Back in 1995 when Lotus stopped production of the popular “M100 Elan”, Kia Motor Co. who at the time were planning to launch a sports car to enhance their growing range, purchased the rights to produce the Lotus Elan. Now knowing the Elan was already a successful car they basically changed the rear light units , added a few luxuries to the interior, dropped in a 150HP 1800cc naturally aspirated engine, softened the suspension up to give it a more user friendly ride and then left the rest alone, sensible!
With a production run of only 820 cars, to find one that is effectively as new in condition and with only 9000 warranted miles on the clock would be “Un-usual” to say the least, but that is what we have here. Specially imported by Kia UK in 1997 as a marketing tool, it sat on display until it was transferred to Kia of Maidstone and then in turn to one of their heads of department, the whole time not seeing the rain and covering just very low miles between services.
Its brilliant red exterior is blemish free and after the years of cleaning, has what is probably more shine to it than when new. Inside has had the “Eastern Asia” touch and you will now find a very well appointed interior with luxuries such as half leather seating, air con, electric windows and exterior mirrors, an immobilizer and a “Digitally Synthesized Stereo”, no less !
The 1.8 Litre engine is now more or less run in and gives excellent performance, while not being such hard work as the original 1.6 Litre turbo charged engine. With its “short shift” 5 speed gearbox and running on 15 inch Mini-Lite alloy wheels, there are not many sports cars that will match it through the twisty bits.
This is an opportunity to own a very rare car and probably the best conditioned and historied example on the market today. All at less than half the price a new one cost in 1997.