Featuring a hot engine (with variable valve timing to raise output from 118bhp to 143bhp) and a close-ratio gearbox, this was the best of the early Elises, but rarity is pushing prices up today.
Still, we’d back a nice, original 111S to be one of the best long-term bets for those looking for a return on investment.
Pay from around £17,000.
3. Exige (2000)
Literally a road-going racing car, a hard-topped Elise derived from its single-marque race series cars.
Featured the 178bhp VHPD (‘very high performance derivative’) engine from the 340R, with track-tuned suspension and a very noisy interior. Rare, so residually strong.
Pay from £25,000.
4. Elise Series 2 111R (2004)
A new-generation, Series 2 model with increased weight and better crash protection was launched in 2000, but just as significant was the deletion of the long-serving K-series in favour of a 189bhp Toyota motor with its accompanying six-speed gearbox.
Pay from £16,000.
5. Elise SC (2008)
The SC heralded a major performance hike thanks to the fitment of a nonintercooled supercharger, raising power to 217bhp and releasing a flood of mid-range torque.
Extraordinarily easy to drive fast yet with sub-4.5sec 0-60mph potential.
Prices start at around £22,000.
Lotus Elise: how much has changed in 20 years?