The Lotus Cars Community banner

How did YOU find out about the Elise?

3120 Views 41 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  thillIX
We're all here for a reason, we WANT an ELISE! but how did we get here? What long and winding road brought you here today? There's another thread here about LSS and someone mentioned they wish they'd found out about the car sooner. So I figure I'll just plain ask the question. How did YOU find out about the Elise? Not so much your life history of automobiles, but rather, specifically what turned you on to the S2?

For my part....I've always had a bad habit of surfing around the net looking at cars I cannot afford but I try to figure out how to buy anyway. About two years ago someone at an autocross mentioned a Lotus Elise. I wasnt terribly familiar with them so I started searching around online. The elise was small, handled well, and was good looking and well, it was a Lotus! I loved it. I started looking into the SUN elises to purchase for racing but it didnt appeal to me as much because I was worried about its "street legal " status. The more I searched the more I started learning about the Elise S2. Just happenstance one day I was searching online and found Paul Spruells Lotus dealership website with pictures of the S2. His website also said he was taking deposits. :) I spoke to my husband who was totally against the idea of placing a deposit but I did it anyway. We had a fight about it in fact. :) I'm happy to say he's on the Lotus bandwagon now. LOL. So, here I am.

How did you get here?
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
I saw a car magazine show about the original S1 Elise back in the late 90's. I was driving a 944 and LOVED how it handled with it's even wt distribution and torquey engine. Elise seemed the pinnacle of that mentality. The closest dealer at the time was Ferrari of Denver (back they they were actually listed as a dealer before being unlisted and relisted) I called to put a deposit down, they had a few but the sales rep actually talked me out of putting the 500 down since there was no plan whatsoever for the car to come to US. So I held out till the fedelise was announced.
I was over in Frankfurt on a work trip last august & the only english (UK english at that) channel had some info on the Vauxhall VX220 Turbo, which is a replica of the Elise, however it sells over ther for cheaper & the Turbo is fast than the UK Elise.

Anyway it was like this 15 minute segment on it talking it up, showing it on the track & all this, saying it was made in the same Lotus factory, by the same people, but sold for like 10k Pounds cheaper due to the brand name.

Well after that I started checking around on the VX220, import potential & all that, and found out the Elise was coming our way after getting Federalized :)

You can check out the Vauxhall at:

4 years ago, I was thinking of selling my sportscar, the MR2. Wanted to try something new. I wanted light, midengined, faster than the naturally aspirated car I had. Something with a reliable drivetrain.

I did some research, looked at some kit cars... read some more. Decided I really like the S1 Exige or Motorsports Elise and with a Honda motor, it would be perfect. I also called Sun International and starting researching what it would take to get one street legal, my main concern. Cost would be $45-55k.

Within a month of that, I heard rumors SOMEWHERE that Lotus was thinking of bringing the newer Elise to USA. Hmm.... more research. A street legal car would be much better. It could be stock classed in SCCA. Less worry about registration problems. Heck... a warranty. I decided I would do this instead.

Went up to the LA AutoShow to make sure I would be happy fitting in the car... I think this was January 2001 or 2002. Told Symbolic to put me on the list the next day. The car was formally announced a year later and deposits were taken. I then started EliseTalk. :)
See less See more
As I indicated in another post, I have been waiting for this car since August 1961, when I fell in love with the Lotus Elite on the cover of Sports Car Graphic. I had to have a SMALL, light, racing performance Lotus road car from that moment on. I'll spare you the in between history of my cars, but was unable to find either a used Elite or an Elan 26R in the intervening years that I could afford. In December 1993 I caught a brief write up in Autocar about the concept under development (during Bugatti days), with a sketch and target specs of mid-engined, ultra-light weight producing 300 bhp/ton, 0-60 of 5 sec. and top speed of 140+ mph. I started a binder at that point. Then saw a photo of the test mule in February 1995 and have been drooling, increasingly impatiently, ever since. After many promises that never materialized I became cynical and did not put a deposit down until November 2003, when I finally believed it would come. My binder of articles is now two volumes. Still waiting.
See less See more
I was told by my inquisitive wife that we were getting one.:)

Next thing you know, a year and a half later, we are visiting Chris at Lotus of Atlanta and the Atlanta new car show last year. Also got a tour of Lotus USA from Clyde. It has been a long wait and the anticipation is killing me.
I heard the Elise was coming to the US back in 2002. I knew about it before then just because of the internet. Finally saw one, then put down a deposit in fall 2003. This was my first sight of an Elise in person. How could I resist? :confused: :bow:

I after that time I saw two other Elises'. Man, I just need one.

