Motoring | Features

Featuring the classic car Lotus Elise

It doesn’t have any creature comforts, it’s not the easiest car to get in and out of, but when it comes to raw driving fun, there aren’t many cars to rival the Lotus Elise, writes Nishant Mehta

  • By Nishant Mehta, wheels
  • Published: 20:52 July 12, 2012
  • Wheels

Lotus Elise
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • The Elise had a hand-made fibreglass body on a lightweight aluminium chassis

This week’s classic car is so Spartan that its interior doesn’t have carpets, electric windows or even a radio, and you have to acquire the lotus position to get into the driver’s seat because it won’t move. If you still haven’t got the pun, it’s the Lotus Elise.

Although I started off with a list of what it didn’t have, these minor flaws are forgotten as soon as you get behind the wheel.

Following the same naming convention of all Lotus models starting with the letter E, the Elise was named after the granddaughter of once Bugatti and Lotus owner Romano Artiyoli.

Plummeting sales and a financial crisis, had made this roadster the illustrious brand’s last hope. And their hope wasn’t in vain.

Sporting a grille similar to that of the Elite and side vents inspired by the GT40, the Elise was an absolute beauty.

From the beginning, Lotus has had a very simple equation for perfect handling; keep it light and simple. And true to founder Colin Chapman’s famous words on lightness, the Elise tipped the scales at an astounding 724kg.

More Pictures
Related Links

The low weight, the poise and lightning quick responsiveness of the steering afforded such a sensational feeling, that two seat, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined roadster was hailed as one of the best handling cars on the market.

Although a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine good for a 0-100kph dash in 5.8secs and topping out at 200kph didn’t sound impressive, it was more than enough for a car that light, making it extremely nimble on the track.

With the Elise, Lotus was able to revive its image as a manufacturer of cars providing a raw driving experience.

Although build quality is not exactly a high point, you can get one in fairly good condition for under Dh50,000 which is definitely a bargain. And being a modern classic it’s just a matter of time before the prices start to climb.

Packed with the latest local and global motoring news, first drives, up-market car products, bikes and more

Life & Style editor's choice

More from friday

  • WH_141024_Lambo_Huracan_STF_Stefan065
    Unhinged Huracàn meets the UAE’s maddest road

    Al Taween. Renowned for its goat s, tiny grocery shops and one of the great est mounta in roads in the world. Ripping up the newly laid tar mac? A Lamborghini Huracán. Buckle up!

  • WH_141031_mywheels_rashed (1)
    Rashed Abdulla Bin Fahad’s double impact

    Ever since he was bitten by a Mustang Cobra, Rashed couldn’t look beyond American cars. So when it came to choosing a pick-up truck and a performance saloon, the decision was easy for him

  • WH_141031_Subarub driven (6)
    Subaru WRX STI driven

    Subaru’s iconic flagship sports saloon is back, and along with all the upgrades comes a welcome price, too

  • WH_141031_SUP_Fiat 500 (2)
    Fiat 500 Cult refreshed

    Fiat’s nifty city car star has been updated for 2015 to keep pace with its small car rivals. Does it still have the magic that makes it a style icon?

  • Jonathan Castle
    Shifting opinions

    In defence of the (gasp!) continuously variable transmission...

More from Wheels

More from aquarius

More from alpha

  • gold-leaf-bath
    Inside Downtown Design

    From chic and contemporary to modern and magnificent home wares, this year's exhibition is nothing short of extraordinary

  • Noura_Main
    Highly commended finalist: Noura Al Ramahi

    Along with our three fabulous finalists, the judges decided to include a Highly Commended category as the standard of entries to our competition was so high. This goes to Noura Al Ramahi for her stunning villa in Abu Dhabi. Well done Noura – it’s beautiful!

  • IO_141020_Home of the Year awar86
    In pictures: InsideOut Home of the Year Awards

    The InsideOut Home of the Year Awards 2014 party held at the Nawwara Bar at the JW Marriott Marquis on the 20th October went with a swing! Here’s our gallery of a really great night….

  • IO_141014_Casablanca_STF_Stefan07
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Dana Jaber

    Dana Jaber’s Al Barsha villa was considered by the judges to be bold, original and eclectic. We loved her individual approach to decorating which lends interest and unexpected touches to every room

  • Main_2
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Helena Brown

    Helena Brown’s home in Umm Suqeim was a favourite with the judges because of the many personal touches, and undeniable sense of comfort and style. Her interest in Feng Shui has helped achieve a calm relaxed ambience

More from insideout