James May calls it the fizz. Clarkson call it the X-factor. Its that something special that makes a car more than transportation, more than just a combination of metal glass and rubber. The Lotus Elise is the very definition of a drivers car. This car is one of the most nimble well handling cars ever put on the road, in any era…period…the end! If you have never driven a car whose only purpose is to go down the road, you are in for a treat. The Lotus Elise is purpose built track car, disguised…loosely!...as a road car. However, as soon as you worm your way into the tight fitting, hunkered down cockpit, turn the key and stab the start button, any illusion of what this car really is for goes right out the window! Revving to 8000 rpm, the 2.0 liter variable valve timing Lotus tuned 4 cylinder pulls briskly to 6500, and then things get interesting! The second cam hits and the fun begins….surging the final 1500 to redline! The tunable suspension and inches off the ground driving position lets you feel every undulation, bump, ripple and pebble on the road, a far different sensation than the numbness that accompanies most everyday cars. The handling is telepathic, the miniature steering wheel seeming to move of its own accord, point the car exactly where you think you want to go. The interior is spartan, with very little in the way of creature comforts…the AC sucks, it’s a bit hot, definitely noisy with squeeks, and bangs and buzzs and rattles…but somehow all of these quirks make the car more endearing, not less. Our Lotus comes outfitted with a series of race inspired track oriented parts including a heavy duty clutch and adjustable suspension. If you are not proficient with a manual transmission, this is not the car for you! Please be prepared to answer a few questions about your experience before approval! The car does have a soft top that can be put on if necessary, but will mostly be available in its targa form, without the top. I put 2000 miles on this car in 8 days before bringing it from the mainland, and it was some of the funnest miles ive ever driven. Im certainly not a car journalist, and although I have driven many cars, I have only driven a few cars that have given me a bit of a taste of what the industry guys are on about….but this car…the Lotus Elise, is everything every magazine and tv show has ever said about it…it’s the fizz!
Please check out our other car, the 2015 volcano orange Mini Cooper S here on Turo, if you are looking for a little less hyper transportation.