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Identification Guide

This is not a comprehensive list of differences between the cars rather a quick guide to identifying a car. Like all manufacturers, there were running changes throughout the life of the Elan. In the case of Lotus, many of these changes were poorly documented. If in doubt, post a question to the LotusElan.net forum and ask.
Roadster/Drophead
Elan 1500
Type 26 Elan 1500 Roadster
  • Complete Details
  • 1500 badge on boot
  • All were recalled from the factory and updated to Elan 1600 specification
  • Boot lid does not extend all the way to the trailing edge of the car
  • Lift up windows
Elan 1600
Type 26 S1 Roadster
  • Complete Details
  • 1600 badge on boot
  • Round tail lights
  • No rollup windows
  • Boot lid does not extend all the way to the trailing edge of the car
  • Lift up windows
Roadster S2
Type 26 S2 Roadster
  • Complete Details
  • No rollup windows
  • Oval tail lights. Early cars had round lights
  • Boot lid does not extend all the way to the trailing edge of the car
  • Lift up windows
Drophead S3
Type 45 S3 DHC
  • Electric rollup windows with fixed frames
  • Oval tail lights
Drophead S3 S/E
Type 45 S3 S/E DHC
  • Electric rollup windows with fixed frames
  • Oval tail lights
  • S/E badged
  • Stainless steel side trims & wing mounted flasher repeaters on most cars
Drophead S4
Type 45 S4 DHC
  • Square tail lights
  • Square profile wheelarches
Drophead S4 S/E
Type 45 S4 S/E DHC
  • Square tail lights
  • Square profile wheelarches
  • S/E badged
  • Stainless steel side trims & wing mounted flasher repeaters on most cars
Drophead Sprint
Type 45 Sprint DHC
  • Complete Details
  • Square tail lights
  • Badged as Sprint
  • Unique Two tone paint. Could be deleted as an option
  • Square profile wheelarches
Coupe
Coupe S3 Pre-Airflow
Type 36 FHC-preairflow
  • Oval tail lights
  • No extractor grill on the B pillar
Coupe S3 Airflow
Type 36 S3 FHC
  • Oval tail lights
  • Extractor grill on the rear quarter panel
Coupe S3 S/E Airflow
Type 36 S3 S/E FHC
  • Oval tail lights
  • Extractor grill on the rear quarter panel
  • S/E badged
  • Stainless steel side trims & wing mounted flasher repeaters on most cars
Coupe S4
Type 36 S4 FHC
  • Square tail lights
  • Square profile wheelarches
Coupe S4 S/E
Type 36 S4 S/E FHC
  • Square tail lights
  • Square profile wheelarches
  • S/E badged
  • Stainless steel side trims & wing mounted flasher repeaters on most cars
Coupe Sprint
Type 36 Sprint FHC
  • Complete Details
  • Square tail lights
  • Badged as Sprint
  • Unique Two tone paint. Could be deleted as an option
  • Square profile wheelarches
Racing Version
26R
Type 26 26R Race
  • Fixed headlights, Most not all
  • Magnesium Lotus designed peg drive wheels
  • S2 versions had lightweight bodies and flared fenders
Plus 2
Plus 2
Type 50 +2
  • 50/0001 on
  • 2 large gauges - Speedometer, Tachometer
  • 4 small gauges - Water Temp, Oil Pressure, Ammeter, Fuel
Plus 2 Federal
Type 50 +2 Federal
  • 50/0857 on for US, 50/0929 all markets
  • 2 large gauges - Speedometer, Tachometer
  • 4 small gauges - Water Temp, Oil Pressure, Ammeter, Fuel
  • Remote boot release, flush interior door handles, modified exhaust
Plus 2S
Type 50 +2 2S
  • 50/1593 on
  • 2 large gauges - Speedometer, Tachometer
  • 6 small gauges -Oil, Water temp, Battery Condition, Temp, Fuel, Clock
  • 4 warning lights in center of dash (Hazard, Parking Brake, Brake Fail, Rear Screen)
  • New luxury interior including revised seats and centre console
  • Fog/Driving lamps below the bumper
Plus 2S Federal
Type 50 +2 2S Federal
  • 50/2447 on
  • 2 large gauges - Speedometer, Tachometer
  • 6 small gauges -Oil, Water temp, Battery Condition, Temp, Fuel, Clock
  • 4 warning lights in center of dash (Hazard, Parking Brake, Brake Fail, Rear Screen)
  • Luxury interior including revised seats and centre console
  • Fog/Driving lamps below the bumper
Plus 2S 130
Type 50 +2 130
  • 71.01...0001 on
  • 2 large gauges - Speedometer, Tachometer
  • 6 small gauges - Oil, Water temp, Battery Condition, Temp, Fuel, Clock
  • 3 warning lights in center of dash (Hazard, Park/Brake Fail, Rear Screen)
  • Luxury interior including revised seats and centre console
  • Big Valve engine
  • Fog/Driving lamps below the bumper
Plus 2S 130/5
Type 50 +2 130/5
  • 72.10... on
  • Same as Plus 2S 130 with 5-speed gearbox