Ever since my somewhat negative first experience with the Elise, I've felt compelled to give the car another shot, and finally convinced myself this morning to make the 125-mile drive to Mid Rivers Lotus to do just that.
My previous salesman, Steve Brown, was gone, but the Autumn Gold Elise I had driven 2 years, 1 month, and 15 days ago remained. Yeah, you read that right.
My new salesman, Charlie Brown, was nice and trusting, and soon I was tooling down smooth highway C, ready to give the ol' girl a chance at redemption. Cruising in 3rd at 55 mph, I blip the throttle hard, down-shift to 2nd, let out on the clutch and stab the gas.
Oh. My. God!
The adrenaline instantly mixes with the sound, the sun, and wind to create this brilliant experience I just can't put into words. It's a good thing this is a Lotus board, 'cause there's no way to describe it. 8,300 comes and goes through numerous gears, and my face begins to hurt from grinning. Wow, just wow. Hard on the brakes several times produces no fade whatsoever.
Through some fast sweepers and I'm just in love with the way this car turns, I mean, this thing is reading my mind! I flip the car this way and that, getting rough with her, breaking the rules, lifting when I shouldn't, stabbing the throttle too early in the apex, using the brakes like I'm stamping out a fire, and through it all the car remains composed and rewards me with confidence.
I pull over at some farm in the middle of nowhere, get out, and just stare. Is this really the same car? Yep. I'm simply not the same me. I stare a bit longer, trying to sort it out, how I missed who she really was the first time around. I give up, get in, and enjoy the 20 minute rush back to the dealership.
Could I nit-pick? Yes.
- I don't like the seat, or its lack of adjustment
- I don't like the steering wheel, or its lack of adjustment
- I don't like the cold, amusement-park-ride feel of the interior
- I don't like the *seemingly* cheap fit/finish
- I don't like the soft-top
- I don't like ingress/egress with the top on
- I don't like the sound at idle
- I don't like the price
Regardless of the things listed above, I LOVE this car!!! How I missed falling in love with her the first time around I'll never know. My STi still fits the bill better than the Elise, but I may just get one anyway, after all, you only live once.
My daughter, Kristin, in the Elise 2 years ago
The Elise today