Steane Klose | Feb 19, 2009

Buying that 'Plucky Brit' go-cart isn't going to cost you any more than it did back in the good ol' pre-meltdown days of 2008.

Lotus Cars Australia, commendably made the decision to absorb the Luxury Car Tax increase, introduced in 2008, rather than pass it onto their customers (a saving of up to $3,000 on some models) and that practice is set to continue into 2009.

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In addition, Lotus has introduced what it calls 'price stability'. As other manufacturers raise prices to cope with currency fluctuations, Lotus has locked in its pricing, ensuring no immediate price rises, despite the current economic conditions.

"We want to provide the best value sports car on the market," explained Lotus Cars Australia General Manager Jonathan Stretton on the new and continuing pricing initiatives.

However, that's not the only recession-busting reason to buy a Lotus. Since 2006, Lotus has exclusively used tuned Toyota engines in its Elise and Exige range which not only offer amazing performance, they are also 'Toyota reliable' and cheaper to run than many a similarly performing exotics.

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The Lotus Elise S, for example, uses a 100kW 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that offers 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds performance, all with a combined suburban/highway fuel economy rating of just 8.3 l/100km.

What's more, Loti hold their value. Redbook (the industry standard for new and used car values), indicates that the Toyota-powered 100kW Elise S retains 76.3 percent of its new car value after two years, making it the best long-term value proposition in its class, as well as a few others we suspect.

Entry level to the Lotus club is courtesy of the Elise S, with prices starting at $69,990, which has to be some kind of sportscar bargain in our book.

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