Thursday, July 26, 2007

First Drive: 2008 Lotus 2-Eleven

This car is not exactly for someone who only needs to get from point A to point B. This one is for someone who needs to get there at extreme speeds and in extreme style.

The cockpit of the 2008 Lotus 2-Eleven is small and spartan. There's no trim to speak of, just a tiny leather-rimmed steering wheel, some aluminum pedals and a stubby shift lever. Snug down the strap of your helmet, tighten the belts of your racing harness and reach for the starter button.

The Lotus 2-Eleven starts instantly and settles into a jaunty mechanical thrum. Select 1st gear, ease out the clutch and slip quietly onto the circuit at Lotus headquarters in Hethel, England. It was here that Colin Chapman rolled out the Formula 1 cars that made Lotus the most innovative automotive brand in the world during a golden era between 1967 and 1978. But there's no time to think about that now, because the 2008 Lotus 2-Eleven is quick - savagely quick.

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