My affinity with Lotus started in 2006.
At that time I was fortunate enough to be able to enter the sports car market and didn’t have a clear vision of what I was looking for. I test drove a couple of different car brands, but couldn’t find one that inspired me. Despite the improved handling and power compared to the car I had at the time, I recall feeling numb and deflated after driving what I thought was my dream car.
There was a Lotus garage opposite my wife’s place of work and I had always admired the look of the S2 Elise when I’d driven past, so decided to book a test drive in one. I can remember the sales guy driving the car for the first couple of miles and the feeling of anticipation as we swapped seats. I belted in and was instantly connected. It was like my senses had been turned up to eleven by the adrenaline and the sudden awareness of every sensation. The steering was so direct, the noise addictive and the feedback so intense compared to the other so called ‘sports cars’. I knew at that point that nothing else was going to come close to the sensation… I had to buy a Lotus.
My first Lotus was an Elise 111S in Titanium grey. I fell in love with the whole experience of the car. I could never understand how it was legal to drive a car that felt so connected to the road, so direct, such an event even when traveling to the shops – a go kart for the open road. I was smitten with the car… that was until I drove an S2 Exige!
After only a year of owning the Elise, I upgraded to an Exige n/a 190 in laser blue. It was at this point I’d met two other like minded petrol heads in Sheffield and one evening we decided to plan a driving trip around Europe. Both of them attribute that Exige to them getting the Lotus bug too! So much so they’ve both owned two Lotus’ each now and have also featured on #mylotus (Jon Gorman & Rob Ellerington).
The road trip around Europe entailed 2,600 miles over some of the best driving roads in Europe. It’s an experience that we still talk about to this day! We drove round the Nurburgring, over the infamous Stelvio and San Bernardino passes, down to the Italian coast and around Monaco. That trip is still in the top five memories of my lifetime.
A couple of years later in 2010, due to a change in priorities, I had to sell the Exige. A decision that was painful to say the least, but right at the time due to my circumstances. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to own a number of performance sports cars with varying characteristics, but they’ve all felt lacking in one way or another.
In the summer of 2020 my two petrol head friends invited me to the Lotus event at Caffeine & Machine as part of their ‘Weird Summer 2020′. Being around Lotus’ again, it brought to mind fond memories, all the way back from 10+ years ago. Having got home and relayed the experience to my wife, it must have been obvious what it meant to me… even though at that point I still hadn’t even realised it myself. This only registered with me weeks later when she started to ask if I’d seriously considered buying another Lotus. Initially I thought she was joking, but then I realised she wasn’t…
Fast forward a few months later and I’d put down a deposit on a stunning Elise S Cup, a model which I think continues the knockout recipe that the S2 Exige started and obviously had left such a massive impression on me a decade ago.
In toxic green the car is so photogenic and aggressive from every angle. Everywhere I go people smile, stop and point or take photos. The initial test drive was so familiar – like putting on a pair of your favourite jeans, albeit newer, fresher and more focused than before. It starts a new chapter of my life and one that I’m excited to continue to explore!