I'm not allowed to say how it goes yet. But, in the way of these things, driving it had me looking back to when there was even less to the Elise. Like when it first came out and weighed just 726kg. You can put that down to both customers' desire for the trimmings Lotus left out first time round and also the increasing demands of safety legislation that's added ABS, airbags, stability control and their associated control systems. That it's only put on 70kg over two decades remains impressive though.
You can buy your new Elise in naturally-aspirated form with a 1.6-litre Toyota engine with a modest 134bhp or a supercharged 1.8 with a more serious 217bhp. To my mind, the 1.6 is more honest to the original Elise recipe and accordingly, my classifieds browsing has eschewed the temptations of the more powerful versions, the many modified cars and the ones that have had Honda engine transplants or superchargers added. Nope, I've tried to find the purest (or should that be purist?) of the pure – an early 118bhp car with the basic 1.8-litre K-Series engine.
I drove one like this belonging to a friend of mine and its simplicity was utterly beguiling. The bare aluminium of the exposed bonded tub, the purity of the styling, the combination of stiff foundations and compliant suspension, meaningful steering feel… you can probably tell I was a fan. 118bhp might not sound like much but with so little weight to shift the basic Elise S1 is plenty fast enough and the physical embodiment of Lotus engineering and philosophy.