AS A rule, we don't need much of an excuse to pick up the phone to the masters of sports car minimalism, Lotus. But surely this was taking things too far...
"Er, hello, it's Top Gear mag' here. Sorry? No, not the pro-herb student group movement. BBC Top Gear magazine, you know, down in London. Yeah, that's right, we're UK based. Now, do you think we could try the new central locking system in your Elise, please."
In the interests of the greater motoring public, we refused to take no for an answer. Voices were raised, fists were thumped and the receiver clicked, leaving the PR
sort at the other end of the line visibly shaken. Perhaps. Damn it. Enthusiasts the world over had a right to know if central locking, electric windows and sun visors turned the Elise into something more closely resembling white goods than rare plaything. The tweaks - noteworthy by Norfolk standards, laughable by Luton - are part of a package of rivet and grommet changes for 2004 model-year Elises. Changes which, it should be said, have not been decided on a whim. Lotus has been indulging in a spot of market research. Well, customers have mentioned it in passing to their local dealer.
Which is why we're at Brands Hatch. Because if you really want to know whether the sun visors act in the manner suggested by their name, then only the very particular, hilly environment of Brands will do. And the good news? I can indeed confirm that they work. Flippancy aside, it was a pretty alarming omission on a car designed for sunny Sunday blats. (Or any day, for that matter.) The electric windows worked all day long too. As did the central locking. And it was raining.
So, the car with cutting-edge construction finally gets a few mod cons. Odd. Those who reckon they can make do without keep-fit windows and locking can always do without, by opting for a car without an 'S' on its arse end.
#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7
Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com
There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.
2005 Lotus Elise, 1993 MR2, 1995 MR2, 125cc Shifter Kart, Toniq (in build), 2018 Origin 7 (waiting), 2018 Origin Noble M (waiting)