LOTUS Elite/Eclat

Classic Car

In an effort to shed its kit car image, Lotus took a giant leap upmarket in 1974 with the Elite – a four-seater coupe with a kind of hatchback. As the American market didn’t take to the styling, it was joined the next year by the Eclat, pretty much the same car but with the rear panels reshaped into a more familiar fastback form, also losing about 45kg in weight in the process. The all-new two-litre Lotus twin-cam engine was increased to 2.2 litres from 1980, with the same peak power output but substantially more torque. A Getrag five-speed gearbox was also used from this point.

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