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Good things come in small packages, like this Lotus Elan S2!

Colin Chapman’s famous lightweight philosophy seems to have been lost on Lotus’ next generation of cars, so this could be the time to sample one of their greatest hits as this Elan S2 goes up for auction at Gooding’s Geared Online December sale.

Whoever coined the expression “There’s no replacement for displacement” clearly never drove a Lotus, because five minutes in this stunning 1966 Elan S2 will have you grinning from ear to ear, despite being powered by a relatively tiny twin-cam 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine. 

By modern standards, anything weighing in at around a tonne is considered positively anorexic, but this Elan is so light it would likely give today’s sports cars body dysmorphia. At 680 kilos, the Elan S2 truly is a featherweight, and this example going under the hammer at Gooding’s Geared Online auction on December 8th looks to be a fabulous example of the breed. The odometer shows just 39,372 miles, and this car’s pristine condition gives us no reason to doubt the impressively low mileage. 

Now that Lotus has made the transition to heavy, electric luxury vehicles, Colin Chapman’s famous words remain truer than ever: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.” Hopefully someone at Lotus HQ will campaign to replace the Emira with a lightweight sports car for the future, but rather than just sitting and hoping, why not get out and sample one of the marque’s greatest hits?