The Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary Special Edition celebrates the unveiling of their lightweight two-seater at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1995.

20 years ago, the Lotus Elise revolutionised the sportscar world, for many, setting the benchmark for handling, purity of the driving experience, lightweight and efficiency. Its pioneering and advanced bonded aluminium chassis and over the years has improved and evolved and remains core to the Elise’s performance today.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, welcomed the Elise 20th Anniversary model: “It is sometimes hard to believe that the Elise has been around for 20-years. It was ground-breaking when it was launched and continues to be the benchmark for handling and performance in its class. Over the years we have improved and refined the Elise but we have also ensured that we have retained the purity of the driving experience and for the Elise to remain as the sports car to which other marques aspire.”

The Elise 20th Anniversary, with its lightweight aero-optimised, composite body, is powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged engine. It reaches 0-62 mph in 4.6-seconds and has a top speed of 145mph.

Weighing 914kg, 10kg less than the Elise S, the Elise 20th Anniversary features additional equipment compared to the Elise S and is designed to reduce weight, including matt black forged wheels, ultra-light centre console and sports seats in leather or Alcantara with colour-coded stitching.

A sport mode is included, which increases throttle response and alters the traction slip thresholds allowing the driver enhanced control before intervention.

Four colours are available in Blue, Green, Yellow and Silver and the rear diffuser, wing mirrors, roll hoop cover and rear transom are in matt black. Elise 20th Anniversary decals on the dashboard and seats and outside above the side indicator, identify this anniversary special edition.

All this additional equipment amounts to £5150 worth of extra value, for only £2700 more than the standard Elise S (£37,200).

In terms of numbers, the Elise is the most successful Lotus model built, with a total of almost 32,000 sold globally. In addition to the Elise, the Lotus small platform technology has been used to great success in the Lotus Exige, Lotus Europa and Lotus 2-Eleven models.

The Lotus Elise 20th Anniversary is on sale now with an MSRP of £39,900. It replaces the Elise S Club Racer with more information from ENDS.