Thursday, March 20, 2014

20k: Federal Power: 2005 Lotus Elise

The Series 2 Lotus Elise was first available in the US market in 2005, after years of enthusiasts, pundits and speeders screaming on the top of rooftops for the small British 2-seater.  The federalized Elise was powered by a Toyota engine, but nobody cared because it combined a light weight chassis, nimble handling and telepathic steering for an unmatched driving experience.  Today the early examples are relatively cheap on the used car market and won't cost Porsche money to maintain.  Find this 2005 Lotus Elise offered for $21,000 buy-it-now or best offer somewhere in the United States via ebay.


First we feel the need to point out that this might be a deal too good to be true.  The seller on ebay has zero feedback, joined a few days ago and has listed an Audi TT and a motorcycle...also a good prices...so while it may be a legitimate new ebay user looking to sell some vehicles quickly, it also could be a bottom feeding scammer who is looking for a lucky ebay buyer to send a deposit without asking the correct questions.  Don't put ANY money down on this vehicle until you see it in person and exchange cash for a title.


Under the hood of the Elise is a Toyota 2ZZ-GE, modified with a Yamaha designed head for 190 horsepower. It offers a few more ponies than was available in the USDM Celica GTS (180hp), but importantly it should last for hundreds of thousands of miles with nothing but simple maintenance.  There is no comparison between the 2ZZ powered Elise and an early 2000's Boxster or 911 where you will be replacing rear main seals at the rate Rob Ford goes through bags of Doritos. 


Inside the Lotus is extremely minimalist -- aluminum buttresses and a hard plastic pieces are everywhere, but that is the charm of the Elise.  You aren't here for an Audi experience and you won't miss the extra 1500 lbs of weight compared to an Audi TT the minute you take the first freeway on-ramp or roundabout.  One of the surprisingly things I routinely notice about Elise examples for sale is they always have low miles...is it really that uncomfortable?


See another car that you REALLY hope is real and not a scammer?  tips@dailyturismo.com



12 comments:

  1. red tag numbers + blue state name + no other embellishments = massachusetts plates in the background

    still winter there, so these photos are from last summer

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  2. Once you're inside, it's fine. I've sat in (but sadly never driven) these. Getting in though...

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  3. Since sales of the Elise were discontinued in the US, the used prices for them have gone up. Looking at eBay completed listings, they appear to go for the mid-30's. I'd be wary of this deal.

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  4. Looks like the two vehicles are salvaged. So this guy is picking up cars at auction and running a pump and dump.

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  5. Hey, no cheap shots about Rob Ford and Doritos. We understand that he is now working diligently to come to grips with the only problem his mummy says he has: his weight.

    I hear crack dealers offer weight loss programs that are really effective....

    Anyway, this Lotus looks nice in the few photos offered. Am I the only one who noticed what appears to be a Salvage Title. That might explain the low price.

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  6. Fleetwood T. BroughamMarch 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Rebuilt title. Not too good to be true at all, given that.

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  7. Yep for the price that title would not bug me a bit... That kinda takes the collectors and resellers out of this fight. If the repair was minor and done right I'm okay with it. To me this thing begs for a turbo setup anti lag and launch control. Then because of that title one could beat the tar out of this thing get a buddy to pry your tired broken ass out of it and shovel you back into your Lexus and then go have a rest. ..... At least that was the daydream I was just having.

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    Replies
    1. Lotus sold supercharger kits for the Elise that offered a smog legal modest bump in power (from 189 to 212) but could be turned up a LOT with pulley and chip. It might be cheaper to buy a TRD supercharger for a Corolla/CelicaGTS/Matrix and adapt it for the Lotus since they do share the same 2ZZ engine.

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    2. Fleetwood T. BroughamMarch 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      DT, at this stage of the game Sector 111 is probably your best bet for Elise aftermarket performance. $6k for $265 rwhp is pretty sweet. (They have a lot of other goodies too).

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  8. It's not just a salvage title it was a junk title in Texas which means it was a pretty rough hit. The substructures of these cars take a very specific repair type if damaged significantly. I would want this on a frame table and see the receipts for the work done to bring it back from the dead

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    Replies
    1. I would suspect Hurricane Alex was the culprit. Owner got paid off and it took the insurance company till Oct. to get a salvage title, then off to auction.

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  9. This is about right for a salvage Elise. I have looked at a few and yes, do get a good look at repair work. Interesting that Texas has a junk title and not just salvage. If it means, like stated above, that it was badly whacked, probably not worth the time.

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