Lotus Elise S (2012): 30 second review

Peter Burgess
Lotus Elise S(Lotus)
You haven't been able to buy a properly fast, brand-new Elise for well over a year. The evil killjoy legislators around the world had decided that the supercharged Toyota engine was simply too polluting.
So for a period you had to make do with a regular 1.6 producing just 130hp. It's still a fine car, but now the Elise S is back, with a new 1.8-litre supercharged lump, 220hp and a £36k price tag.
We like:
Sublime performance, silky chassis, utterly involving.
We don't like:
Stark interior, still a car for special drives rather than everyday use.
Should I buy one?
The 2012 Elise S gets the full five stars. There you have it. If this sounds like a boringly predictable result from a journalist infatuated with a car still in production fifteen years after its launch, consider this.
In a world where cars continually become more complicated, heavier and anodyne, the Elise stands out as much as a beacon of sports car excellence as it did at the very start. Just jump in a BMW Z4 or Mercedes SLK and you'll understand the difference instantly.
For the full review, point your web browser to the MSN Cars site at http://cars.uk.msn.com/
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