Lotus Elise S1
Purity is a precious, fragile, and vulnerable word in the world of cars. The Lotus Elise, in its building and mechanical simplicity, is a rare exception among sports cars.The structure made of aluminum and fiberglass that composes it shows from every angle the essence of the unfiltered sporting drive that distinguishes it, according to the mantra that made it famous: "Less is More". Everything that orbits around the little English is romantic and fascinating, starting from the history of the model itself.
The Elise was born from the will of Romano Artioli, Italian entrepreneur then owner of the Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. brand based in the historic Campogalliano factory. The idea was to create a sports car recalling the canons and philosophy of Colin Chapman: the result was a spartan, simple, light, and essential car.
At the same time as the birth of lotus's project, Romano Artioli's niece Elisa was born: in honor of the little child, the English sportscar was called Lotus Elise. She was the little girl who peeped from inside the green Lotus Elise that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1995. In the history of cars this is certainly the most romantic and keeping an Elise means being a part of it, sharing its emotions. Sentimentality aside, it is on the way that the little car shows all its magic.The Lotus Elise S1 has the magnificent ability to turn gasoline into pure fun.Once on board you realize that everything is aimed at minimalism: the interiors without coatings leave in plain sight the bare structure of the car: on the first series there were neither radios, nor air conditioners, not even floor mats. The pedal board is also made of aluminum extruded, just like the frame that is clearly visible from the driving position. As a pure structural element, normally hidden in other cars, in the Elise it becomes a stylistic peculiarity, just as it happens on racing cars. The thin bodywork is made of fiberglass to contain weight and increase structural rigidity and recalls the line of classic British racing cars.
Once on the road, driving comfort will no longer be a priority: the Rover K Series engine, 16 valves, 1795 cc (the same as the MG F) is certainly not so powerful, but the low weight and a big attention in the chassis development make the Lotus Elise much faster and funnier than other more expensive and more powerful sports cars.No ABS, no servo brake, no power steering: all filters that would make driving the Elise "mingle".On the contrary, the relationship with the car is personal once inside, made by the smells and noises of the mechanics, extending its hands and feet to the wheels, passing by the pedals and the steering wheel.For this reason it has become the reference point when it comes to the "go-kart feeling", that is the feeling of being driving a kart rather than a road car.
Purity is a fragile, delicate concept if you will.We can define the Lotus Elise as the guardian of the fundamental rudiments to build a car that must be fun but without having to exaggerate with horsepower or electronic "devilry".It does not matter if you have traveled a mountain road or just finished a track-day: if you did it on board a Lotus Elise it will surely have been an unforgettable experience.