I get asked a lot of questions about my Lotus. The first is usually ‘Is that yours?’ Then people want to know either how much it cost, how fuel efficient it is or how fast I’ve been in it. When I answer 80mph, they’re normally disappointed. When I tell them it does that in ~eight seconds they forgive me. My argument is that any car can go fast in a straight line but not every car can take corners as quickly as the Lotus, and that’s why I bought the car. Also, anything above 80mph in the Lotus means that you lose your hearing for the next week.
The Elise is a brilliant little car, but it is not without its drawbacks. It is lacking many things that in most cars are considered as standard. Things like ABS, power-steering, air conditioning, cup holders, sun visors, a clock and electric windows. A friend of mine has a three year old son who managed to entertain himself for quite some time by opening and closing the windows using the handle – what a novelty!
What is brilliant about it then? Once you get used to how the car handles (and how to use a car without power-steering again) it drives superbly. It hugs the ground and as a result, you can take corners at speed and it feels like you’re on rails. It is quick, but because you are so low to the ground you don’t feel it. It’s back to basics driving and it is really enjoyable.
The seats are (in my opinion) remarkably comfortable (and have that great leather smell). I wasn’t hoping for much from the seats when I bought the car because, as the suspension is so stiff, you feel every bump in the road. I ran over a crisp packet the other week and knew that I had done so. Despite this, however, the ride is pretty comfortable. I avoid potholes whenever I can though – they hurt.
The car sounds like a sports car should. It has a sports exhaust on the back of it so it sounds throatier than a regular Elise – this makes it a lot louder too. A bonus of this is that I never have to knock on a friend’s door when I visit them; they usually know I’ve arrived when I turn onto their street.
Finally, the car looks beautiful (those are not my words but I do agree with them). Everyone that sees the car says so, and it really is a work of art (in my opinion). Sometimes I catch myself just staring at it and taking it all in. I’m glad I bought it and my friends say that the car is typically me.
I’ll finish with this pearl of wisdom that I read somewhere and I think it rings true. If you don’t look back after you’ve parked your car, you’ve bought the wrong car…