How to Install the Official Lotus Digital Dashboard on the Elise and V6 Exige

Lotus Elise 10 photos
Photo: Lotus Cars Limited
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Earlier this year, Lotus launched an all-new ‘plug and play’ digital instrument panel that is preloaded with data from thousands of tracks around the world and displays valuable car information using a specially designed interface.
The British manufacturer was founded in 1948 by automotive legend Colin Chapman, and over the years made a name for itself in motorsport, winning the Formula One World Championship seven times.

Its road cars became highly sought after and renowned for their amazing handling characteristics and lightweight construction.

Although the company has struggled in modern times, it did manage to also create some brilliant vehicles like the Exige and Elise, a model that was taken to the next level by Hennessey with their Venom GT and was a building block for Tesla’s first vehicle, the Roadster.

One thing that has not changed through the years is Lotus’ ambition to create fast cars that are built for sheer driving pleasure and high performance.

To enhance that in modern times, the engineers designed a fully digital instrument panel that features integrated GPS technology and lap performance indicators for the perfect track day.

Lotus digital instrument panel
Photo: Lotus Cars Limited
The new system is designed exclusively for Lotus Elise and V6 Exige models built from 2008 onward, and comes pre-loaded with details of 4,127 racetracks, automatically recognizing when the car is near a circuit.

Drivers can download the start/finish line coordinates so they can easily calculate lap times and analyze performance in real-time on the digital display or downloading them to an external device.

The Lotus-branded start-up screen makes the display look like a standard factory feature and users can customize the layout of the high-contrast six-inch TFT screen to better suit their driving style.

It also features a camera input that can be used to connect a portable action camera and capture footage of every lap record they break. The detachable screen is mounted in a bespoke housing that is finished in matte black and replaces the factory analog cluster without the need for adaptations.

Lotus digital instrument panel
Photo: Lotus Cars Limited
To install it, the first thing owners have to do is disconnect the battery. Once that is done, the steering wheel and lower steering column cover must be removed.

It is not a difficult task, as it involves unscrewing the two bolts while paying close attention to the two switches on either side. There is also a small upper cover that features no bolts and comes off easily.

The next step is removing the factory housing to get access to the analog gauges. It is clipped in place so it can be removed by hand by carefully pulling it forward from both sides. Using a dedicated trim panel tool will make the job easier.

Once the housing is removed the analog panel is visible and can be removed by unscrewing the four bolts. On the back, there is a connector that can be removed by gently pulling it out.

Since the new digital display is plug-and-play, it features the exact same socket on the back and simply plugging in the car’s connector to it and reattaching the plastic frame is all owners must do.

The final step is to put everything back together and enjoy the awesome digital panel. One important thing to consider is that it will not display your car’s actual mileage unless it is preprogrammed. To do that, you must visit your dealership and the certified mechanics will sync the actual milage to the new panel.

The digital instrument pack is available for purchase at official Lotus retailers for £1,470 ($ 1,950) including VAT and a fitting service is available at an extra cost if installing it yourself is too much of a hassle.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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