Lotus 26 pod handlową nazwą Elan został zaprezentowany w październiku podczas "Earls Court Motor Show".
INTERESTINGLY, all three Lotus production models have different basic structures... monocoque for the Elite, backbone chassis for the new Elan, space frame for the Super Seven. The latter makes news by an up-grading in engine capacity to 1 ½-litres and the acquisition of a five-bearing crankshaft. As this suggests, the power unit is Ford's latest Classic/Capri job, developing 75 horse-power in normal Super Seven form but also available with Lotus/Cosworth tuning that adds a further 15 b.h.p. Unlike the Elan and the Elite, the Seven retains a live back axle but goes far towards the elimination of "hop" in this department by using coil springs and positive axle location in place of conventional semi-elliptics. The Super Seven has a Weber twin-choke carburettor, the latest Ford Classic gear box with synchromesh on all forward speeds. Disc brakes on the front wheels and an electric tachometer, wood-rimmed steering wheel and an electric radiator fan. A redesigned hood greatly improves rearward view.
APART from an increase in power output, from 83 to 95 b.h.p., Elite is little changed since last year's Show. It remains one of the most advanced Grand Touring machines of its day, featuring monocoque construction in glass-fibre, excellent aerodynamic shape, independent suspension and disc brakes for all four wheels. The Elite's remarkable fuel economy, relative to performance, received further testimony when one of these cars won the coveted Index of Thermal Efficiency award at Le Mans in June. The engine of course is by Coventry Climax, and one of the few units with a single overhead camshaft to be seen at Earls Court. Inboard mounting of the Elite's rear brakes, with a resulting reduction in unsprung weight, is one reason for this car's exceptional road holding. By buying it in component form and assembling it yourself, you save hundreds of pounds.
FOR sports-car enthusiasts, this will be a focal-point at the Show. An open two-seater of entirely new design, the Elan uses fibre-glass reinforced plastic as its body material but differs completely from the Elite coupe in having a separate chassis of backbone type, in contrast to the Elite's monocoque construction. Suspension is all-independent. Based on Ford's latest Classic/Capri engine, the power unit features Lotus's own twin-overhead camshaft top-end, which created such a sensation when making its racing debut in the Nurburgring's 1,000-kilometres race. By acquiring a five-bearing crankshaft, however, the Classic engine becomes an even sounder foundation for an ultra-high performance unit. An idea of the Elan's extremely low build can be gained from the fact that with its hood erect it is five inches lower than the Elite. Here are some other dimensional comparisons with the Elite:- 4 in. shorter in the wheelbase . . . ½ in. wider in track . . . 1½ in. longer overall. Transmission is similar to the Elite's, the four-speed gearbox having synchromesh on all forward ratios.