The Elise is a legend of the sports car world, and was on sale in its three iterations for a quarter of a century. The second of these (the S2) appeared in 2000, mostly as a response to more stringent crash safety regulations.
Some say the original S1 cars are prettier, with their curvier body and more wide-eyed headlights, but the S2 is undoubtedly still a looker. It’s also more practical than the S1, with a roof that's easier to put up, lower sills to make entry and egress a trifle more dignified, and a more understeer-biased chassis set-up makes it less prone to unwanted hedge visits.
In 2004, Lotus switched motive power from the light and soulful 1.8-litre Rover K Series engine to the more robust but slightly heavier 1.8-litre Toyota ZZ-GE unit, though the 189hp 111R version more than helped to offset the weight deficit. Yet whatever engine was dropped in behind the seats, the Elise S2 is always sublime to drive.
There are many different versions of the Elise S2 as there are days in a month, but whichever one you’ve set your sights on, you can rest assured you’ll be driving an example of peak combustion-engine sports car.