See less See more
I was in Mannheim Germany for a class when on of the guys on base had a green one parked outside. Wanted one ever since.
I was instructing a student at Thunderhill SCCA's beautiful track in northern Cal. He had an Integra R but was having an Elise built at the time by SUN int.(honda engined track only car) it sounded great but I wanted to be able to enjoy the car legally on the road as well..
The next year I was at the track with my RS4 clone(pretty fast but heavy) and was passing everything out there including some pretty heavy hitters(F355, Turbo cpe, etc.)but my old student in his new Elise track car was out braking me and literally destroying me in the twisties, I could pull him in the straights but he could go into the corners deeper and pass me. I would literally watch him pull me by a car length in a short turn (very frustrating!). I was a fan of light cars having a dedicated 83 urQuattro track car(roll cage, Goodyear Eagles,etc.) So I was quite intrigued when I heard that the car was coming to the states.
I must say that if Lotus had brought the car here with the Rover engine I wouldn't have even thought about it. A Yamaha Engineered Toyota engine, Oh Yeah!!
I went to the local Lotus dealer a bit late in the game approx 4mos ago but was able to come up with a relatively early car..
Laser Blue LSS only #8
See less See more
I went to the LA auto show in January of '03 and stumbled upon the Lotus display. I didn't know anything about the Elise prior to that even though I read auto magazines all the time. It was love at first sight!
I owned a Porsche 914-6 for 8 years, loved that car and really miss it. I sold it to buy an '89 944 Turbo which I had been driving for 14 years. That was a great car, but I really was looking for something new and different. The Elise reminded me of my 914 (especially in chrome orange!). I put down a deposit the next week!
Then I had a bug up my "you know" that the Porsche had to go and I just couldn't wait. So I bought a 2002 Z06 with 2000 miles on it for a great price (at the time). It is a great car, but I just can't get the Elise out of my mind.
I had a trip planned to England this past April so I worked out a factory tour and a track day! Well now after reading everything I can about the Elise for a year and a half, lurking on the Forums, touring the factory, driving this incredible car on the track, I just must have it!
I will miss the Z06 though! Or maybe I'll keep both!?!?
See less See more
It's Randy's fault! ;)

I'm not reading car magazines much, so until fall of last year, I had no clue that the Elise even existed. I had been thinking that I would like to have a second car one day, which had to be a real sportscar. I didn't see anything within a reasonable price range that I liked, it seemed like all new "sportscars" were getting heavier and heavier, and packed with luxury features. I had some hope of Mazda maybe bringing an RX-7 back, or something in that style.

Then I was bored one weekend, and remembered that Randy kept mentioning that Lotus Elise on I ran a few searches, and found that it was exactly the car I wanted, and that it was even within an affordable price range. That's also when I found this message board. I put down a deposit a few days later.
auto industry rags some years ago. they also assured me it would never come to the US so i quit paying attention. now i am LOW on a list
I've been lusting for an Elise since the first S1 was introduced in the UK. Well, I hadn't kept up with what Lotus was doing with the Elise until I went to the Feb '03 Auto Show in Houston.

Star Motors had the black Euro S2 on display and when I saw it, I soiled myself. I couldn't believe my eyes. I drove it the next week and put my deposit down.

