Lotus Elise 1.8 VVTL-i 111R Review

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  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

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gwhittle's review of Lotus Elise 1.8 VVTL-i 111R

★★★★★

“WOW - Where do I begin :-) Picked up the Lotus Elise...

Written on: 28/05/2007 by gwhittle (1 review written)

Good Points
The most fun you can have in a car, period.
Whips almost anything from the starting line.
Insane second cam increases performance over 6,200 RPM.
Eco friendly
The sexiest beat on the road bar none.

Bad Points
Hard to get in and out of.

General Comments
WOW - Where do I begin :-)
Picked up the Lotus Elise 1.8 VVTL-i 111R around 3pm Saturday, and before getting the run down on the car, had 20 or so minutes of paperwork to fill out, and the invoice to settle. After which, using a showroom model, I was shown the ins and outs of the roof mechanism (both hard and soft).
After I claimed to understand the roof manoeuvre, the dealer took me to see my Baby which was glistening in the sun - it has the most sunlight-complementing orange paintwork I have ever seen. He ran through all the gadgets and gizmos, and let me know what all the buttons did. He explained lights, radio, and traction control etc etc...After which he uttered the following words...



"Well...It's all yours."



I think at that moment, I slipped into a parallel universe where only a perfect world existed and no one anywhere had to worry about anything anymore. It was simply bliss, the most perfect escapist moment ever...and then I got behind the wheel.
Pushing the engine start button was thrilling, it really surprised me how loud and bassy the engine roared, much more so than the demo model I had been out in 6 weeks earlier. I crawled out the showroom car park at around 5mph, heart racing, palms sweating and stomach churning - I was not a well man. Turned right, still crawling along and I meet my first other on-road car, a Maroon Lotus Elise 05 plate (presumably visiting the showroom) - he gave me a wave and a smile, and I returned the gesture before deciding to up the game a little.
10 mph, this is more like it I thought, as I slowly approached the Halfords which is located 1/2 a mile from my Lotus dealer. The maroon Lotus was now following me, and my girlfriend indicated he was laughing like a silly schoolboy at my pathetic attempt at manoeuvring a tight car park. I think I managed 3mph, if that.
Parked the car at Halfords, entered and bought new "window cling" L plates - one to be slapped behind my headrest - the humiliation was now complete. (I did take magnetic L plates to the showroom, useless).
The L plate let me feel a little more at ease, if the local bobby were to stop me, he could do nothing.
Our Halfords is located at the beginning of the Edinburgh City Bypass, so a good ring road to take it for a proper spin.
I approached the roundabout in the overtaking lane with a view to joining the bypass to the left. On my left, some form of Alfa Romeo, not sure of model or spec. I slowly breathed, and thought - this is the moment you have been waiting for. I was not able to see the traffic light next to me, as it towered tall above the car (a new one to me!)...however across the lanes, I had a second light doing the business. The moment I got a glimpse of amber, I let the clutch up with confidence whilst pushing about three quarters down on the gas. The car launched like a rocket with astonishing pace and before I could blink I was climbing through the gears on my way to motoring heaven.
The bypass ride gave me the confidence I was lacking in the showroom. I was varying speed and gears as advised, and really enjoying listening to the engine cook behind my head. I was grinning like a Cheshire cat the entire journey, and was shocked at how much I already hated the prospect of ever driving the wife's car again (Peugeot 307cc).
The bypass journey came to an end, and my wife (or soon to be) said, "O.K honey. Let me show you how to drive him". Him? I think not!
She was instantly confident, and had us on the return section of the bypass in no time. She was comfortable in her gear selection and chosen speeds - and seemed to be getting an equal amount if pleasure from an activity she has done every day for the last 6 years.
We got home, had a quick breather...36 hours and 300 miles later, we are still smiling like proud parents of a new baby.
Once I hit 1,000 miles, the second cams will be allowed to come online - looking forward to seeing what it's like.
I know nothing about cars, don't understand their specs and can't tell a spark plug from a spare wheel. One thing I do know though, this car is nothing but 100% fun.

  • 2007

    Year Manufactured

  • 2 days

    Length of ownership

  • 2

    Doors

  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

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