2006 Lotus Elise

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2006 Lotus Elise Review

The thrill of a racecar in a roadster.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 Lotus Elise boasts a Yamaha-built 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with the horsepower bumped up to 190. This enables the lightweight car to go from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds. The Elise surpasses all for its exciting driving experience. However, if you like frills and extras, this car will not suit you.

The Lotus Elise debuted in 1996 in Europe, but it could not move over to the United States due to the tough U.S. crash standards. It runs as a race car in the U.S., but cannot be driven on the street.

After adding the necessary detail, the Lotus Elise earned its certification in the United States, in 2000. Airbags and other features add weight. In addition, to appeal to U.S. drivers, it includes some comfort features. The 2006 Lotus Elise, therefore, offers standard air-conditioning, anti-lock brakes, and an AM/FM audio system. This vehicle remains a true sports car lacking stability control and power steering to keep the car under one ton. This makes it the lightest performance car in the U.S. The lack of weight results in less necessary power.

The Range

Body styles: convertible
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: manual
Models: Lotus Elise

What's New

LED taillights with reflectors come standard on the 2006 Lotus Elise as well as daytime running lights. The upgraded seat padding offers more comfort, and the former aluminum pedals have been replaced with a new steel pedal set that weighs less. In addition, it boasts a 30 percent reduction in braking exertion and an electronic throttle for enhanced engine response.

New available options include limited slip differential, a traction control system, lightweight alloy wheels, and a package with a matte black appearance, but it still lacks air-conditioning to conserve weight.

Exterior

The 2006 Lotus Elise is a two-seat roadster which comes in only one trim level. It rolls on 16-inch alloy wheels and offers a hardtop option. Almost all consumer reviews express the head-turning appearance of the Lotus Elise and describe it as a street-legal racecar. Almost all reviews rate the Elise with four or five out of five stars. According to consumers, you should be prepared for questions about this car due to its unique and appealing outward appearance. The buyer has a choice of an astonishing 20 exterior colors.

Interior

The interior offers typical sports car style with simple controls and sport seats that give good support. The low steering wheel and wide door sills make entering and exiting the car a little tricky, but keep with the sports car style. This car’s cockpit is for driving, and storage and comfort come in short supply. The buyer has a choice of five interior colors. Standard features remain minimal and include air-conditioning, with an option to forego the air-conditioning to save weight, and a CD player. An optional Touring Package includes leather seats, an upgraded audio system with an MP3 player, power windows, a storage net, a double-insulated softtop, complete carpeting, and additional sound-reducing material. In addition, a Sport Package features lightweight alloy wheels, wider tires, and track-tuned suspension.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Lotus Elise focuses on driving and has been reported by consumers to offer the paramount driving experience of any roadster. The unrestrained and sharp steering, quick reactions, and power performance of this car make for ultimate driving pleasure.

Safety

In the effort to minimize weight, Lotus limits the safety features in the 2006 Elise to federally mandated equipment. Four wheel anti-lock brakes come standard; however the model does not offer side airbags at all, and traction control remains an option.

EPA Fuel Economy

Lotus Elise: 19/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sharp steering
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Ultimate performance
  • Rare low volume
  • Reasonable price

You Won't Like

  • Difficult to enter/exit
  • Sparse comfort features
  • Rough ride quality
  • Limited dealer access
  • Few safety features

Sum Up

The thrill of a racecar in a roadster.

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