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Old 04-07-2010, 08:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the best Lotus model ever made?

Just curious, I would love to hear everyone's opinion on which Lotus models over the years that people would rate the 'Best'.

Please partake in this!
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No question. The V8 Esprit. The biggest, most powerful, most expensive and fastest Lotus built. Okay I know Chapmans plan was for small lightweight racecars and the Esprit got "portley" but still....
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lotus Elite.




Body/frame was a single monocoque fiberglass piece.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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340R!
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Elise by far!! 1994-2020...
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice one Dave, making me pick one


I think the original Elan would have to be the best Lotus model ever madeas it set (and still sets) the standard for small 2 seater sports cars and is still relevant today 30+ years on. And it defines Lotus perfectly.

Personally, if the question was what is the best Lotus model you would buy (and make it legal to drive on the road), since I prefer the newer cars, it would probably be a 340R.

I know people will say the 7 is the definitive Lotus but Caterham has improved them so much that although the originals are agrueably more purist they are less relevant today than the Elan so for me it wins.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It would be hard to argue against the Seven. I've owned a Seven clone (Birkin) and it is the essence of Lotus IMO and sets the bar for all other lightweight cars to match.

I also think the Lotus Elan 26R is hard to beat. If I win the lottery it's near the top of the list.

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Old 04-08-2010, 08:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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my dream choice would probably be 23B followed by possibly Elite
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Obviously asking a 'best' question really has no answer acceptable for everyone.

If the question was...money no object, which Lotus street car would you like to own?

My answer would be first, the Eleven (there were actually a few legal street cars, a guy I know in Baltimore picked his up new at the port in NY 50 years ago, and drove it home to upstate NY from there), second would be a Type 14 Elite.

If there has been or could've been a street legal 23B, that would jump to the front.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Lotus Elan 1962-1973 AFAIK the best sports car ever made. The Type 14 Elite was prettier,but the Elan is a nicer street car
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demonized View Post
Lotus Elite.




Body/frame was a single monocoque fiberglass piece.
+1
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There's going to be different variations of what people define as "Best". Whether it be the most luxurious, fastest, moisture-in-the-pants looks, lightest, most comfortable, etc.
I would nominate either the 340R or the 2-11, and even lets say a 2010 Exige S260 (which I'm still awaiting delivery on). It's all about the hammer being dropped down.
If I wanted comfort and luxury in a car, I'd buy a Maybach and hire a driver to haul my lazy rich a$$ around.
Just my $0.02
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Which Lotus model is still being made (copied) by over 20 companies?

Hints: It is one of the earliest cars from ACBC, was a derivative of the Austin 7, and when they show up at an autocross everyone in their class can only compete for second (OK I made this one up)?

Of course it is the 7 !
Oh yea!
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James A View Post
Which Lotus model is still being made (copied) by over 20 companies?

Hints: It is one of the earliest cars from ACBC, was a derivative of the Austin 7, and when they show up at an autocross everyone in their class can only compete for second (OK I made this one up)?

Of course it is the 7 !
Oh yea!
Gotta agree - it's the quintessential Lotus - I think it defines the company in the same way the 911 defines Porsche, or maybe more in the way the Cobra defines Shelby.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It would appear to me that they're improving all the time, so the next Esprit (and I assume it exists now, if only as a prototype) will be the best Lotus ever, until the next one after that.

If we're talking about best at their time, the 79 (first ground effect F1 car) was so far ahead of its competition when it appeared, it gets my vote.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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BEST LOTUS OF ALL TIME

As a young man, the John Player Special stole my heart. I have also heard a rumor that Lotus sometimes makes race cars that can be driven on the street. In that case, there is only the 7.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I am biased as I have a Caterham...but I think the 7 is the best Lotus.

All the rest were just better cars of similar cars by other companies.

The Elan was a better MG or Triumph. The M100...well that was a Porsche in Lotus Clothing. The Esprit was and is just another super car.

The Elise is the closest to being an original like the 7....but the Seven beats it out by a very slim margin....or it might be a tie.

Nothing wrong with the Elite, possibly one of the best looking cars ever made, but not a great CAR. Great rolling artwork but not a great car.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Unfortuantly, the best Lotus cars are the special editions, and concepts

Lotus 414 Evora


Lotus Tri Fuel:



The EcoElise with body panels made of Hemp :


Last edited by Hello Kitty; 04-08-2010 at 03:03 PM.
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