I like that the Elise uses a Toyota engine. While I'd never buya Toyota as my own car, I have to admit that their stuff is reliable. The Elise needs a smooth running motor that revs up to about 8000-9000 rpm, gets decent HP while getting decent fuel economy. I wouldn't mind an engine that gets maybe 225hp normally aspirated. The Elise is so light that it dioesn't need a ton of power to go quickly. Definitely would not want a Ford or GM engine unless it was some sort of nice Cosworth motor from the UK. Even then, parts would be very expensive compared to the Toyota stuff.
It will be interesting to see what transpires. I think alot is riding on the Evora and how well it does. Lots of Evora sales will give Lotus the money to build a new Elise (in thoery at least) I'd also like to see an entry level Elise with great handling but maybe not quite as fast, kind of a sports car for beginners, in the $35,000 range. 0-60 in say 5.5 seconds with a top speed of maybe 135mph. Then a middle of the range Elise that could get to 60 in 4.5 seconds and hit 160mph. Finally, the real car, 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 185... That would be a great range for folks with a variety of interests.
Lotus is really a very interesting company, I learned alot about them when visiting over the summer. The factory tour is well worth the money, as was the driver school. It gives you a new appreciation for how innovative they are!
2013 Porsche Boxster (in silver and red, home at last!)
2011 BMW 128i cabrio, ///M Sport
2005 Elise in Racing Green with the touring pack (sold 8/6/12)
2007 MINI Cooper S in Sparkling Silver (sold)
Founder of the Racing Green Confederate