I have been an owner of five Porsches over the past 14 years. I have driven a 968 convertible, '86 911 Carrera that had a race suspension and performance engine, '98 996 S w/turbo body, '03 997 turbo and a '06 Cayman S. All of these cars were amazing and unique, but the Lotus Elise is truly the ride I have been looking for. Yes it is not a Porsche uni-body design and it does lack German engineering, but the feed back and handling is so much like a race car it is truly awesome! The light weight chassis design along with the independent suspension makes this vehicle very unique. For the driver that wants a sports car experience, Lotus is as close as you can get to driving a formula one.
This car is amazing, BMW calls their cars the "Ultimate Driving Machines" but this car truly is, no other car comes close. I bought this car to drive to and from the track, and on weekends. After owning a 1986 BMW 3-series track car, two highly modified VW GTI VR6's, a 2000 Audi S4 with over 400hp, and a 2003 Mini cooper S, and I currently own a 2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe as a daily driver, and I've driven several Porsche 911's, but the Lotus is bar-none the most exciting sportscar I've ever owned. I race shifter karts, and it seems like that's the only type of machine anyone will ever out-handle an Elise in! Plenty quick stock but Forcedfed 275 turbo kit is going in when the warranty runs out.
My first car ever purchased, and I would have it no other way. I test drove the Cayman, 911, Corvette (base, not Z06) and had a Z3 in college, but this car blows all of them away. After driving it, I knew I couldn't pass. I live and work in Malaysia, but was home in the US for 2 months over the summer and took that opportunity to purchase this car and drive from Houston to Chicago overnight to drop it off with my family. 1000 miles in 15 hours was a breeze; I felt very little discomfort the entire trip. My only pain was from my left arm resting on the door sill for hours on end. But for the thrill of driving a car with this performance and still getting 28 mpg, the discomfort was worth it.
The Lotus Elise is the most pure sports car experience on the road today. I have never driven a car that is more responsive to the touch than this one. It is as though this car is an extension of your mind and body. It is a blast to drive at high speeds through twisting, turning roads, passing muscle cars with 500 hsp plus motors that simply cannot hold the road. My last toy was an Acura NSX and after test driving Corvettes, Porsche 911's and BMW's I thought I would never find a car that would touch the NSX. Just as I was losing total faith in finding a replacement for the aging NSX it was announced that the Elise was finally coming to Canada! In the true Campbell tradition less is more!
This is definitely a car for the person that likes to get noticed, and enjoys performance and handling. I bought a black Elise with a hard top and the neighbors thought I was driving the Batmobile. If you want a car that has a fun factor of 10+, it's a no brainer; however, it is a bit of a challenge to get in and out of, and if you're a large person, or over 60, I'd say, don't even try to get in and out of it. Braking and acceleration are great. Love the exhaust sound as your driving. Beware, it's an attention getter! For people with large feet, it may pose a challenge to operate pedals, I have to wear certain shoes when I drive as the pedals are close together.