Last day with the Elise and I’m almost ashamed to say the roof hasn’t been off once. Blame the Bank Holiday weather and the fact I don’t have an instruction manual.
That apart I’ve thrashed the Club Racer to the best of my abilities. It’s difficult not too with a car this responsive. It handles like a go-kart and is equally exhilarating. You don’t need to wear a helmet either.
I’m not entirely sure how Lotus gets away with not fitting airbags – I thought all cars had to have them? I imagine many owners would want to spec the Elise with safety harnesses too.
The Club Racer isn’t an everyday car, although there will be a few die-hards who insist it is. I’m certain that on a racetrack it would be a delight, with razor sharp steering, reassuring brakes and that responsive accelerator pedal.
Ultimately, the S Club Racer is a weekend car only. As brilliant as any Lotus has ever been, you just can’t help but love it.
Squeezing in the back of a Audi TT or any Mini is difficult – but just slipping onto the front seat of the Elise requires yoga-like flexibility. I can only think of the Caterham 7 as being any tougher.
In the past, debutants were taught how to enter and exit a car with decorum. It was a case of keeping the knees together and swinging both legs onto the pavement at the same time. However, as a friend said today, the Lotus is not a car to ‘go commando’ in.
No, it’s a ‘knickers on’ type of car and would even have proved a challenge for the queens of debs, Joanna Lumley. The Elise is low to the ground and has a rigid safety beam that runs at elbow height along the bottom on the door. Grabbing onto the steering wheel helps the driver gain some support but the passenger has no chance!
Oh, and apologies to Lotus for an error in yesterday’s piece. The Elise does have a boot! It’s tiny and hidden behind the engine in the rear. Our press car doesn’t have a manual, so I have an excuse…