The Lotus Elise has been awarded the prestigious Readers’ Champion award at the Autocar Awards 2019.
In a recent poll, Autocar readers were invited to vote for their favourite icon from a list of 17 cars that are still in production and using the same name since launch. Each of the selected icons were championed by a different member of the Autocar editorial team.
Receiving the award were Lotus Cars’ Design Director, Russell Carr and Head of Concepts Richard Rackham.
Russell Carr said: “The Elise as a concept demonstrated the purity of Lotus design perfectly. As a design, it has developed and evolved over the years, but the essence of the Elise has always remained and that is one of the reasons why it has become such an icon. And of course, I greatly appreciate the support from the Autocar readership who clearly recognise this iconic status.”
Richard Rackham, previously the Vehicle Architect behind the Elise, added: “The Elise was a revolution, as not only did it demonstrate the benefits of lightweight to an industry that insisted on higher power and the increased mass that goes with it, but it also pioneered the use of extruded and bonded aluminium technology which is now so ubiquitous in global small volume vehicle manufacture.”
Mark Tisshaw, Editor of Autocar, said: “Displaying the appetite for pure driving machinery we’ve always been certain they had, our loyal readers have decided by an overwhelming margin that the Lotus Elise is this year’s 2019 Autocar Awards Readers’ Champion. Readers chose the Elise for its unwavering emphasis on driving factors: fine steering, handling and brakes made more effective by its compactness and light weight. For the record, we at Autocar enthusiastically applaud the decision.”
The bonded and extruded aluminium chassis technology that Lotus introduced first to the industry continues to evolve and improve. Future Lotus cars will incorporate this and new lightweight technologies, further strengthening Lotus’ position as a leader in agile, high performance and lightweight sports cars.
The Elise was not the only Lotus to have been included in the voting process, with the Lotus Seven as another of the 17 icons.