The V-8 doesn't rev like a 4 banger but it has a lot of low end torque. The rattling noise can be a cracked tailpipe (common) or something came loose in a cat or a muffler. Look for cracks in the tailpipes near the muffler. A "short" clutch can be a sign of a worn clutch. You shouldn't be stalling it, the engine may need to be checked or the brakes may be dragging. The V-8 doesn't drive at all like an Elise. Be careful in transitioning into the V-8, it can get away from you faster than the Elise and you will not be able to bring it back. Your best investment, besides having it serviced by a Lotus trained tech, is a driving course. I don't know how you can complain about the "small" interior, compared to the Elise, it's roomy! It even has a useable trunk! Have fun with your new purchase. Now go to Griot's Garage and buy some stuff to clean, polish and wax it! Try drcolorchip.com to fix up any road rash on the front.