The Lotus Elan was the second major commercial success of Lotus (with due respect of the Lotus Seven). It arrived in 1962 to revolutionize the landscape of sports cars of its time because of its genuine concept, now in 50 years, and it was completely contrary to the rest of its rivals.
At that time Jaguar had just launched its E-Type, the AC Cobra devoured the asphalt circuit and the Ferrari 250 GTO (the most expensive car in the world) began to take the first steps that made it a legend. But they were all cut from the same pattern: big engines with big powers.
The Lotus Elan no, it was very modern for its time, and therefore incredibly light, very funny. Its small size coupled with that of its body panels were fiberglass and its innovative chassis central beam-called ‘backbone’-stop scale in a staggering 670 kg.
Riding and independent suspension and disc brakes on all four wheels and incorporated luxuries that time were nothing in common. Electric windows, wooden dashboard and heating, oddly enough, was something quite rare. Its engine was a Lotus-Ford twin-cam 1.5-liter engine, which was later replaced by a 1.6 L. For if there is any doubt about their benefits, the version Lotus Elan Sprint of 1973 was even able to reach 100 from standstill in just 6.6 seconds. A stratospheric record in those years.
It was designed by Ron Hickman, the man who patented Black & Decker Workmate. Its work was a benchmark those 50 years later it is still a success. So much so that its output reached the 17,392 units. Not only is outdated, but its concept is triumphing over the hand of the Mazda MX-5, which was inspired by the Lotus Elan: a roadster accompanied by an engine that needed no great powers. Same chassis, rear and small size and weight.