Lotus 340R in Japan
Now here’s an oddball that gets seldom discussed: the very limited production sibling to the Lotus Elise, the 340R. And what better way to take in the sights of Japan than in one of these?
For what it’s worth, in 2009 evo magazine placed the 340R at number two on its list of “100 Greatest Drivers’ Cars” (the Pagani Zonda F topped the list):
If being the greatest drivers’ car meant having the world’s best steering then the Lotus 340R (or any mk1 Elise/Exige) would be standing on the top step. ‘The 340R is like an Elise turned up to 11,’ says unlikely Spinal Tap fan Metcalfe. ‘The chassis composure when really pushed is beyond brilliant; it’s close to unbelievable’. John Simister has the 340R at the top of his list ‘for its speed, purity, transparency and compactness. It provides a huge visceral buzz yet doesn’t assault you with the wrong sort of “noise”.’ ‘Sublime,’ says Barker (source).