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Growing up, the Lotus Elise was always my dream car. Of course, at the time, I just thought that they looked really cool and didn’t know much else about them. But, anyone who knows the Lotus Elise knows that it’s a car built for the track, making it one of the purest driving experiences you can find on the road. Its lightweight body pairs well with a more modest engine choice, and the raw interior makes it feel like a bonafide racecar.

The car is especially unique because it was only brought into the United States for a handful of years, so we never got to enjoy some of the features of the latest generations of Lotus Elise. Well, one of those features might have included the most basic feature that the baby supercar is missing.

The Lotus Elise itself

If you’ve seen a Lotus Elise in person, you know how truly small the car really is. Pictures don’t do it justice — I mean, the car is really, really small. In fact, I’m under 6-feet tall and can’t imagine someone much taller than me fitting into my 2005 Lotus Elise comfortably. Behind the wheel, it offers a driving experience unlike anything else in the world, which is great, because it totally makes up for the fact that the car doesn’t have any cupholders.

A bright yellow lotus elise 250 cup
The Lotus Elise Cup 250 is exposed on the Dream Car Exhibition | Didier Messens/Getty Images

No cupholders no problems…okay, a few problems

One could argue that you shouldn’t be drinking any type of open beverage while driving a Lotus Elise, to begin with. It’s low to the ground with seats that sit directly on the floor, and even with the stock Bilstein shocks, you can still expect a bumpy ride. Match that with the lack of power steering and without a cupholder, your coffee is guaranteed to ‘cha cha real smooth’ all over the floor. There are a few storage compartments in most Lotus Elise cars that function for other purposes, but you won’t be setting a soda down anywhere besides the floor — which, luckily, is pretty close.

The black and red interior of a Lotus Elise
Interior details of 1997 Lotus Elise Sport 190 | Martyn Goddard/Corbis, Getty Images

The world of aftermarket parts

Aftermarket parts can sometimes mean saving money by downgrading to a lower-quality replacement for an OEM part, but it can also mean choosing customizations. Sure, some upgraded Lotus Elises of the later years were offered the option for cupholders. Still, many owners have had to create something more makeshift or rely on a small market of aftermarket parts to get anything close to a cupholder. With new vehicles getting the latest and greatest technology, features, cameras, and accessories, it’s easy to take something as simple as a single cupholder for granted.

A white Lotus elise on the assembly line
Employees inspects a Lotus Elise sports coupe as it moves down the production line at the Group Lotus Plc, a luxury unit of Proton Holdings Bhd., automobile factory in Hethel, near Norwich, U.K | Simon Dawson/Bloomberg, Getty Images

Luckily, Lotus Elise owners can agree that we all purchased the car for the driving experience, not the luxuries it has — or rather, doesn’t have. So, while not having a basic and underrated feature like cupholders can be kind of annoying at some times, it’s still worth it to owners.


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