There’s no denying that Lotus is a gentle giant of the sports car world. Though it’s extremely different from the automaker and racing team it was during the Colin Chapman era, the British brand soldiers on as one of the purest embodiments of driving pleasure. A problem with Lotus models, however, is the cost of maintenance.
“How is that even possible? Aren’t these lightweight land missiles powered by fairly reliable Toyota engines?” You may be right, but servicing a front-engined N/A Toyota is a little bit different from changing the oil of a supercharged, mid-engine Lotus.
In the case of the Elise Sport 220, the British brand took the decision to slash the 9,000-mile first service from 554 to 270 pounds sterling. Price cuts include the cost of filters, spark plugs, and drive belts. According to Lotus, this decision translates to “an average maintenance cost reduction of 37 percent on the entire sports car range.”
“This change is fantastic news for our customers, who can now benefit from the servicing expertise of a Lotus retailer for even less money. We’re driving down the cost of ownership and saving people money,” said Chris Hinks, the director of aftersales at Lotus. The question is, why did it take the Hethel-based automaker so long to arrive at the conclusion that Toyota engine consumables don’t have to be overpriced?
Whatever the case may be, Lotus has also confirmed that the initiative will roll out in other global markets by the end of 2020, including the United States and Continental Europe. All told, “almost 50 regular servicing components have had their prices reduced,” including fluids such as engine oil, coolant, and all of that jazz.
Having mentioned the Elise Sport 220, the entry-level version of the lightweight sports car tips the scales at 924 kilograms and starts at 41,665 pounds sterling. A 1.8-liter engine with 217 horsepower (220 PS) on deck drives the rear wheels with the help of a short-ratio manual transmission, translating to 4.2 seconds from naught to 60 and a top speed of 145 mph (233 km/h).