My personal icon: Lotus 2-Eleven, CAR+ December 2015 | CAR Magazine

My personal icon: Lotus 2-Eleven, CAR+ December 2015

Published: 27 October 2015 Updated: 16 November 2015

► Adrian Legassick’s personal icon
► Lotus 2-Eleven’s value is appreciating
► It’s special, reliable and very fast

‘I first test drove a Lotus, an Elise, in 2000. Previously I’d owned a succession of hot hatches, M3s and the like, and wanted a fun second car. Our first child intervened, but three years ago I finally bought a Lotus, an S2 Exige. It was a real tool on track but for me it wasn’t quite as great on the road as an Elise; not quite as pure. I test-drove the 2-Eleven 18 months ago with no intention of buying but the steering was so sweet; the 150kg weight advantage it enjoys over the Exige makes such a difference.’

‘I’ve covered 1200 of the car’s 3000 miles, including six trackdays, all of them at Brands and Goodwood. It’s a joy to drive on a circuit, as you’d imagine. In a 2-Eleven the braking points are so late!’ People assume that, being light, powerful and mid-engined, the 2-Eleven must be a bit spiky, but that’s not the case. Tyres make a big difference. Mine came on Yokohama A048s but I’ve switched them for the Avon ZZRs the Lotus Cup race series uses – they’re faster and much more forgiving. I had Lotus re-map the ECU too, from 252bhp spec to 260 – £600 but it makes the engine so much smoother.’ 

‘I’ve made more warrantly claims on our family cars than I have on the two Lotuses I’ve owned, and after six trackdays the 2-Eleven still has 4mm of healthy tread depth and plenty of meat on the brake pads. I took it in for its service and MoT yesterday and it cost me £250 with Bell and Colvill []. Factor in the car’s rising value and you realise these are easy cars to own.’  

‘Driving to a circuit in the rain isn’t much fun but the rest of the time it really is a special car to drive. People love it too; they’re forever chatting to you in traffic.’

One we found 

2008 Launch Edition, 4861 miles, 260 map and sports exhaust, £32k

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three