It’s probably not unfair to say the Elise saved Lotus’s bacon last time around, and its replacement could do the same again.

Today’s Elise is still a truly wonderful thing. It steers magnificently, rides astonishingly well and offers mid-engined handling with balance to spare.

But if it does have a problem, it’s that today’s Elise does what it always did.

Read more about the 2020 Lotus Elise

There’s nothing wrong with that in itself. What it does is great. I love the bare interior and adore a steering rack that allows messages about front wheel grip to filter through but not messages you don’t want to hear.

The balance is as it should be: a touch of understeer after turning in, which you can quell with a lift of the throttle or a trailed brake. Although the Elise is not a drift machine, it is delicately balanced and adjustable.

What’s bad? Well, not a lot.

The gearshift has never been great. The hood I don’t mind, but I know people who do. The wide sills make getting in and out a pain — which means it can take some convincing to get your significant other to agree to you having one — and it seats the two of you shoulder-nudgingly close to each other.