Yesterday, our vision of a perfect world took a small step towards reality, when Lotus announced that they would make the Elise available to select rental car agencies. The decision was made in response to the unbridled affection shown by the U.S. market for the sub-ton roadster, along with the number of requests the company received for such a service.
The press release explains that the Elise will be classified as an exotic, with all the pomp, circumstance, charges, waivers, and hefty insurance premiums that go along with the designation. The selected rental agencies weren't specified, but one could safely assume that your local Hertz, Budget, Avis or Joe's Rent-A-Wreck won't make the short list. Due to limited supply, the first batch of Elise's will only be available in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada and... wait for it, Pennsylvania (?). Other states will be added as supply increases, assuming the loss ratio doesn't go through the ceiling (or, more aptly, the racetrack tire barrier).
We would ask that the first reader to find an Elise available to send us a tip, so we can do a "follow up" on the story.