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Lotus Elise (00 on) - rated 4 out of 5

Not only was the launch of the Lotus Elise significant news back in 1996, not only because it heralded the introduction of a new method of aluminium construction, but also due to new cars from the Norfolk-based manufacturer being quite a rare occurrence. 

No surprise that almost twenty years and a few facelifts later the Elise is still in production, even though it’s softer, less focused rivals have been replaced several times and grown up in the process. 

The fact is, there’s nothing quite like an Elise, aside from maybe its more powerful coupe cousin, the Lotus Exige – but two-seater roadster buyers may well choose creature comforts over the Elise’s dynamics and spend more money on alternatives such as the BMW Z4, Mercedes-Benz SLK and Porsche Boxster.