Driving

Lotus Elise review

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Lotus Elise
Review continues below...
6 Jan 2017 10:25 | Last updated: 22 Aug 2018 15:37

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The entry-level Elise Sport uses a 134bhp 1.6-litre engine, while the Sport 220 has a supercharged 217bhp 1.8 and the Cup 250 a 243bhp version of that unit.

Even though the Elise is light, the 1.6 isn't quite powerful enough to excite; come up behind another car and you need a decent amount of space and planning before you can get past, which is frustrating in a sports car. By contrast, even the less powerful 1.8 can propel the Elise from 0-62mph in just 4.2sec, and on to a blustery top speed of 145mph. It's tremendous fun and has more than enough urge for speedy and safe overtaking.

The Elise also sets new standards for cars of this type with its superlative grip and surprisingly comfortable ride. You need to be wary of unsettling the rear if you lift off the accelerator mid-corner, but its sharp, accurate steering is more communicative than the average after-dinner speaker. As a result, country roads can be attacked with verve, while the brakes are a perfect match for the pace.

Just don’t expect the Elise to have a cosseting, hushed interior. Even with the optional hard-top roof in place, wind noise whistles around and the engine produces a constant drone, which can prove extremely tiresome over long distances.

 

Lotus Elise
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There are 5 trims available for the Elise sports. Click to see details.See all versions
Sport
This car is about excitement rather than comfort, so whichever version you buy, you'll get a similarly miserly amount of kit, which includes alloy wheels, central locking, a leather steering wheel...View trim
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£40,605
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Sprint
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£45,605
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Cup 250
Closed coupe version adds little or nothing to the base equipment of the Sport; in fact, it takes it away for added lightness....View trim
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£48,705
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Special Edition 250
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£48,785
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Cup 250 R
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
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£54,805
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