This is a car only for those who love to drive and KNOW how to drive well. This car will outperform most everything out there with the exception of some super cars. It is not for the driver who wants creature comforts... not a cup holder, climate control, heated seat to be found. This is essentially a street legal track car. The cool thing is that you can drive her to the track, put on your helmet and eat up a 911, Miata, Cobra, or what ever else gets in your way. Then have a nice drive home. I use mine as a daily commuter for a 110 mile round trip. It makes the drive fun and economical.
The tone of the engine when you exceed 6,000 rpm and the second cam opens her up. The feel of driving a race car.
Brighter lights and putting in a blinking light in the central break light would help.
I owned the Lotus Elise for about 7 months. I enjoyed the car and thought that there was no better car for the same price. Then I test drove a Honda S2000. Every feature that the Lotus lacks the Honda makes up for it. more horse power, higher RPM Redline (9000RPM) and the handling is just as effective. 0-60 time is a little bit slower but 0-100 time is quicker and thats really what counts in my book. Lotus was okay but the S2000 beats it in speed and handling.
Back in the sixties when I was driving MGBs and Triumphs the car that stood out for me even then was the Lotus, particularly the Europa. This was a car that a true enthusiast would want. I never did get that Europa but, finally,in my later years, I was able to get the new Lotus Elise (an 05). The car has been a joy to drive and its handling and braking rival that of any sports car at any price. I can't count the number of times people have approached me with questions about the car and how much they liked it. I have had complete strangers come up to me and ask me if it was OK to take pictures of the car. The car has been a true driving experience, unlike any other sports car.
A little more cushioning on the seats would be nice.
Having owned virtually every dreamy sportscar imaginable (yes, I HAD an Enzo), this car is BY FAR the greatest thing that has ever happened to a sunny Sunday morning. Though tough to get into, once inside, you get a comfortable driving position, phenomenal fuel economy, unfiltered communication from the car, and the most pure "street legal" driving experience. Plus, the added benefit of very low cost of ownership, and not worrying if something is happening outside to your Lambo/Ferrari while it is unattended, be it valet or street- parked. Plenty of fans on the streets, but more are curious of what it is, rather than what it costs. Very cool, very fun.
Feedback to the driver. Unequivocally simple, but very advanced. Strongest chassis of any car on US roads, and my dealer, Fox Valley Motorcars in Chicago is the absolute BEST! They trailer my car in for service and make me actually feel like an exotic car owner for once.
None. Maybe more power, but that's what the new Exige S is for. Next summer that will be my new car, but for now, I am enjoying the topless Elise!
The Elise is certainly not for everyone. It is not a luxurious vehicle, a daily driver (for most people), or extremely powerful. However it is very unique, very light, very fun, relatively affordable, reliable, and pure! This car weighs 25% less than a Mazda Miata, and maneuvers precisely. The steering car is very communicative, through its steering, ride, and pedals. Because of its light weight and low center of gravity it sticks to the road like glue. The engine isn't too powerful, but it is reliable with Toyota's 1.8L VVTi engine. At 6 RPM the VVTi kicks in and the car pulls very hard to redline.
Chassis, brakes, looks, engine.
More power (esp torque at lower RPM's), vehicle has slight water leakage in rain. I wish I had the limited slip differential.