The Lotus Elise is one of the best driver’s cars money can buy. Conceived as a modern day Lotus 7 it has all the ingredients that made the 1960’s car great combined with all the advances in design Lotus has made over the last 40 years. The Elise has been in production for some time now but hides its age well. There was a major revision in 2000 that only improved on the Elise’s key characteristics – light-weight and superb handling. Its bonded aluminium chassis and mid mounted engine are still ahead of their time. There are few luxuries, it’s a car all about the driving experience. Compared to when it was launched however, the Lotus now has a healthy amount of competition.
The Elise CR is a bare-bones Lotus roadster that shaves 24kg off the weight of the standard car. It has a redesigned interior that helps it to do this and makes the Elise feel more of a track car. The CR aims to be a stripped-back racer that doesn't break the budget so unlike many light-weight versions the price is actually a little less than the standard car. Matt black wheels, mirrors and roof panels finish the look.
The Lotus Elise S is the supercharged model replacing the SC. Visually the S is identified by its body-hugging rear wing and Y-type lightweight cast 6-spoke wheels. The Elise S has the ultimate performance in the range and comes in at a price to match.
The SC was the full blown Elise, quite literally as it had a super-charger boosting power from the 1.8 litre engine. Perhaps the ultimate Lotus Elise of this generation. It also came with a unique rear spoiler and 6-spoke alloy wheels. Now discontinued.