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Discussion Starter #1
Is it from years past or is it the present? Should it be a spartan concept such as the Elise or Exige or could it be one with creature comforts like the Evora?

There are no right or wrong answers.
 

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For my personal styling tastes it would be the V8 Esprit or Evora. They're both the prettiest in my book.
 

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Nice question, but it quickly becomes more a matter of how to define what best means.

Evora is clearly the most refined and reliable.

Europa first mid engined, amazing ergonomics.

Elan best handling?

Esprit most powerful.

Elite so innovative and elegant.

Our beloved Eliges are fantastic successes as track cars for the masses. They got the Lotus philosophy into my hands for the first time. So gets my vote.
 

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I am torn between the classic Europa and the s2 Elise,Exige.
 

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I have owned a lot of Lotus cars. Driven most of the road cars. Elites, both old and new are interesting. Europa are very Elise like but you do get tired of the heat. Elans have the best shifting of any car I have ever driven. Esprits are cool,but heavy at low speeds. You have to going fast to have fun. Same with the Evora and M100 Elan. The four seated cars are, well.....4 seaters and built when Lotus was more concerned about costs and saving money than building great cars. The 7 is great but still a 1960's car.

Which brings this to the Elise. All around it is the best Lotus ever built. Does everything well. Every time I get into the car it is like I am driving it for the first time. Nothing wrong with other Lotus cars, but in my opinion the best is the Elise or Exige.
 

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Exige V6. Handling and power.
 

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Exige V6. Handling and power.

Have to agree with this. Having had a v8esprit, an exige s, and now an exige v6, it's certainly a cut above the others I've had in terms of an "out of the box" car. It performs strongly, handles well, is built very well, and looks totally hot in the flesh.

It's a real shame that you Americans can't get them on your shores. Hopefully it will happen for you guys oneday soon.
 

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How do you define "best"?

- in the sense of legendary greatness: only the Guigiaro Esprit, either S1 or ESSEX
- in the sense of simplicity and fun: the Elise
- in the sense of performance: the Exige V6
- in the sense of refinement: the Evora

Take your pick!
 

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Esprit no longer most powerful FYI. Evora S is definitely quicker. Hate talking numbers, but they don't lie. And you can drive it like you stole it without any of the engine issues the early V8 Esprits had which were not cheap to repair....
As a newb to the entire lineage, I had Elise for 8 yrs and it was fabulous, but Evora does everything the Eliges do but better and more comfortable at the same time. So...
Evora S gets my vote and this comes off 2 days at WGI where everyone agreed my car hauls serious ass. Even gets respect from the Vette community!!!
 

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For looks, I'd say the 08 S240.

I think the V6 Exige is too stretched out. Wished they would have designed a whole new car instead of using the same interior/middle section.

Esprit v8 comes in 2nd :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Let's establish parameters over what makes a car great.

Styling
Performance
Cache
Features
Reliability

So it really boils down to how you prioritize them. The Exige V6 will get high ratings for styling, cache, performance and possibly reliability, whereas it's a spartan car with few added features. Whereas the Evora has more features, they sometimes pose a reliability issue.
 

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The car most ahead of its time was the Elan.

The Elise and all its variants was a home run for Lotus. So, I agree with those above.

Reliability, decent speed, great handling and braking, comfy once in, safety features/crash protection, great looks.
 

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Having read everything above. It's really hard to pin it down for me. I tend to think of it in historic terms and one that has not been mentioned is Lotus Eleven. Multiple class winner at Lemans, numerous race winner and road car. The type 14 Elite was the revolutionary in every way. However, the Elan was the car that brought the best of these elements and converted it into a more mass produce car and brought that experience to a lot of people.

It was also a commercial success selling over 10,000 units in 11 years when there were half the number of people in the world and helped fund the world championships in F1 through the 60's. It was, and still is an extremely successful race car across a lot of categories including the giant killing 26R. Lastly, of all the Lotus models, it is the one that now commands rising prices in the market place.

So very long winded way of saying my vote is for the Elan
 

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Hey wait a minute.. Why don't I own one then?? Next on the list I guess
 

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7

history doesn't lie :)
 

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1970's Elan is the Lotus i fell in love with - friend of my Dad's and got a little ride. Beautiful and practicle.
 

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The first Lotus I was given a ride in when I was perhaps 13 years old was a Seven. The biggest thrill of my young life and still holds a special place...gets my vote just for the memory
 
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