Been patiently waiting ever since.
I first saw the Elise S1 when it was introduced. I was instantly smitten with it. I've had a picture of one on my desk since '98. I almost gave up hope a couple of yrs ago but LCU came through and announced it would be imported!
About 3 yrs. ago, it was chicago auto show and an agent was talking about the elise along their booth with customers. and he gave me his card and told me to come over at the dealership for a closer look. but the on display was a black one, and you can't really see the curves of the elise unless the color bright. so i paid a visit to fox valley motorcars and as i was coming in to the front the door, here is this yellow elise in front of the door. it's almost like telling you come on in and take a closer look. from that time on, i told my wife we got to have this car no matter what. and here i am after 3 1/4 yrs. still waiting for it but what can we do. i'm 46 i think the last time i check the status of my car. you're guys, the wait is killing as all!
I have been a card carrying member of the Lotus 7 club of GB for the last 10 years. I have always wanted a Caterham and have been to the factory and the sales office as well as some club events in the UK. When I found out that the federal Elise was coming I finally thought I could have the car I want and have it be practical rotfl rotfl
Although I have seen pics and have read about the S1 Elise in the past, since it wasnt sold here I didnt pay much attention to it although I was intrigued. But when I saw Sam Mitani's article on the Lotus Elise in the fall of 03' in R and T(ok, so Im late to the game) and read his description of the Elise, the wheels started to turn as I was starting to do research on how much my M3 would fetch. I was down to the Elise and the rumored NSX(HSC) but the new NSX got scrapped. All last yr, I was slapping on coilovers, putting on strut tower braces and buying SSR wheels with PSC's but when it came down to it, I didnt care about practical/civilised and ultimately wanted a pure light agile car that would do well at the track or for weekend fun. I realized that the M3 was a pig when I drove my friends Boxster S. I wanted to be faster on the track but it took me awhile to realize that skill prevails over equipment. It was an 01 but when I sold it last month it had only 6900 miles on it. Needless to say, it was easy to sell.

I was so mad at myself cause I got sidetracked by the whole Tonkin ordeal in Portland and didnt get myself on the list fast enough somewhere else. Hence I got on the list in Palm Springs area not too long ago at #48...:(. I will genuinely try to improve as a driver over the next few yrs as i will buy a go kart to hone my skills this summer to prepare for the Elise that will come next yr.
See less See more
There was a dealer a few miles away from me and they had some Elans back in 1991. I couldnt afford one at the time (40K), but about 3 years later they had some used ones for sale for about 20K, but a Mercury Capri looked too much like it and was half the price. Also, I had heard in some car magazines that Lotus was going to be coming out with a newer model that would be about 25K, so I figured its worth it to wait and get a new car for 5K more instead of used 3 year old out of date model. I asked about the Elise back around 1994 but the dealer didnt have any info. I then heard that they were available in Europe but not over here.

I moved to Florida and saw that there was a Lotus dealership a few miles away from me. I thought they were all over the country at the time. I checked their website around April 03 since I saw that they had some nice sports cars in their lot and I wanted to get something that I could enjoy since the weather here is nice. I then looked at their link to the Lotus site and saw that the Elise was going to be offerred. I went to the dealership they took my name down, and called me a few weeks later and told me they were taking deposits. I procrastinated for about a month since no engine, transmission or other information was availalble and then left them a deposit in August after I heard it would have a 5 or 6 speed, (I hate automatics) possible Toyota or Honda engine (ok they arent putting a Isuzu engine in them again) and about 190-200 horsepower (Tim "toolman" Taylor more power grunt).
See less See more
is that blue car magnetic or midnight?? that looks sooo good with twotone vs blue vs blue..Im soo confused...:confused:

tidalwdave said:
I heard the Elise was coming to the US back in 2002. I knew about it before then just because of the internet. Finally saw one, then put down a deposit in fall 2003. This was my first sight of an Elise in person. How could I resist? :confused: :bow:

I after that time I saw two other Elises'. Man, I just need one.

At the LA Auto Show in 99, chating with a ferrari sales guy discussing mid-engined cars. He asked me what I thought of the elise. What's an elise I reply? He then tells me to go check it out downstairs. He says I'll love it. Sure enough, it was indeed love at first sight!

Had a picture on my computer ever since, dreaming of the day I could own one. I never thought that dream would become reality.
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.