2000 LOTUS ELISE S1
ENGINE 1796cc/4-cyl/DOHC POWER 118bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 122lb ft@3000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 126mph 0-60MPH 5.8sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 24-32mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed manual MoT 12 months on sale ODOMETER 33,048 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Insanely good fun! Being so low to the ground, everything is amplified, even with the hard-top in place. It hits 60mph seemingly in the blink of the eye with no grumbles from the K-series engine. Reassuringly, the water temperature needle remains resolutely in the middle of the gauge. Even minor steering inputs garner an instant reaction from the road wheels (exactly as it should be) and the clutch pedal requires only minimal effort, which, combined with short throws of the lever, allows for sharp, quick changes. The brakes are powerful and progressive with no pulling and the ride is free from worrying knocks and clunks.
The Norfolk Mustard paint positively gleams in direct sunlight – the overall quality is exceptional, though there are one or two touched-in stonechips. The desirable matching hard-top is similarly splendid, let down only slightly by a scuff on the offside edge where it meets the top of the windscreen surround. Smart 12-spoke black alloys hide drilled brake discs and beefy calipers. There’s a mix of tyres, with Advan Neova 195/50 R15 rubber at the front and 225/45 R16 Yokohamas at the back, but all have plenty of tread left.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
There’s not a lot in here, but what there is, is pristine. Scratches to the aluminium panelling are minimal and the dashboard plastics are scufffree. Wear to the leather on the high-set sill appears odd, but results from the driver entering and exiting. The vendor says it’s possible to remove the steering wheel but we didn’t have chance to try it out. The leather on the bucket seats looks like it’s barely been sat on. The seats are surprisingly comfortable, too, despite the lack of cushioning and the fact that they’re bolted directly to the floor.
UNDER THE BONNET
Like the MGF with which this Elise shares its engine, access to the mid-mounted K-series is extremely limited, not least because it fights for space with the boot. There’s not much to see under the engine lid, then, but a quick poke around reveals the correct fluid levels, no signs of any leaks (a cruical consideration with this engine) and wiring and hoses that appear to be in good condition.
This 17-year-old modern classic has belonged to the same owner for the past 14 years. It has a fully-stamped service history through the supplying dealer – the London Lotus Centre – and Surrey Lotus specialist, Bell and Colvill. The low-mileage is genuine and its condition is such that it impresses, but not so much that the next owner would have to be precious about how and when it is used.
EXTERIOR Popular colour Smart black alloys INTERIOR Stereo present Scuffs to the sill leather MECHANICALS Free of clonks Strong performance PROS Low mileage, hard-top, history CONS Worn sill leather trim, some body flaws
ASKING £16,995 PRICE
Minimalist interior looks original, with only minor wear.
Access to the K-series is tight, but it keeps its cool.