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Lotus is a British automotive company known for making some of the lightest and most attractive sports cars in the market. It’s best known for producing cars like the legendary Elise and Evora, but the company has evolved in the past 10 years. In that case, which model is the cheapest Lotus that you can buy?

The cheapest Lotus is affordable for well-heeled buyers

Lotus Emira
Lotus Emira | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

The Lotus Evora used to be the brand’s entry-level car, but with a price tag of around $96,000, it wasn’t very affordable. The Emira is Lotus’ latest offering, and it is the last model to use an internal combustion engine as the company plans for an electric future. For now, Lotus offers the Emira with a choice between a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.

Car and Driver reports that the Mercedes-Benz-sourced, turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 360 hp , while the larger V6 puts out 400 hp. That type of power equates to 0-60 mph times around four seconds. But straight-line speed isn’t what this car is about. The editors at Car and Driver noted that the Emira “provides balanced handling and precise steering.”

They even marveled at the car’s “commitment to driver involvement” as it makes the driver feel connected to the road. On the inside, the Emira’s interior is all business, with its driver-focused cockpit, bucket seats, and upscale materials.

Did we say that it was affordable? The 2023 Lotus Emira has a starting price of $77,100, which may not be accessible for every buyer. But for well-heeled ones, it’s quite the bargain.

The Lotus Evija is not nearly as accessible and sounds unreal

The Lotus Evija seen at London Concourse
Lotus Evija | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

The other car in Lotus’ lineup is the Evija. Unlike the Emira, the Lotus Evija is far less accessible by not only average buyers but even those with deep pockets. This fully electric hypercar retails for $2.3 million, which is an appropriate price considering its limited run of only 130 copies.

What makes the car so special is its all-electric powertrain, which consists of four motors. Together, they put out a combined rating of 1,972 hp and 1,254 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver notes that’s nearly double the power of rivals like the Aston Martin Valkyrie. It’s also enough power to rocket the 3,700-pound hypercar up to 60 mph from a stop in under three seconds.

It can also get up to 250 miles on a single charge and recharge up to 80 percent of its battery life in only 12 minutes. That sounds unreal, doesn’t it? Buyers that want a Lotus that’s more accessible should probably look in the used market.

A used Lotus Elise is within easier reach

A blue 2002 Lotus Elise driving down a road
2002 Lotus Elise | Getty Images

Buyers wanting easier access to a car from the British sports car company can look for a used Lotus Elise. It may not be as fast as the Emira and the Evija, but it does an excellent job of providing a spirited driving experience.

There’s a decent amount of room for two adults and maybe a small handbag in the minuscule trunk, but practicality was never its strong suit. Instead, the Elise was meant to carve up canyon roads and provide a go-kart-like driving experience.

Not only does it hug the road with its lowering springs and Bilstein shocks, but it’s also powered by a Toyota-sourced, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 189 hp. However, a 217-hp supercharged version is also available for those wanting more power.

As for price, we found plenty of Lotus Elise models selling for around $45,000 nationwide on CarGurus. Those who can’t afford the cheapest Lotus in the current lineup can at least afford the most affordable in the used market.