Lotus Elise review – is the featherweight sports car as good as ever? - Design

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

Design

There are elements of the original Elise S1 from 1996 visible in the current car. That’s probably because its underpinnings haven’t changed hugley, but the truncated silhouette, clean styling and four-square footprint mean it has the scaled-down looks of something far more exotic.

There’s a lot of function to the Elise’s design, too. The ducting at the base of the windscreen expels air that enters through the car’s nose to cool the radiator, while air intakes set into the rear quarter guide cool air to the brakes. The rear engine cover, nestled between the buttresses, integrates two mesh grilles to improve thermodynamic efficiency.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

The Cup models deviate from the cohesive one-piece look, thanks to big front splitters, massive rear wings and protruding diffusers, but these additions do make the Cup 250 and 260 look every bit a race car for the road. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/nissan/gtr/21433/limited-run-nissan-gt-r50-to-enter-production-in-2020
Nissan GT-R coupe

Limited-run Nissan GT-R50 to enter production in 2020

First customer GT-R50s set to hit the road next year, with prices starting beyond the €1million mark
5 Dec 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-teased-in-new-video-true-wrc-homologation-special-on-the
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 teased in new video

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
4 Dec 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
5 Dec 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019