It's hard to believe that the Series 1 version of this car was originally designed over 20 years ago, boasting incredible specs for the mid-nineties. Weighing in at under 1,600 pounds and with a center of gravity just 18.5 inches off the ground the nimble Lotus has been a favorite of track junkies and canyon carvers since its inception.
I remember selecting the futuristic looking roadster and anxiously gripping my controller as I dodged police cars in Need For Speed before I was even a teenager. The Elise has stood the test of time and this heavily modified, track-prepped Series 2 you see right here just might be my favorite one.
The British car, assembled in Norfolk, featured an aluminum chassis and fiberglass body as well as an utter lack of crash protection. Thus, getting your hands on one in America simply wasn't possible until the mid-2000s. The owner "jokes" (I think he's pretty serious, actually) that he almost moved to Europe to get an early example, but luckily for him the federalized Series 2 came over in 2005.
So, what you see here is a 2005 Elise, powered by a supercharged Toyota 1.8L 2ZZ pushing 230 horsepower and weighing in at under 2000 pounds. The extra torque from the supercharger helps get the car from zero to sixty in about 4.3 seconds with help from a rebuilt gearbox, smaller wheels and a bunch of other fancy go fast parts including this short shifter by Alitech.