A very lunatic Lotus Elise R, Spotted in China in the great city of Shanghai by Reader Antoine Chalendard, thank you for the pictures! The good Lotus is painted in a fascinating black scheme, seemingly shiny and matte at the same time, and further loaded up with tinted windows and racy matte black 8-spoke alloys with matte gray brake pads.
The license plate area is too small for the Chinese license plate, but Lotus didn’t bother to change it.
Production of the Elise Series II started in 2001 with major facelifts in 2008 and 2011, this is a post 2011 model. The Elise R is powered by a Toyota-sourced 1.8 liter four-cylinder with 189hp, mated to a six-speed manual. The engine is good for a 238km/h top speed and a 0-100 in 4.9 seconds. Price in China is a hefty 698.000 yuan or 112.000 USD.
Lotus opened shop in China in 2012 and has dealers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. Sales are sadly slow and this black Shanghai car is indeed the first Elise we see on the road. Tellingly, Lotus didn’t have a booth on the recent 2014 Beijing Auto Show, and that is always a bad sign. Let’s hope all will be all right soon as these speedy little British cars deserve a place on the crowded Chinese auto market.