Lotus knows a thing or two about car technology. It's responsible for building the Tesla Roadster, it had a hand in creating the electric Rolls-Royce 102EX and there are now two teams in Formula 1 bearing its name.
Sadly, none of this tech knowledge seems to have trickled down to the company's special edition Elise Club Racer. It has about as much tech inside as an Amish barn.
The lack of creature comforts is a deliberate move to reduce weight and improve performance. The company's relieved the car's interior of anything that isn't absolutely essential, so there's no radio, no speakers and no floor mats. Even the glue holding the chassis together is in full view, which can be a little disconcerting when you catch a glimpse of the car at speed.
Power steering is absent, the car's battery has been swapped for a lightweight motorsport model, and Lotus has even removed some seat padding, so the Club Racer is a real pain in the backside if your posterior isn't equipped with Beyoncé levels of jelly.
Needless to say, the lack of technology can be frustrating around town, particularly when the shower-proof convertible roof capitulates under a good old English deluge. We can forgive these shortcomings, however, because, as you'll see in our video review, the Club Racer really shines when used in its natural habitat -- the race track.
Here, the car is transformed and any niggles simply evaporate. Its handling is perfectly balanced. There's no sign of oversteer or understeer, its gearbox is as slick as an otter's nostril, and it changes direction like a schizophrenic politician in a gale.
Ultimately, it's not the sort of car we can recommend for daily use, but, if you're after a weekend pose-mobile that can shame more powerful vehicles on a track day, then look no further. Hit play to see our video, then discover more about the car in our in-depth review.
- Produced by Drew Stearne.