Current Lotus boss Jean-Marc Gales uses the catchphrase 'light is right' but there's hard-headed pragmatism behind this new spin on the old Lotus formula. He's stripped weight and cost out of the Elise, making it both sharper and more profitable. There are few complaints though, this revised Elise more honest to the original version than any recent equivalent and the very definition of minimalist thrills. True purists will happily trade the performance advantage of the 220 for the back to basics appeal of the 1.6 too – if you want a true Lotus this is the one to go for, burly price and seemingly modest performance statistics be damned.
Price tag of our car: From £32,300 (Elise Sprint £37,300)