On day one I pulled into a petrol station and removed the ignition key, but the engine continued to run. Were it not for the steering lock, I could have continued to drive the car around without a key at all.
On collection the edge of the boot lid had been scuffed down to the fiberglass after coming into contact with the bodywork opposite the corner of the boot lid. Obviously owing to bad quality control at the factory and the receiving dealership.
Boot lid catch sticks open and has to be pushed back into place.
Since 2000 miles: Knocking front suspension over bumps, becoming worse with time. Now the rear suspension knocks as well. The service department insists that they can find nothing wrong.
Headlamp button failed to stay pushed in. Had to drive around for two evenings with one hand on the button.
Roof leaks: Regardless of how you fit the soft top or the hard top, water flows easily into the cabin and gathers in pools just inside either door. Don't even think about going near the car with a jet wash.
After rain, a couple of pints of water gather in the radiator well. Once above 60 MPH this water is ejected onto the windscreen and completely obscures vision for long enough for it to be dangerous.
Rear alloy panel under the car has become loose after the fixing on one corner broke away from some weakened fiberglass.
General build quality: Atrocious. All over the car (inside and out) are hard-to-locate squeaks, rattles, buzzes, knocks and bumps. On any normal car, a single persistent squeak or rattle would be a nuisance and require investigation, but on the Elise it's something that you just have to accept. All these noises magically disappear when the car is test driven by the service department.
Noise: With the roof off it's almost bearable. But that's only relative to what it's like with the roof on. The hard top is worst, the soft top is not much better. After long journeys my ears ring for several hours. Don't bother with a stereo because the combination of poor acoustics (alloy interior) and massive engine noise will be too much for it. The noise could be forgiven if it sounded like a TVR (for example), but it doesn't. It's just noise and there's lots of it.
Performance: 0-60 is pretty quick. In fact 0-100 is not bad too, but after 100mph it takes a long time to get much further. Handling is perfect, steering is very light and accurate. This car would be great fun on a tack, but on the road it's no big deal unless you're prepared to break the law.
After sales service is very poor. It's almost like they've got my money now and they couldn't care less any more.
I paid over £30k for a car which looks fabulous and, for about 1% of the time when the road is dry and empty and I'm able to take the roof off, it's a fantastic car. It's everything I expected it to be in terms of handling and performance. The other 99% of the time it's a real pain. The pro's don't even come close to outweighing the cons. If you've got money to burn then buy one for the weekend.
I've been trying to sell it for months now, but have yet to find a buyer. At the current price, this car has depreciated in value by about £1000 a month since new. By any stretch of the imagination it is certainly not worth that much. On almost every level, this is the worst car I have ever owned and I will not be buying anything so much as a key fob from Lotus again.
The main thing I'm looking forward to when this car goes? Not having to tolerate other Elise drivers giving me the obligatory self-congratulatory wave as they pass me on the other side of the road.