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.

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.

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