Lotus Elise – Driving, Defined

Lotus EliseDriving, Defined

莲花 Elise – 跑出驾驶精髓

Since the rumors of the Lotus Elise to cease  production, it pays tribute to revisit such a spectacular car. The Lotus Elise, has been around for donkey’s years (in comparison to models that were designed at similar years), the 1st production car was manufactured in 1996. The formula of this car, 2 seater, mid-engine, rear-wheel drive roadster sustained such credibility, that it’s still in production after 15 years of first ever production. The car has a hand-finished fiberglass body shell atop its bonded extruded aluminum chassis that provides a rigid platform for the suspension, while keeping weight and production costs to a minimum. The roadster is capable of speeds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). The Elise was named after Elisa, the granddaughter of Romano Artioli who was chairman of Lotus at the time of the car’s launch.

Ever since the S2 was introduced back in 2002, people don’t seems to get bored of the styling, if anything it seems more people are attracted to it every day, which I have verified with many cultures worldwide of motorsport enthusiast. On the streets it fits compactly on the massive lanes of today, where the lines are draw based on huge buses and lorries. The turn head factor is huge, with its aggressive styling and fighter masculine body. On the country roads with the roof off, you feel the intensity of the scenery flying pass with the breeze, while the car handles like a dream with poise and delicacy. On the track day even if you fancy a race, even the car may be low on power, with the advantage of being a lightweight and superb chassis, it makes sure you won’t be relegated, and if you explore the car to the limits, it’s actually a competitive car.

Ok so the interior is a bit bare which is good as you can focus on what matters. There is simply no fuss in the whole design, the speedo and rev counter is crisp clear and illuminated by a cool blue light when it gets dark. There is a Green LED to let you know the essentials like water temp and fuel and ODO. The wiper, light and A/C controls are intuitive. Only thing is getting out of the car is a bit “undignified”, but what you expect, it’s a low lugged purpose built sports car.

Starting the engine, hearing the wave of engine sound rolling from the back, tickles your senses. Snatch 1st, hit it off, the rear lights up, you wonder why you need launch control anymore. 2nd and 3rd the torque curve squeeze the revs to the Natural Aspirated high to the above 6,000 rpm range, and you arrive in heaven of pure driving, the animal in the back of your brain re-awakens, and you’re in speed hunting mode, and there are no better feeling then when a car response with you, in perfect harmony.

A green Lotus Elise at night.
Image via Wikipedia

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