© 2020 kertong © 2020 kertong

2006 Lotus Elise

Remember a few car-posts back, I mentioned that mistakes were fun to repeat? Well this was the funnest mistake of all – car #19, the 2006 Lotus Elise. 

One of the reasons I sold my previous 2005 Lotus Elise was due to the color. It never grew on me. Looked like dirty asphalt. Always wished I had held out for a white one. 

And this time, I got it! I found this car in Irvine, so I flew down, bought the car, and drove it up. 

It was as good as I remembered – as soon as I drove it off the lot, all the old feelings of 2008 came back to me. I was taken aback at how large the cars were around me, and I relished the texture of the road coming in through my hands and butt. This car felt like a solid slab of steel, oiled just enough to glide over the asphalt. 

I daily’ed this to work for about 8 months – while it was “good enough” to daily, it was the engine note that got to me. After living with Porsche flat 6’s, this little toyota 2zz 4 cylinder motor just wailed without making much power; just to pass cars it would make all sorts of cacophonic racket – all bark, no bite – at least when it comes to acceleration, that is. Now throw in a curvy road and the story changes completely. This car is so easy to pilot through turns, I’ve had mustangs and other “fast” cars “challenge” me and tailgate me on turns and it was a walk in the park to leave them in the dust and watch them fishtail out of the turn as I was already speeding away. The race-compound R888R’s helped too. I did, however, sell it because something even more special and rare came across at a great price and I beat at least 10 other people to the punch only because I was friends with the sales manager’s friend and got in a referral.  Oh, and I was a bit disappointed in the whole fiberglass clam fragility – the front and rear “clamshell” is one big piece of expensive clamshell each. I was rudely reminded of this fact when an inattentive coworker rearended my car as we were off campus for a lunchbreak driving down to get tacos from a truck. There was a small hairline crack around the license plate frame – it could have been much worse, but small or large crack, these guys are not cheap to repair!

The best part of this car though, was that I gave free hits to my friends Alex and Lue and let them take the car for a weekend. How good is a Lotus Elise, really? Well, Alex and Lue both have one of their own now. Yep – it’s that good. Every car enthusiast should drive one of these for a weekend to see just how good 190hp in a 1900lbs manually-steered aluminum chassis can feel.  It’s cheaper than a shrink, and more effective too!