It’s hard to believe that the Lotus Elise has been in production for 25 years but thanks to its ingenious engineering, it still feels fresh and exciting as the day it debuted back in 1996.
As 2021 will be the last year of production for both the Elise and the Exige, Lotus is paying tribute to its iconic roadster with a special Final Edition model. Carfection’s Henry Catchpole reminds us why the Lotus Elise is considered one of the finest driver’s cars around.
Apart from the necessary decals and interior plaque, the Final Edition of the Lotus Elise is fitted with a more powerful version of the supercharged Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, which here makes 240 HP and 180 lb-ft (244 Nm) of torque.
0-60 mph is a matter of 4.1 seconds, thanks to its rather excellent power-to-weight ratio of 260bhp per tonne. Lotus says that when you specify all the optional carbon bits, the weight figure is just 898 kg (1,979 lbs).
Inside, you’ll find a digital instrument cluster that gives you the choice between two screens, a new steering wheel in leather and Alcantara with a flat bottom for better leg clearance, as well as new seat trims and stitch patterns. The rest of it remains as is, meaning one of the most spartan and tight cabins in the business, helping the driver focus on the thing that matters the most: driving.
That’s because the Elise remains one of the most rewarding, back-to-basics driving machines you can buy today. Thanks to its aluminum tub, the little Lotus can still cover ground at a really fast pace while flooding the driver with detailed feedback during the process.
It will be a sad day for driving enthusiasts when the last Lotus Elise rolls off the production line, so get one while you can.