Truely different than all others
October 31, 2013
I have owned 2 Lotus Elises (06 Elise and an 08 Elise SC). I have also owned an 05 Corvette and several other sports cars and muscle cars. I've also had seat time in several German performance cars such as 911s and an M5. I am very much a sports car enthusiast, but I should point out that my main interest has always been with American muscle cars. I use these cars as both daily drivers and track day cars.
While I still love Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, and anything else with a big V8, I can honestly say that my favorite car is now the Lotus Elise. While it's completely different in just about every way, it gives me every bit as much enjoyment as those other sports cars plus some. Before, I thought a great sports car was something with ridiculous power and the ability to pull big G-forces in the curves. That might get you your best lap time in some cases, but it's not the most fun way to get around a road course or your daily commute! Once you have driven an Elise, everything else feels like a blunt instrument. My 2nd favorite car is the Corvette, but even it feels bloated and numb to me. The 911 can't hold a candle to an Elise in terms of feel and nimbleness either, and it's maintenance costs are somewhat ridiculous.
If you want a daily driver with decent trunk space, a comfortable ride, and the ability to perform well at track days or the drag strip, try a C6 or C7 Corvette. If you are a exceptionally large, old, or need tons of creature comforts, stay away from Lotus. However, if you want to go fast (almost as fast as a Corvette or 911 in most cases) and feel completely in tune with the machine that you are driving then the ONLY choice is a Lotus. I know there is nothing below $80k that will put as big of a smile on your face, and I doubt that even an unlimited budget would buy you as much pure fun. This car will show you new levels of control and communication, and it will make you a better driver.