2000 Lotus Elise Standard 1.8i
Where angels fear to tread
Boot catch failed at about 7000km.
Soft and hardtops leak in medium to heavy rain all the time.
Horn wiring developed a fault at 16000km and would honk intermittently on track corners.
The Elise is a simple and delightful car for those who love driving. It is not for those who merely like fancy cars to be seen hopping in and out of at fancy hotels.
Its steering is sheer poetry. no other car comes close but for maybe a couple of mid engined wonders. The 360 Modena has amazing steering for its weight, but is just short of the magic which the Elise employs.
The brakes for this car could have had more bite. They also cease to operate when wet until decently warmed up.
The Elise squeaks, moans, has coolant piping which rattles and develops an acoustic gumbo with any and all tuning options, but it drives like nothing else one will ever own.
It is a slow car by most performance car standards, but if kept on higher revs, it can keep up with many more powerful cars on twister roads on second and third (and this means Porsches and Ferraris built at the same time). In the hills, only the new Porche Turbo and GT2 will be faster. Drivers of other super cars will be hampered by the weight of their cars and the fear of plumbing past a limit.
The Elise is not a car that was designed for the motorway. It is happiest on the back roads and the hills and in the city. It is not the best for one who appreciates occasional track days. A powerful two stroke kart will provide more thrills safely than an Elise. A more serious track head will have to tune the Elise appreciably.
It is a great first car for the first three months, unless one lives close to work. Then add a couple of months more. After that, it should only be taken only twice, maybe three times a week, without water and on an empty stomach. Any less and it will be missed. Any more and you will begin to understand the true meaning of commitment.
After an Elise, marriage will never look easier.
Cheers to the petrol head.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 15th October, 2001