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Not sure if this is really a review, or just a little nod to the public that they missed the boat. Not even as good as Car & Driver. Sadly, they didn't even review the Toyota powered car. Most of this review could have been written 12 months ago.

Motor Trend Published Specs
2005 Lotus Elise
Price Range: $36,000-$39,000 (M/T est)
Vehicle Layout: Rear engine, RWD, 2-door, 2-pass
Engine: 1.8L/190-hp, DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
0-60: 5.0 (M/T est)
On sale in U.S.: Spring 2004

Motor Trend
December 2003
Page 48
“First Drive 2005 Lotus Elise – Finally, coming soon”
by John Rettie

Sports-car aficionados love the Lotus Elise. Introduced in Europe in 1998, it’s a light, edgy machine that harks back to the glory days of Lotus’s past, helping to restore the company’s stature as a maker of great sports cars.

The Elise is no poseur: It’s a genuine, fast, agile, light sports car. The Lotus is difficult to climb into (there’s little room in the cockpit), it has few luxuries, and the elements of its bare aluminum chassis are visible. But, dude, does it perform! Stomp on the gas, and the rorty 1.8 liter four cylinder MG engine, located just aft of your head, shoots the car forward despite producing under 160 horsepower. Why? Because the car weighs less than 2000 pounds. The steering is go-kart quick, as are most of the Elise’s reactions.

In order to enjoy this purposeful roadster, just pick a winding road and double the “suggested” speeds for the corners. Avoid long straights, as it’s no fun driving at high speed in a straight line. The beauty of the Elise is that you don’t need to break the speedometer – just pick the right twisties, and you can drive on the limit.

Although it might sound like the Elise is a difficult-to-drive race car, it’s actually a car you can jump into and feel right at home. There’s no stalling because of a stiff clutch, no missed gears because of a balky shifter. Okay, the ride isn’t exactly cushy on rough roads, but on smooth ones, it’s fine. Yes, it’s noisy, but pleasant. Yes, the top is difficult to get on and off; after all, it’s a Brit. Yet in a rainstorm it doesn’t leak-amazing! It even has some storage space behind the engine.

We were driving a British-spec Elise in California. The good news is that-finally-a U.S. –spec Elise will be unveiled at the January’s 2004 Los Angeles auto show. Lotus hasn’t divulged full details on the U.S. model, but does say the Elise will be further refined with a more powerful four-cylinder Toyota engine (2ZZ-GE, much the same as that which powers the Celica GTS) producing 190 horses coupled to a six-speed transmission. The ragtop will be improved, and the appropriate safety gear added. Lotus promises it’ll retain its benchmark handling, performance, and driving dynamics.

Looking for a real sports car that draws admiring looks from anyone who’s awake? The Elise could be for you.
 

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motor trend

Pretty pathetic effort from Motor Trend... I know we are not all buying the car for straight line speed but the 0-60 does seem to be drifting up 4.7 - 4.8 - 4.9 and now 5 if we believe MT....
 

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Or how abusive you choose to be to obtain 0-60. With the low torque, you will have to rev the sh#$ out of the engine and dump the clutch to obtain the lowest times.
 

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The 5.0 0-60 is just an estimate. They never drove the US Elise. They are taking the Rover engine car and extraploting the extra HP and torque differences. Take the estimate VERY lightly.
 

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Re: Re: Motortrend December 2003 Elise

armitage said:
What the...? :confused:
You forget we're Americans, if it's not push button or requires no more than a 3rd grade education to operate we complain about how hard it is to do.:(
 
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