In recent years, Lotus has been testing its new products by taking them on a brisk run from London to Rome, a trip that presumably reveals any remaining reliability issues, as well as offering the Brits an excuse to find a few meals that are not pie- or pudding-based. While today's Elise has undergone this challenge in Europe, we've decided to plot our own version of the London-to-Rome trek, with the intention of discovering if everything will stay glued together, including our sanity, on a trip beyond the local test track. In keeping with the Elise's American intentions, we'll be visiting not the original London, England, and Rome, Italy, but rather their eponymous counterparts in Texas and Georgia, respectively. The route will take us through the deep South, which is very similar to Europe in that it, too, is above sea level, if somewhat more fond of the contraction y'all.
I invite my friend Murph along for the ride. He's got vacation days he needs to burn, and I figure nothing will prove the Elise's long-distance capabilities, or lack thereof, the way a passenger will. Murph isn't exactly built like Keith Richards, either, and the Elise is so small that it might be the only car on the U.S. market that conjoined twins would be able to drive without any modifications. At least our car has the Luxury package, which includes power windows, a Blaupunkt CD player, and extra sound-deadening material.... Read full article