Squeezing behind the wheel of a new Lotus Elise is the best choice for speed loving contortionists
Squeezing behind the wheel of a new Lotus Elise is the best choice for speed loving contortionists. This pocket rocket suits the aforementioned hobbyist as its tight, low to the ground cabin is harder to access than a top of the range bank vault. So, is it worth the effort of popping your legs behind your ears to climb inside?The short answer is, yes. The Elise is a thrilling sports car that provides a huge amount of speed for comparatively little money. New models are available in standard, R, and SC guise, and have a 1.8-litre Toyota engine with outputs of 134, 189, and 217bhp. All variants are fast, but the supercharged SC is the pick of the bunch as it races to 60mph in only 4.3 seconds. This is comparable to the far more expensive Ferrari F430 Spider. The Elise's handling is everything an enthusiastic driver could reasonably expect. But, be warned - this machine is hardcore. It is a harsh, stripped-out, raw sports car that does not even have power steering. This 'no compromise' approach means the chassis provides fantastic traction for track days and the vehicle's balance is superb. This complements the excellent brakes which actually feel strong enough to stop the world spinning. So, how do we summarise this astonishing vehicle. The Lotus Elise is less comfortable than a bed of nails, has less interior space than a DL envelope, and climbing into its cabin feels like posting yourself through a letterbox. Buy hey, the Elise is a no-compromise racer that makes your heart pound like a boxer's fists – and that is all it claims to be. Motoring.co.uk's new car database reveals a new Lotus Elise could be your new track day pal for as little as £28,041. By contrast, the Ferrari F430 Spider starts at an eye watering £139,175.