A small English to change! Today I present a 2009 Lotus Elise S. Newly arrived in the state, this little sportcar now enjoys the slightest ray of sunshine to stretch rods. But the spring that we have this year is unfortunately not the sunniest.
This new shooting done very close to home, will allow me to change my reports. Indeed, thanks to the proximity and availability of the car I will be able to develop this report over time, with new photos and especially the feedback from the owner. Finally, when I told the owner, I must immediately point out that this is actually a proud owner woman! I will not miss either of let her speak to you about her feelings.
The car came off the line at Hethel in February 2009. It had two owners, but it has nothing to worry about. In fact, the first is known in the Lotus world to be passionate. The second, which kept the car 3 years now wants to pass on a Caterham. Elise range is constantly evolving since its inception in 1996. First MK1 and MK2, we are now in the third generation (some call MK2,5 because it's not a new car, but just a facelift). The engines are also spend Rover to Toyota following the liquidation of the former. I will not spread me on all versions because I'm not well versed on the subject. I will focus on the MK2 including our copy of the day. But the name S is now taken for the most powerful version of the range, while in 2009 it accounted for the entry level! It is equipped with the 1.8 Toyota 136hp.
How was facing a choice? "As the first sportcar, I didn't want a version too powerful. My choice was oriented on a MK2 for its modern style, and from 2002 to avoid long roof versions (after 10 years we can doubt the sealing already uncertain at the base) and especially not with too kilometers. The models made at this time had 120hp Rover and would be good enough to start. I'm not interested in the various preparations, both in terms of style or mechanics, So my choice is on a full stock. But since 2013 the ads are rare and the models are far from meeting my criteria. Then I pushed the range of the initial budget to see the not so older models. And I fell directly on this model which perfectly met my requirements, and much more! Since 2004 Toyota motorized Lotus and generally, reliability corrected the main shortcoming of Rover. head gasket a bit shaky. Since 2008 the ABS also appeared and that contrary to Xolin Chapman's philosophy of Light is right, the security level is a good point. Airbags (2) are also reassuring, although I hope never see their color! Some practices and not distracting details for the use that I will do as the electric windows or centralized conviction with alarm. The ProBax seats are known for their comfort on long drive or sporty. And since 2009, it is also a new dashboard that appeared with a more modern style. Equipment side, three options were selected on this model:. hardtop which aesthetically highlight the line and bring some pleasure during cool or rainy. Air conditioning, which brings more (comfort) that penalizes (power). Finally, the metallic paint. Color precisely. Failing to be a selection criterion, it is especially a criterion of non-choice. because the models are too rare to find a particular combination. But I wanted to avoid some like gray or red that do not put enough value in this kind of cars. But Solar Yellow made me crack. " The choice is therefore necessary to oneself, according to the tastes and requirements of each.
Here is the beautiful yellow, gained only 16 000km discovering new horizons. The first pictures were made during a first trip I was able to take the wheel. The driving pleasure make completely forget the pictures. We drove for almost 200km to do a small series of pics ...
With the few sunny days we had this spring, an appointment is made on a weeknight to make a first presentation shoot. I propose to return to a place that I like for pictures, although at this time, the sun doesn't rise enought.
The views are varied and it is possible to go around the car without moving it. I think that yellow is beautiful and the decor creates a great contrast. I do a fairly large first round.
It is in the detail that we recognize the different versions of the Elise. 6-spoke wheels "dishes" are specific to the entry level. The small "S" on the front fender is very recognizable, it opposes the "R" 192hp. The hardtop gives a really sporty look. We will see the difference later in the cabriolet configuration. The rear LED lights appeared in 2006. But some owners do not hesitate to get on earlier versions. Registration lotus can sometimes be replaced by the round logo (like the front cover). Writing Chrome is aesthetically nicer.
We change location to vary shots hoping to find the sun, but the clouds came too fast.
Lenticular optical (not Xenon) fulfill their function perfectly when night falls. However, it is essential to put them every time to be well seen. Although the yellow also helps to be seen. The few rays of light that can pierce to highlight the nuances of Solar Yellow. It changes from pale yellow to orange. Sublime!
Going indoors. Needless to say, this is low. The new dashboard agrees very well with the car. Commands are rare but well placed. The engine starts on the button and no longer with the key. The counters are visible, but unusual markings: speed values highlighted are not adapted to all traffic French (60, 90, 120). The tachometer is graduated to 9 000rpm as is common with the "R" version. But the maximum speed of the "S" is 6 800 rpm. The lack of area is a little confusing at first, but flashes to approach the switch.
The gearbox is 5-speed. The 172Nm torque enables comfortable again without playing continuously with the lever. The ProBax seats have helped to "bring the car to 400km of Paris without inconvenience." Only the driver's seat is adjustable in depth.
The small 4cylinders 1.8 Toyota.
It also allowed me to get back behind the wheel as he shot the car in motion.
Here is a first review after one month with the lotus: "What happiness! Ofcourse very apprehensive at first because I'm not used to driving propulsion But the grip is really easy. The pedal slightly offset does not give too much problem, against the pedals are very close to each other, it is imperative to have very fine shoes to prevent heel-toe involuntary. The shifts are very accurate, the direction ( unassisted) gives excellent returns, but we must hold the steering wheel because the slightest roughness of the road give you back in my arms. For parking, we are happy to have small front wheels (175/55 / 16) and very low weight (378kg of 930, an av/ar ratio of 40/60.) The driving position is very good, as well as visibility. The template still requires to new benchmarks.
Practical side, the 42 liters tank is more than enough, because I have done more than 400km to return from Paris without reaching the reserve. The highway fuel is very low, and remains limited on pleasure roads. The arrangements are quite numerous and chest well enough to go on a weekend. When I got the car, it was equipped with an exhaust Stage 2 (normally reserved for track use) but originally came with and was recovered immediately because of excessive noise is really for long drive.
It's a real treat to go out whenever there is a ray of sunshine. By cons, people are surprised to see a car that is not very common. The reactions vary from one extreme to the other, especially on the French side, where some really hateful and / or envious. behavior Swiss side , I have never faced this kind of negative reaction, quite the contrary. A well defined reality of spirit and diversity of policy between a majority autophobic countries and a country where everyone is free to live his life without being judged. Anyway on the road, you must be very careful because attracted by Lotus some drivers do not watch what they do".
Next return in about a month if time allows repeat outings and photos. The first technical inspection must be done as the Elise will be 4 years on April 30.