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The new Elise took everyone by surprise when it came out, so soon after the VX220. As I first clambered into the drivers seat, there was nothing vastly different from the old Elise. However their was a weird sensation that this car had grown up. I have experienced the old Elise on the Silverstone race track, where I could use the car to its full potential.
It seems that Lotus have taken a look at the Germans for build quality, it actually feels very well built! The switch gear, which is borrowed from GM again, feels good to touch, and the main buttons are neatly stacked up on the right side of the wheel. Lotus have extended the "pure driving experience" to include a stereo and some speakers, which is kind of comforting. The hood is easier to get on and off. Still a bit of a fiddle, but a darn sight easier then the old one. As for ride and power, nothing too different from the old Elise. It is supposed to be a little faster then the old one, hard to tell really. I personally love the new look, it is more inviting, more sports car like. Like a mini super car.
Bigger wheels and lights borrowed from its thoroughbread the 340r. I can't see any problems as yet, £24,000 is a worthy price of a proper drivers car, and you won't have any problems with souped up Nova's at the lights! Basically, what you have to consider: £24,000 for a LOTUS elise, which looks fantastic but isn't the most comfy everyday car, doesn't have ABS, Powersteering or even power assisted brakes, (this adds to the driving experience, you are not feeling a computer doing the work) or £24,000 for a Vauxhall box that has a few creature comforts, like ABS, Aircon, and Powersteering, looks like a bar of soap and has a eight lettered word beginning with V on the front. Maybe that is a little harsh on the little Vauxhall, now that I have seen it in real life. The Elise just looks and feels so more 'sportscar' like. I would reccomend the Elise to anyone, Lotus are a great company to deal with (despite their current problems).
short and sweet review... I do love these cars so much, though I agree on them building the Vauxhal!! it's a clone, but like horribly mutated.
Sweary 19.11.2003 12:38
I have to say I entirely agree with you.... obviously.... I have heard rumours of a new Elise for the American market with air con an airbag and - horror of horrors - electric windows. I do hope they keep it simple for the UK.
SandyG 17.10.2003 13:24
I'm a big car fan, but have never been to fussy about little two seaters, that is of course except for the Lotus Elise. I've been promised one by my Boss, but there is a slight catch - I need to score 300 at ten pin bowling. I almost gave him a heart attack a few months back when I started a game with four consecutive strikes, but it wasn't meant to be. One day, I may get my saving head on and go for it. Great op! Sandra.