Lotus Elise review – is the featherweight sports car as good as ever? - Interior and tech

The Elise, with exceptional feel and control as well as compliance and ride quality, couldn’t be anything other than a Lotus

Evo rating
Price
from £31,500
  • Sublime involving chassis as well as a compliant ride; rorty four-cylinder engines
  • More powerful, hardcore models are expensive

Interior and tech

The Elise’s sparse interior smacks of focus and simplicity. Most of the sills, floor, central tunnel and dash are left as exposed aluminium. There’s also lots of painted plastic to match the exterior. Whatever is left (not much) is covered in rubber, leather or, optionally, Alcantara.

Carbonfibre can also be specified for many of the interior components, the carbon sill plates lower the door opening by 10mm thanks to the greater manufacturing accuracy that allows them to be fitted closer to the extruded aluminium beneath and also make it easier to get in and out. The woven carbon does adds an even racier vibe than standard, but that’s only minimal as the standard exposed, aluminum gearshift mechanism delivers plenty on that front.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The slim seats are pleasantly accommodating in all the models and, even though they aren’t deep with very prominent side bolsters, they are very supportive. Sprint models upwards are fitted with the lighter carbon fibre-shelled examples.

The options list reads as if it’s a decade old – air conditioning, cruise control and even a (bluetooth enabled) stereo come at a price, but arguably that’s the penalty you pay for compromising the car’s lightweight philosophy.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/aston-martin-valkyrie/17980/aston-martin-valkyrie-1160bhp-hypercar-undergoes-further-testing-at
Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie: 1160bhp hypercar undergoes further testing at Silverstone

Following its dynamic debut last summer, F1 drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon have put the Aston Martin Valkyrie to the test
18 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/21153/2020-volkswagen-golf-r-mk8-spied-ahead-of-reveal
Volkswagen Golf R

2020 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 spied ahead of reveal

Next-generation VW Golf R spotted cold weather testing prior to official launch
17 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019