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Dr. Strangelove

From Wikipedia:

The second Lotus Elan (often known as the M100 Elan based on its internal Lotus model number), released in 1989, was a technical tour de force and defined Lotus's "performance through light weight" tradition. Its styling by Peter Stevens, who was also responsible for the redesign of the Lotus Esprit, was also controversial.

Lotus Engineering had spent five years in tuning other cars and they put the knowledge from that into the new Elan. They wanted a very rigid chassis and used their gained knowledge to create a roadster chassis as rigid as a coup.

The idea of a front-wheel drive Lotus, powered by an Isuzu turbocharged engine and motivated by an Isuzu five speed transmission, was a brave concept and its cornering performance was undeniable (on release the Elan was described by Autocar magazine as "the quickest point to point car available"). However the handling was negatively compared to the original Elan both by the press and some[Who?] Lotus loyalists, often being accused of lacking driver feedback.[citation needed] According to Lotus sales literature, "The ride and handling engineers at Lotus found that for a given vehicle weight, power and tire size, a front wheel drive car was always faster over a given section of road. There were definite advantages in traction and controllability, and drawbacks such as torque steer, bump steer, and steering kickback were not insurmountable." [1] However, it should be noted that this was the only front wheel drive vehicle made by Lotus. Every model made since the M100 Elan, such as the Lotus Elise, have been rear wheel drive.

The relatively high price of the M100 Elan (vs. e.g. the Mazda Miata), along with the mixed reviews and the downturn in the global economy in 1992 particularly in the USA meant it was not a sales success, list price being around $40,000 similar to that of the Elise when launched in the USA over 10 years later.

I really don't know on this one. One one had its a Lotus, and should be cool, bout on the other its FWD. Its an English sportscar, but it has an Isuzu engine and tranny. Its rare, and everyone will want to know what it is. That for me is its strongest cool point:

"Woah, hey what kind of car is that man?"
"A Lotus" *Trying to hold back your smile*

But at the same time, this car is nowhere even close to what the original Elan was. All that said, I think it deserves a cool.
It's a Lotus, an interesting car and it does very well as a FWD car. The interior and exterior are pretty blah though and the bit about the price...
when the car was introduced to the US in €™91, it cost the same as a Porsche 911
That said, I think it'd be pretty damn cool to have one (they're fairly cheap these days if you're near one) but I certainly would not consider it awesomely cool.

Is this around the time when Lotus started using Japanese engines? When did this begin?

EDIT: Oh weird, Kia produced some Elans under their moniker.

EDIT EDIT: Strangelove, you didn't vote. tongue.gif
Definitely cool. Everything I've read on it says it's a great drive, and one of the most fun FWD cars to date. Plus the mini-Esprit looks are awesome.
It was on Automobile Mag's Top 25 Coolest Cars
Yes, it may be a Lotus and it may be the best handling FWD car. But in the end it is a FWD Lotus and this makes it MJU.
Dr. Strangelove
Here is how we need to think about this one. When you are driving it around, how will you feel?

I had some time (and a few beers) to think about it and then decided Ice Cold.

Look deep in your heart. Think about the drive. You know its true. You might not like yourself for it, but its true.
Hard to describe why, but deep in my gut I feel this is a cool car. It just has something to it...

I like this version the most, with 91 or so horsepower biggrin.gif
QUOTE(Dr. Strangelove @ Oct 31 2007, 02:31 AM) *
Here is how we need to think about this one. When you are driving it around, how will you feel?

I had some time (and a few beers) to think about it and then decided Ice Cold.

Look deep in your heart. Think about the drive. You know its true. You might not like yourself for it, but its true.

Mark, I thought about it. And I imagined I sat in that Lotus, was going round a corner, applying some throttle and instead of the rear coming round gently you have the front wheels spinning helplessly while you plough straight into the next ditch.

Or imagine someone talking to you:
"Wow, isn't this a Lotus?"
"Yes, it is."
"Aren't those the best handling cars on the planet?"
"Yes, they are."
"Wow, I love Lotus. Chapman's heritage, Formula 1, Jim Clark. What a great car. Surely it is RWD...?"
"Errm no, it isn't..."

How embarrassing is that? Sorry, no, that car is uncool. I couldn't live with it.
Watch/read contemporary reviews for the M100 Elan and you realize it is a beautifully setup car...FWD and all. Besides, with the low power of these sorts of cars, FWD actually makes a fair deal of sense. I'd drive one.
It's one of the only two FWD cars I'd call truly great. The other being the Integra Type-R.
^I was just thinking about the Integra as I scrolled down to your post (I might also add the current JDM spec Civic type R to that list).

If I can get over my RWD snobbery, this is a very cool car...if Im honest, who cares which wheels are driven? So long as the car handles like a Lotus and is enjoyable to drive.
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