Enthusiast Driven: 2005 Lotus Elise

Impulse buys – we’ve all had at least one. Sometimes the desire is a pair of new shoes, car parts, or its a car. For Alex Brown, owner of Extreme Wheels, a 2005 Lotus Elise proved to be irresistible and led to his impulse buy.

“A friend of mine asked if I wanted to buy his Lotus, ” Brown said. “I said no, I don’t need another car. but he brought it over for me to look at it.”

Brown said he took the Lotus for a test drive and knew he had to have it. “Driving the car is such a fun experience,” he said, adding “it’s a true drivers car.”

This mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive Lotus Elise is powered by a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine. “The dual-cam engine is very aggressive,” Brown said. “When you hit 6100 RPMs the second cam opens up and you can feel the power hit all the way to redline at 8,500 RPM.”

“The closest car I’ve driven that is similar to the Elise was a Honda S2000,” he said. “The car feels like it revs forever. It is easily one of the best handling cars I’ve owned and is by far one of the lightest, it only weighs 1,900 pounds.”

“The car does not have power steering because it’s so light weight but the steering is still rather nimble,” Brown said, adding “it feels the same as driving a go-kart.”

“It doesn’t have any driver assistance – no traction control, no power steering, no stability control. It’s just man and machine which makes it a true drivers car. It’s raw but still refined.”

Much like a go-kart, the steering wheel is small and according to Brown, the car has a quick ratio steering rack. He says the wheels want to follow every bump and curve of the road. “You think you hit a giant pothole when you go over the slightest bump because it’s so loud versus when you are in a normal car, the same bump wouldn’t have even been felt in the first place.”

Brown said the interior of the Elise is as simplistic and commented that there isnt any fluff, cup holders, or really any amenities.

Though he has just had it for a few weeks, the car acts as a weekend toy and modifications include a carbon fiber front lip, wheels and R Compound tires, custom Lotus center caps, black lotus emblems, and exhaust.

Among his favorite memories with the car, Brown says weekend cruises to Payson are always his favorite. “The car really just solidified everything I had read it being a great road car,” he said.

“No matter how fast you take a corner the car stays perfectly flat with zero body roll.” Brown added the car inspired confidence as he never had to question if traction would break. “Not once did I have a shadow of doubt on the long curved roads to Payson.”

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