I’ll never forget the excitement I felt when I bought my Lotus Elise back in 2004. It was a couple of weeks before Christmas and I’d just got a pay rise a work and decided now would be the time to buy the car I always wanted as a teenager. With a 1.8 Rover engine in the back pushing out 120 BHP it is hardly the most powerful car in the world, but weighing less than 700 kilograms means it feels faster than some 200 HP cars (in fact I’ve since owned a Mitsubishi GTO with a twin turbo 3 litre V6 which was nowhere near as much fun).
The garage I picked it up from was in Southend, which is about 80 miles from where I live. I had to get the day off, and went down with my mate early in the morning in the poxy old Corsa I was exchanging for it. It took about an hour before payment was complete and I was handed the keys. Sadly it was a bit wet so I took it quite steady, but on a few occasions I couldn’t help but hit the gas – wow! The kick in the back feeling was like nothing else I’ve driven (certainly not with a Metro engine anyway!!), and the noise was really nice from the Elise Parts exhaust on the back with full induction kit.
The car handling is not in the slightest overrated, it can be thrown around bends at 60 MPH making it the perfect track car, and the acceleration right up to about 80 beats most cars this side of a 911. At 35 MPG it is frugal on the petrol too.
I owned my little Elise for just over 2 and-a-half years after which I was forced to sell due to moving out of home. I often think about the car and I have no doubts I’ll buy another one somewhere down the line. I would recommend a Lotus all day long; pound for pound there is no other car like it.