This 1997 Lotus Elise in Racing Green is a drop-top sports car for the genuine enthusiast driver. The Elise’s sharp steering and balanced mid-engine chassis dynamics over its modest but staggered tyres make it a beautifully rewarding, yet easy drive.
The chassis is the standout technical feature of the Elise; a tub-type design largely constructed from interlocking aluminium extrusions and sections bonded together with adhesives. The design intention was to make the alloy substructure an aesthetic feature of the car, too, so the cabin was largely un-trimmed, revealing the alloy components in the minimalist interior. It was a genius blend of simplicity and technology. Even the pedals are alloy; they’re perfectly designed for the task and are just one feature of the Elise that helps perpetuate Chapman’s often-quoted ethos of ‘just add lightness’. The deep-sided tub was clothed in a flip-fronted set of light yet sturdy – and incredibly lithe looking – fibreglass panels. Paired with red suede bucket seats, the result was a remarkably agile and rigid roadster.
The 16 valve Rover 1.8 L K-series produces 118 bhp, which is plenty when the car weighs 725 kg (1,598 lb), able to accelerate 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.8 seconds.
1997 Lotus Elise. The exterior is Green with a Red interior. 5 speed manual transmission. 87,000 km. 1.8L, DOHC 16 Valves, 4 cylinder engine. Radio. CD player.