Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

2008 Lotus Elise Review

What's New for 2008
The supercharged Elise SC debuts for 2008, boasting a 220-horsepower version of the standard Elise's 190-hp four-cylinder power plant. All Elises for 2008 get a new instrument display with a trip computer, along with revised options packages.

The 2008 Lotus Elise is a one-of-a-kind, lightweight sports car for purists who yearn for the closest thing to a telepathically controlled track special you can find on the road. While other exotics rely on massive engines, space-age materials and high-tech technologies to hustle them down America's twistiest roads, the Elise utilizes an age-old principle -- the lighter, the better. Now there's a mantra celebrities can get behind.

2008 Lotus Elise2008 Lotus Elise-2Despite a mere 190 horsepower generated from its Toyota-sourced 1.8-liter four-cylinder, the base Elise still manages to go from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Credit a curb weight of 1,984 pounds, which is a minor miracle in this era of perpetually pudgy vehicles. By comparison, a Mazda Miata weighs 2,498 pounds and has only 170 hp aboard. For 2008, a detuned version of the supercharged four-cylinder found in the Lotus Exige S makes its way into the more street-going Elise SC, which boosts thrust up to 217 hp and 153 pound-feet of torque (versus 133). This power increase means a 0-60 drop to 4.4 seconds, a number matched by the 420-hp Audi R8.

However, we're not sure if those few 10ths of a second are enough to warrant the Elise SC's $8,000 price premium. That's because 4.9 seconds is still pretty darn fast, and quite simply, the Lotus Elise would be a riot even if it was powered by several hamsters running on a wheel. Referring to "go-kart-like" handling has almost become cliché, but if there was ever an apt car for that phrase, it's the Elise. Body roll is negligible, grip is exceptional and every subtle turn of the steering wheel has an immediate effect on the roadster's heading and attitude. Like kids named Dweezil and Moon Unit, this is a car that demands your attention. Yet every second you're behind the wheel, you're rewarded by steering that involves you in the process so directly (there's no power steering) you'd swear your fingers were touching asphalt.

This is a weekend toy, and even then, the distance traveled on any given weekend will be limited by the Elise's miniscule interior and cargo space. Getting in and out of the "cabin" is especially difficult with its huge sill and low-slung seats. But it's this lack of creature comforts and amenities that allows the Elise to be both a lightweight handling star and cost about $46,000.

© Source: edmunds
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