2004 Lotus Elise

enuttageenuttage Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Lotus
Just seeing what all anyone's heard about the '04 Elise as of yet.

I've found a little information (though they've just now started up) over at www.lotustalk.com

But I wanted to see what folks here had heard as well.



  • farisafarisa Member Posts: 3
    I recently reserved mine at my local dealer in NJ. Was told that the price would be high 30s to low 40s. We should be expecting them to arrive sometime in the spring of 04 possibly as an 05 model. Can't wait!!!

    A good site to check out is http://www.elises.co.uk/
  • buddhabmanbuddhabman Member Posts: 252
    I am eagerly awaiting this car also. I read that the 180Hp Toyota VVT engine is going to be the motor. Power windows/locks standard and AC as an option.

    This is close to what we might expect.
  • boomn29boomn29 Member Posts: 189
    It's on the cover of the new Road and Track magazine (should be on the website in a few week then).
    Yes, it's borrowing the Toyota Celica GTS engine and shifter. They upped the hp to 190, and the torque is coming on sooner, but basically the same engine.
    Weight is 1900 lbs - Estimated price of $39k
  • farisafarisa Member Posts: 3
  • tmundartmundar Member Posts: 70
    Since we are on the waiting list, my wife and I recently got a chance to test drive an Elise press car.

         First, this car is beautiful, although my wife was expecting it to be a little bigger.

         One of my first concerns was whether I would fit inside it (I am 6'4" tall). With the top off, it didn't look like I would have a problem, but I was really wondering what it would be like with the roof on. The soft top was in the trunk, so we put it on. The soft top is basically two side beams that attach to the top of the A and B-pillars of the car with a piece of fabric that gets stretched between them. Fortunately, this means that there is basically no thickness to the roof, and once I crawled inside, I still fit in the car.

         Getting inside with the top on is an interesting experience. With the top off, the best way to get in is to step into the car with both feet and slide into the seat, but with the top on, the best way I found was to sit on the door sill, bend forward, and fall back into the car. Getting out is a little harder since reversing the process of getting in is not possible, and gravity is working against you. I won't describe how I got out, but it wasn't the most graceful exit I have made from a car.

         But who cares about getting in and out of the car, how did it drive? First, the version that I drove was not the U.S. model. It had a 5-speed and the 156 HP Rover engine instead of a 6-speed and the 190 HP Toyota engine. Secondly, I didn't get to drive the car in its element. There were no curvy roads near the dealership, so my experience with the handling of the car was limited to a few right and left turns and I did not get to drive long enough to get a good feel for the car's abilities.

         The steering wheel is very small and the steering is light. Personally, I did not feel that there was enough feedback coming from the steering wheel. It may have just been that the steering was lighter than I was used to, maybe the steering had some problems (the car had almost 10,000 journalist miles on it), or I was just driving on the wrong type of roads, but the steering of the car just didn't feel good to me.

         Acceleration was good, but not great (It probably didn't help that the car salesman and I added almost 450 lbs to the car's weight). Since the seats do not recline, the seating position was a little too laid back for me (and too upright for my wife) and I had to stretch to reach the shifter. Since I had the seat all the way back, every time I glanced to the side to check my blind spot on the driver's side, I saw nothing but the inside of the B-pillar, which made me nervous changing lanes (my wife did not have this problem since she sits farther forward). If you are tall enough so you have to move the seat all the way back, make sure that you set the side mirrors before you drive or every lane change will be a stressful experience.

         I want to love this car, but I currently don't. My wife wanted to love this car, but she didn't either. My wife was thinking that she could drive this car to work, but she wears suits with skirts often and the difficulty getting in and out of the car with a skirt on was a big problem for her. I was thinking of it as a replacement for my car (1978 Porsche 911 Targa) which I usually only drive on the weekends, so the difficulty of entry and exit is not a big problem for me, but it doesn't feel as good to drive as my car. I am sure that the Elise outperforms my car in every possible way, but the steering seemed numb, the seating position was bad, and I couldn't check my blind spots when changing lanes. Maybe my expectations were too high for this car. I expected to be dazzled by the car, and I wasn't.

         We are talking about getting our deposit back, but I want to wait until we get a chance to drive a U.S. version before making a final decision. I am hoping to get a much longer drive in the car next time so I have time to drive to some interesting roads and get a better feel for what the car can do.

  • rdcolerdcole Member Posts: 1

    Nice to hear that a 6’ 4” man can get into the car.

    That’s always my concern with small sports cars, will I fit. I don’t mind crawling into a car such as this since after all it’s not going to replace one of my current vehicles.
    I had problems with some models of cars not having any headroom with the Roof in place. Maybe Ill get a change to squeeze into one this summer, and see if what I think,
    if one stays on the local Lotus dealers lot long enough.

This discussion has been closed.