GRR Garage: Elise Cup 250 – a trusty companion

19th December 2019
Ben Miles

I had some pretty bad news recently. I won’t go into it too much as this is a car review, but it did mean a 300-mile round trip was necessary at pretty short notice. Circumstances conspired to mean that the only car available to me was our new long-term Lotus Elise Cup 250.


We will do a proper intro to the car at some point but I felt this story was an important one to bring you sooner rather than later. The emotion of the weekend has begun to fade from the raw memory that came straight away, but what hasn’t left me is how much of a good companion the Elise ended up being.

You wouldn’t pick an Elise, and certainly not a Cup 250, as your first choice for an extra-long motorway journey. The suspension is set up for performance, the interior is sparse and you can forget things like climate and cruise control.

But, it turned out that I couldn’t have asked for a better companion for the trip. It’s always fun to be driving around in something bright orange and with a slightly silly rear wing. And the sight of it on the drive is guaranteed to bring a smile to almost anyone’s face. So it helps lighten the mood in an otherwise dreary weekend.


But what you don’t expect is that that performance suspension is so well damped that you can cruise your way up the motorway without really feeling too tired. It doesn’t feel like you’re constantly being thrown around, it doesn’t feel like your spine is about to crumble. It just feels well put together and easy to live with.

The gear-change is magnificent, always a joy to use and delivered through an absolute peach of a shifter. It’s tall and metallic and comfortable in the hand, with a short throw to rival anything and a satisfying clunk with each change.

The heating system is even remarkably good, too – once it gets going you’re pretty warm, the steering has no assistance, but as we learned previously that’s no hindrance once you’re going.

Overall I have to say I will always remember the Elise Cup 250 for being there with me over the hardest weekend of 2019. I expected a difficult trip but what I got simplicity, and a friend that brightened my day when I saw it. So all I can say to the Lotus Elise Cup 250 this week, is thank you.

MPG this week: 21.4

  • GRR Garage

  • Lotus

  • Elise

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