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Lotus Elise 111R


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Well I did my Lotus Driving Day" today and came back with mixed feelings.

Firstly Alistair McQueen, an extremely down to Earth and amiable Lotus test driver took me out in it.

These were public roads so he didn't go mad but still gave it some stick, then we swapped over.

Getting in was rather challenging even for a smallish guy like me - Very low with a very high sill but once I got in, the seats, which look almost devoid of any padding, fitted me perfectly.

The visibility was also pretty good and once I got used to the high clutch bite point and the revvy engine, I gave it some stick.

The gearbox is superb - One of the best I've tried and the low torque output of the 1.8 Toyota engine actually suits the car and keeps it friendly.

The engine needs a lot of revs but I was suprised how easy the car was to drive - No intimidation whatsoever, just instantly available power and the most connected feeling I have ever felt in a car.

The steering tells you everything that's going on, the rock hard suspension makes a drain cover feel like a big kerb but keeps the car totally flat and the brakes are superb.

I thought the engine sound (this has an optional sports exhaust) was a little average - More chav Nova than refined sports car but it's purposeful at least.

The interior both delights and disappoints - The dash is lovely, as is the micro steering wheel but the doors feel very flimsy indeed - Almost like chocolate box vacuum mouldings.

But the car is very, very easy to drive very quickly with no intimidation found in some seriously quick cars and the best feedback I have ever felt in any car.

I didn't push it hard enough for opposite lock antics but I'm sure it would respond perfectly.

My only real gripe is the price - The £16k Corolla comes with the same engine but is better made.

Yes it's a totally different car but the Elise just didnt FEEL like a £30k motor.

One to hire for a trackday but not to buy. 169144-ok.gif

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I think the issue being is that the Elise isn't an every day car. As you've mentioned, an excellent toy, or track weapon. Personally I prefer, and would love to have an exige, but hey that's in the same dream as owning a TVR!

Nothing wrong with the review, but you have to remember, its not an Audi, BMW or VW ROLLEY~14.GIF

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Only just seen the review...

Mmm Well Toyota make a few Corollas every year to keep the costs down, however making a hydroform Elise in limited run it a very expensive job. I can't afford one new but some of the S2s are getting into great money used and are well worth a look.

Get an average car for the road, lets face it they aren't exactly easy places to put your foot down and enjoy yourself anymore and get something like and Elise for the odd early morning on a Sunday and trips to the track. 169144-ok.gif

Don't forget the Elise is available in other engines, and when you compare it to a Westfield or Caterham it is positively luxurious and well built. grin.gif

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  • 1 month later...

The 111R is probably the best car I've driven for pure driving involvment and I've driven a lot of good cars!

I'd have one in an instant if it was slightly more practical, but as an only car (and yes I've run and Caterham and a previous Elise as only cars), I just couldn't go back to one.

As a second car it would be sensational! laugh.gif

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Yep totally agree. I've currently got an R300 as a second car and it's fantastic, however, it hasn't seen much of the road recently due to this weather frown.gif

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Fantastic stuff! Yes mine hasnt seen much of public roads this years, done lots of trackdays instead!! Any pics of your R300?

Mines a Rover K 1.8 Supersport British Racing Green with areo screens.


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