We checked the prices and we were shocked.
A while back, we featured a 2011 Lotus Evora on our Supercars On A $50,000 Budget segment. We thought that the Evora was an amazing car to pick up for such a low price, given that a brand new one starts at around $90,000. What we didn't realize was how affordable a bunch of cars from the Lotus brand are right now. In fact, we think that now is the perfect time to buy a used Lotus. These cars are fantastic on the track and stand out as much as exotics that cost ten times as much. All of the cars that we found are now available for less than $40,000.
The Lotus Evora has come down in price even more since the last time we went looking for one. We found this black 2010 model for just $35,500. The car is located in McCook Illinois at Chicago Fine Motors. The car has done just over 60,000 miles, which may seem like a lot for a hand-built sports car. Just remember that the 3.5-liter V6 engine in this car came from a Toyota Camry, so it should be reliable. Even though the engine came from a boring family car, the Evora has brilliant handling and is the most comfortable car on this list. It may be the most expensive car, but it's also the newest and most usable of the bunch.
Our next choice is also located in Illinois at a dealership called Greater Chicago Motors. This 2005 Elise only has 34,000 miles on it at is now being offered at $33,995. We did find slightly cheaper examples of the Elise, but we preferred this car's low mileage and British Racing Green paint with yellow racing stripes to match the famous Lotus racing colors. The Else may only have a 190-hp 1.8-liter engine from a Toyota Corolla, but the car weighs less than 2,000 pounds. The Elise is one of the best handling cars in the world, and we can't believe how affordable they have become. Prices have been sitting firm at around $30,000 for a few years now, so the Elise seems like a very safe investment.
The Elan is a bit of an oddball on this list because it isn't the most exciting Lotus to drive. But what it lacks in excitement is made up for by it extreme affordability and reliability. This 1991 model has 115,000 miles on it and is now being offered for $15,990 by Specialty Sales Classics in California. Having over 100,000 may seem like a lot for a British sports car, but the engine and transmission in the Elan were supplied by Isuzu. The engine produces 162 hp going to a five-speed manual transmission. It may not be the fastest car Lotus ever built, but it is the most affordable entry into this very unique brand.
The last two cars on our list are actually a two-for-one. For under $40,000, we found both a fourth and a fifth generation Lotus Esprit. The fourth generation was sold from 1987 to 1993. We found a red 1989 model with only 19,000 miles on it. The car is being sold by Princeton Mini in New Jersey for just $21,500. In 1989, the four-cylinder turbocharged engine was bumped up to 264 hp with 280 hp available on overboost. The car could hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The fifth generation of the Esprit lasted from 1993 until 2004 and was the final iteration of the model that had been on sale since 1976. We found a 1997 model with a tad high 61,000 miles on it.
The car is currently for sale at Empire Exotic Motors in Texas with a price tag of $31,777. This generation of Esprit used a 3.5-liter V8 engine that was developed in-house by Lotus. The engine was boosted by two Garrett T25/60 turbochargers and produced 350 hp. This engine was originally designed to produce 500 hp, but the Renault-sourced transmission couldn't handle the power. This amazing sub-supercar can now be had for the price of a fully-loaded, brand-new Mazda Miata. We can't believe how cheap some of these Lotus cars are right now, and we would certainly go out and buy one.