There are several cars whose reason I like them is quite irrational. Quite a number of my very favourite cars have some certainly irrational reasons, reasons which usually immediately sprung them to the top of my tree.
The Lotus Elan Sprint has no such silliness going on with it. My reason for liking it is simple; it’s a lightweight car that looks nice.
I first clapped eyes on it in GT2. While it looked fantastic there, it was also available in more colours there. There, it could come at you in black, red, orange, yellow, green or blue. In Forza 6, the only colours a stock one comes in are yellow and red. The yellow, while good, looks quite wet next to the striking red that I like to see this in anyway.
Speaking of which, I have seen one of these in the flesh. It was at some motor expo in Canary Wharf and it might’ve been the most interesting thing I saw all day. I thought it looked terrific. However, whilst some cars have really captured me just by doing that, the Elan didn’t quite manage that to the level of some.
Of course, the looks are largely dominated by that stripe separating the rest of the paint and giving it the classic two-tone look. Interesting paint jobs on interesting cars like this make for something…well, interesting.
To drive, it’s pretty much exactly what I expected, and exactly what its statistics would suggest. The super-lightweight body can be flung into corners easily and the car goes in spite of having ‘only’ 126bhp. However, it naturally exhibits the sort of behaviour any RWD would get, in that if you go too far, it’ll just go wild. This caught me out at first, but luckily in the Elan it’s easy to get around.
In fact, by the last lap I’d even gotten the confidence in the car to start sliding it about again. And it went rather well, to be honest.
That said, while it’s a perfectly fine car to drive, it isn’t much more than that. It doesn’t really go to the next level, so to speak.
The sound is also pretty typical of the breed, a nice little roar that probably sounds most fitting in the excellent onboard view, and obviously in the chase cams. That said, it turns into a less pleasing drone in the hood and bumper cams, whilst with the way the car moves and rolls about the hood view moves about constantly, making it nigh on unusable. Never use those cams in this. Ever.
The Elan is a simple little thing, a personification of Lotus, embodying the Colin Chapman minimum weight design philosophy. While it’s not the most spectacular thing, I raise now the question of realism. And in this regard, the Elan is great, because it imitates what you’d expect it to be near perfectly.
It’s a car you can admire, for sure. It’s certainly worth some of your time.