pounds-feet of torque. The Elise SC adds a supercharger to make 217 hp at 8,000 rpm and 155 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Mechanical features include:

  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Coil-spring suspension can be equipped with Bilstein shock absorbers
  • Eight-spoke cast-aluminum wheels
  • 16-inch tires in front, 17-inch tires in rear
  • Optional lighter wheels 
  • Twin-piston front brake calipers and single-piston rear calipers; all four discs are cross-drilled to resist brake fade
  • Optional traction control and limited-slip differential

Safety
While traction control is available on the Elise, stability control is not an option. Safety features include:

  • Dual front airbags
  • Antilock brakes

 


Latest 2011 Elise Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(5.0)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Great car!

by danthemanwithaplan from Briarcliff Manor, NY on April 25, 2017

this is a good car with a lot of good features and it was a good drive with a good radio and it was good while driving goodness Read full review

(5.0)

Fast and Fun

by Lotus Lover from Michigan on May 28, 2016

I absolutely love the Lotus Elise SC special edition. As one of the lucky 15 to own a 2011, it is definitely a head turner and puts a smile on my face every time I press down on the gas pedal. The car ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2011 Lotus Elise currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2011 Lotus Elise has not been tested.

Change Year or Vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Elise received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker