The Lotus Elan is an iconic sports car produced by Lotus Cars. It’s distinguished for its lightweight construction, exceptional handling, and impressive performance.
Colin Chapman founded the 1948 Lotus Cars, initially running Lotus in his spare time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts.
The Elan was introduced in 1962, using a backbone chassis, meaning the fibreglass body panels are not load-bearing, keeping the weight down without adversely affecting the structure’s integrity.
Confirming Colin Chapman’s mantra, ‘Simplify, then add lightness.’
The Elan was among the first cars to utilise full independent suspension on all four wheels.
The 1,558 cc ‘Lotus Twin-Cam’ engine was based on the Ford Kent Pre-Crossflow four-cylinder 1,498 cc engine.
The rights to this design were purchased by Ford, which renamed it the ‘Lotus-Ford Twin Cam’.
Due to its lightweight, it had considerable motorsport success, including rallying, hill climbs and circuit racing.
Production ceased in the mid-70s; having said that, Lotus revived a new Elan, the Lotus Elan M100.
The Elan M100 is not even considered a real Lotus by many.
There are four reasons for this: Price, Front Wheel Drive, the Isuzu engine and its successor, the Elise.
The Elan had many celebrity owners, including Paul Newman and Peter Sellers.
Driving an Elan is like wearing tight Italian shoes, ‘where the road becomes your dance floor’.