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Lotus Elise S

Lotus Elise S

Author: William Wain  /  Categories: Owners Reviews, Lotus  /  Rate this article:
This 'little plastic car' epitomises the lightweight ideals of Colin Chapman. 

If you want heated seats, power steering, parking sensors, automatic folding mirrors etc. then it's not the car for you. If you want a car that puts a smile on your face whenever you drive it, where you actually grin when you rise over the crest of a hill on an A or B road and see the twists and turns ahead, then it is most definitely the car for you.  It gives you the true 'mini adventure'!  The handling, acceleration and head-turning ability are well known, but the MPG and cost of ownership are impressive as well. A design that has been around for many years, bonded aluminium chassis (years ahead of the German cars that are now trying to sell on the idea of 'adding lightness' to their cars). 

It is a triumph of British engineering. Diehard Lotus enthusiasts complain at the weight of the newer cars (the S1 was 725Kg, the S2 910kg), yet the newer models are still significantly lighter than its competitors (Porsche Boxter 1395kg, Nissan 370Z 1466kg).  Yes these cars have a higher top speed, yes they have more power, but the Elise excels on the country roads - point to point, it has few true rivals. 

It has other plus points too - silly as it seems, people extend you the courtesy of letting you out at junctions (while the Z4's and Boxster's sit (im)patiently), it has a magnetic effect or drawing people to your car to ask you about it. I believe It is a peoples champion and very well received in the car world.

Is is a practical car? -  Not totally, but as a daily driver and with enough boot space for a weekend away or the family shop (at a pinch), it's not so bad.

After 3 years, on a sunny day, when I open the garage and see it sat there, begging to be released onto the road for a trip over the moors to the coast, it still makes me smile. Make sure your partner gets the family car first and you will never get more smiles per mile when you take the Elise out for a trip.
Manufacturer Statistics
Engine (cc) 1598
Cylinders 4
Power (hp) 134
Torque (ft-lb) 118
Top Speed (mph) 127
0-60 (secs) 6.0
0-100 (secs) 18.6
Standing 1Km (secs)
Weight (kg) 756
Economy (mpg) 45
Owners Scores  (10)
Performance 4
Handling 7
Street Credibility 8
Servicing 8
Economy 9
Insurance Cost 8
OVERALL (60) 44

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