The M100 Elan’s cornering performance was undeniable. On release the Elan was described by Autocar magazine as the quickest point to point car available.
The Elan M100 has made its mark in history as arguably the finest handling front wheel drive car ever made. Altogether 3,855 Elans were built between November 1989 and July 1992, including 129 normally aspirated (non-turbo) cars. 559 of them were sold in the US.
The launch price was £17,850 for the normally aspirated version and £19,850 for the SE turbocharged version. Initial sales were disappointing, perhaps because its launch coincided with a major economic recession in the UK and USA. The Elan was regarded as a good product in a bad market
A limited edition of 800 Series 2 (S2) M100 Elans were produced by Bugatti between June 1994 and September 1995 when it was discovered that enough surplus engines were available to make this possible. All series 2 cars were turbocharged.
The M100 Elan uses a 1,588 cc DOHC Isuzu 4XE1 engine which produces 162 bhp and a 0-60 time of 6.5s and a top speed of 137 mph.
After the final production run of the Elan in 1995, Kia Motors bought all the relevant licenses of Elan from Lotus to manufacture their own version of the Elan
The “new” Lotus Elan was announced at the 2010 Paris motor show. It was hoped to be in production by 2013, but the company pushed it back for a 2017 release. It is unlikely that it will make it into production.